Josiah Rhinehart Sypher.

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established one of their principal forts on French creek, near
where the town of Franklin was afterward located. The re-
mains of the fortifications at this place, are still visible.
The military post was called Yenatigo, and was occupied
for several years, until, in 1759, the garrison was sent to
Fort Niagara, and the forts were burned. This place was
visited by George Washington in 1753, when on his way to
carry dispatches to the French commander at Fort Le Boeuf.

16. After the departure of the French troops, in 1759, the
country remained in the exclusive possession of the Indians
until 1767, when a Moravian missionary. Rev. David Zeis-
berger, from Wyalusing, penetrated the dense forests of the
northwest for the noble purpose of preaching the gospel
to the natives. In the following year other missionaries
from Bethlehem joined Zeisberger; they then formed a set-
tlement on the banks of the Alleghany, built a block-house,
and planted corn. The meetings held at this place were
attended by large numbers of Indians, many of whom re-
ceived the truth, and came to live in huts near the village.
The congregation at Bethlehem sent out a bell for their
little chapel, which was the first church-bell in this part
of the State. A war broke out among the Indians, that
eventually endangered the lives of the missionaries; they,
therefore, in April, 1770, abandoned the village, and passing
down the river in boats, entered Beaver creek, and, upon its

15. Where did French traders establish a fort? When was it
destroyed ?

16. How long did the country remain in possession of the Indians?
What missionary efforts were made? What settlement did the mis-
sionaries form? When and for what cause was the settlement
abandoned ?


banks, founded a new settlement, which they called Frieden-
stadt, a town of peace.

IT. In the spring of 1787 a company of United States
soldiers, under command of Captain Hart, was sent out from
Fort Pitt, with orders to proceed to French creek, and erect
a fort, near its junction with the Alleghany river. The work
was completed during the summer, and was called Fort
Franklin. Settlers soon began to arrive and build their
cabins near the military post, and thus, under the protection
of the soldiers, the village of Franklin gradually grew into
a prosperous community. The troops were withdrawn in
1803; after that the "old garrison house" was used as a
county jail until 1819, when a new building, erected for that
purpose, was completed.

18. The tow^n of Franklin was regularly laid out, in 1795,
and became the seat of justice, in 1805, when the county of
Yenango was fully organized and allowed to establish an
independent court.

19. The settlement of Warren county was greatly retarded
by the uncertainty of land titles in that region. The whole
of the northwestern part of the State suffered more or less
from this cause. Frequently the same tracts were claimed
under State grant and under titles from different land com-
panies. This gave rise to vexatious lawsuits and bitter dis-
putes, so that the better class of settlers avoided the lands
lying in this territory. A special court was established to

17. When and Ly whom was Fort Franklin erected? For what
purpose was it afterward used?

18. When was the town of Franklin laid out? When was Ye-
nango county fully organized ?

19. What retarded the settlement of Warren county ? How were
the titles finally adjusted?



adjust these difficulties, and the question of ownership was
thus finally settled.

20. The population of Warren county was, from this cause,
of slow growth, and in 1820, numbered less than 2000. In
1805, the county was annexed to Yenango, and was not
erected into an independent judicial district until the year
1819; the seat of justice was then located at the town of

21. This portion of the State recently became the scene of
an almost boundless speculative furor. Though the exist-
ence of petroleum springs was known to the natives, coal
oil was not made an article of commerce until the year 1860,
when the methods of refining crude petroleum were dis-
covered. The refined oil was applied to a great variety of
uses, and therefore became an important article of trade.

22. The art of boring artesian wells was applied to boring
for oil. Joint-stock companies were formed ; lands were sold
at fabulous prices; poor men, who had been struggling to
earn a living on their little farms, suddenly became rich;
the whole country was excited, and the love of speculation,
and the desire to gain great wealth at small cost, drew
crowds of adventurers to the oil regions of Pennsylvania.
Thousands of wells were bored, many of which never yielded
any revenue to their owners ; others were immensely profit-
able, and thus fortunes were often made or lost in a day.

23. After raging during five years, the excitement sub-

20. What was the population of Warren county in 1820'^ When
was the county made independent?

21. What recently occurred in this part of the State? When did
petroleum become an article of commerce ?

22. How was oil obtained?

23. How long did the speculative furor last? What eflfect had it
on the country ?


sided, but not without having resulted in great good to the
people of the counties where the oil was found. Railroads
were constructed, the population was greatly increased, towns
and villages were built, and the natural resources of the
country were rapidly developed.

24. Petroleum became an article of export, and brought
large sums of gold from Europe to this country, at a time
when the national government was greatly in need of money
to carry on the war. It is now a regular commodity,
and is one of the staple productions of the State. The ex-
ports for the year 1861, were 1,188,652 gallons; for 1864,
3l,8t2,9t2 gallons; and for 1867, 68,189,031 gallons. Ac-
cording to the most trustworthy estimates, the total produc-
tion in the United States, in 1866, was 112,000,000 gallons;
of this quantity Yenango county produced about 100,000,000
gallons. The total yield in Pennsylvania, for 1867, reached
117,000,000 gallons, valued at $16,800,000.

24. How did the petroleum trade aid the national government?
What has petroleum become? How extensive is the trade?





War of 1812-14.— T/ie Enlistment of Troops.^The War
on Lake Erie.

1. The United States declared war ag-ainst England, in
June, 1812. There was strong opposition to this measure
in some parts of the country, because it was thought unneces-
sary. Pennsylvania, however, with a majority of the States,
sustained the action of the national government, and freely
offered men and money to resent the insults, and dispute the
assumptions of Great Britain. When the call for troops
was made by President Madison, Pennsylvania responded
promptly by recruiting soldiers for the army.

2. The campaign in the west, in the first year of the
war, resulted in the defeat of the American forces, and left
the northwestern counties of this State, and especially the set-

Chapter XXXIY. — 1. "When was war doclnrcd against Great
Britain? What action was taken by Pennsj^vania?
2. What was the result of the first year of the war?


tlements on Lake Erie, defenseless. The enemy bad full
possession of the lakes, and could, at any time, invade the
southern shores. The national government therefore resolved
to construct a fleet, to co-operate with the army in Ohio,
under General Harrison.

3. In the summer of 1812, Daniel Dobbins, a sailing'-master
in the navy, received instructions from the Navy Department,
to go to Erie and build vessels for the lake service. He
employed Ebenezer Crosby as master carpenter, and pushed
forward the work with such help as he could procure. .By
the 12th of December two boats were on the stocks, and
Dobbins promised to have the whole fleet completed early
in the following spring. Commodore Oliver H. Perry was
ordered to take command of the squadron on Lake Erie.
He arrived at Erie, Pennsylvania, on the 27th of March,
1813, and immediately urged on the work of building the

4. The northern frontier of Pennsylvania being at that
time a wilderness, supplies and mechanics were brought from
the Atlantic coast. The timber for the larger vessels was
cut fresh from the forest; the iron was procured at Pittsburg,
and carried up the Alleghany river in flatboats to Waterford,
and thence overland in wagons to Erie.

5. In the face of many obstacles, Perry succeeded in get-
ting his vessels ready to leave the harbor in the early part
of August, 1813. He was then joined by a party of seamen,
under Captain Elliot.

3. By whom was the building of the fleet on Lake Erie begun ?
When were the first two boats finished? AVhat command was given
to Commodore Perry?

4. Where were the materials procured for building the boats?

5. When were the vessels ready to leave the harbor? By whom
were the seamen commanded ?


6. On the 12th of August, the fleet set sail from Erie, for
the headquarters of the Northwestern army, then at Seneca,
on the banks of the Sandusky river.*

1. On the morning of the 10th of September, the British
squadron was seen outside of the harbor; the American ves-
sels got under way, and went to challenge it. The two fleets
met near the western extremity of Lake Erie, and a severe
battle ensued, which, through the bravery of the men and the
skill of the commander, resulted in a complete victory for the
American arms. By four o'clock in the afternoon, every British
vessel had surrendered to Perry, and before sunset he had
sent his famous dispatch, through a messenger, to General Har-
rison: *'We have met the enemy, and they are ours."

* The vessels under the command of Perry, and which were present
in the subsequent engagement, were as follows: Lawrence, Captain
Perry, 20 guns; Niagara, Captain Elliot, 20 guns; Caledonia, Lieu-
tenant Turner, 3 guns; Ariel, Lieutenant Packett, 4 guns; Somers,
Sailing-Master Almy, 2 guns; Porcupine, Sailing-Mastcr Senatt, 1
gun ; Scorpion, Sailing-Master Champlin, 2 guns ; Tigress, Lieutenant
Conklin, 1 gun ; Trippe, Lieutenant Holdup, 1 gun. In all, nine ves-
sels, with 54 guns. The whole force, including officers and men, was
490; of these, 116 were on the sick list.

The British vessels Avere as follows: Detroit, Captain Barclay, 19
guns; Queen Charlotte, Captain Pinnis, 17 guns; Lady Prevost,
Lieutenant Buchan, 13 guns; Hunter, Lieutenant Bignall, 10 guns;
Little Belt, 3 guns; Chippewa, Campbell, 1 gun. Total number of
vessels 6, with an aggregate of 63 guns, 35 of which were of long range.
The squadron was commanded by Captain Robert Herriot Barclay, a
skillful and experienced seaman. The whole British force numbered
32 officers and 470 seamen, in all 502.

6. "When did the fleet set sail, and what was its destination ? "What
was the whole force ?

7. Describe Perry's victory. What dispatch did Perry send?


8. Iq the summer of 1814, British war ships appeared in
the Delaware and the Chesapeake. The citizens of Phila-
delphia and of the counties in the southeastern part of the
State, were alarmed for their safety. Governor Snyder*
issued a proclamation, calling for volunteers; and a draft
was ordered in the counties most threatened with inva-
sion. Encampments were formed near Philadelphia. The
approaches from Chesapeake bay and the roads along the
Delaware were defended by a series of earthworks hastily
thrown up, and mounted with such ordnance as could be ob-
tained. The people everywhere responded with promptitude
and vigor to the call to arms, and thus, in a very short time,
the country was placed in a state of defense.

9. The governor wrote letters to prominent citizens in
different parts of the State, soliciting their co-operation in
raising troops. Among the persons thus addressed, was
Jacob Groshjf of Lancaster county. He entered heartily

* Simon Snyder was born in Lancaster, November, 1759. He was
a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1790. In 1797, he was
elected to the legislature, where, by successive re-elections, he served
eleven years ; and in 1802, was chosen Speaker of the House of Eepre-
sentatives. In 1808, he was elected Governor of the Commonwealth,
which office he held nine years, having been twice re-elected. He
died in 1820.

•j- Jacob Grosh, a native of Lancaster county, was born January
25th, 1777, of German Moravian parents. He was a member of the
legislature during eleven years, and subsequently was twice appointed
Associate Judge of Lancaster. He died at his residence, in Marietta,
November, 1860.

8. "What occurred in the summer of 1814?

9. T\'hat action was taken by the governor and citizens? How was
Captain Grosh 's company raised and equipped? What was done at


into the work, and, in a few days, was ready to march
at the head of a company of lOt men. The women of
Marietta assembled in a schoolhouse, and made garments
and knapsacks for the volunteers in Captain Grosh's com-
pany, so that when the men left their homes to march to
Marcus Hook, they went fully equipped. In all parts of the
State the people heartily supported the government, by or-
ganizing companies and sending them to the camps on the
Delaware and on the shores of Lake Erie. When the report
of the burning of the Capitol at Washington reached Easton,
bells were rung and drums were beaten to call the people to-
gether in the public square. A company of sixty men was
formed, with Abraham Hone as captain ; the women met
and organized a sewing society, and, in three days, supplied
the soldiers with clothing, blankets, and knapsacks! They
also made a flag, which Miss Rosanna Bidleman presented
to the company, saying: ''Under this flag, march on to vic-
tory and to glory."

10. The enemy committed numerous depredations in the
States of Delaware and Maryland, where they plundered the
people and burned their houses and villages ; but none of the
marauding parties crossed the boundary of Pennsj^lvania.
The State militia, to the number of several thousand, was
held in the encampments along the De'laware, until near the
end of the year, when, all danger of invasion having passed,
the troops were discharged. Beyond contributing men and
money to carry on the war, this State took no further part
in the campaigns.

10. What was the conduct of the enemy? When was the State
militia discharged ?





Important Legislation, — Slavery Abolished. — Public

1. The legislation that gave character to the public policy
and directed the energies of the people in developing the
resources of the State, marks distinct eras in the history of the
Commonwealth. The first act of public note, was that passed
March 1, 1780, providing for the gradual abolition of slavery.

2. Our forefathers, anxious to abolish a system of labor
which had been forced upon them, and persistently main-
tained by British authority, seized the earliest opportunity,
after their deliverance from the power of the oppressor, to
make provision for the gradual emancipation of all persons
held in bondage.

Chapter XXXV. — 1. What was the first notable public act passed
by the legislature?

2. How had slavery been forced upon and maintained in Pennsyl-



3. The act of 1*780, which was passed in the midst of the
great struggle for human liberty, abolished slavery for life,
and provided that all children of slave mothers, born after
that date, should be forever free, when they attained the age
of twenty-eight years. By the operation of this act, the
number of slaves in the State was decreased rapidly: in 1190,
the whole number was 3to7; in 1800, 1706; in 1810, 795;
in 1820, 211; in 1830, 67.

4. A few persons held as slaves in 1780, lived to a great
age ; and, being content to remain in the families of their
masters to the end of life, were reported in each successive
census of Pennsylvania, and as late as 1850, one name was
still found on the roll.

5. The second great act affecting the policy of the Com-
monwealth, was that of 1824, which provided for the con-
struction of canals and railroads, to connect the coal beds and
iron mines in the interior counties, with the cities and nav-
igable waters of the State. Under the provisions of this act,
and the amendments thereto, over 1200 miles of canal, and
nearly 800 miles of railroad were built, at a cost of many
millions of dollars, and stretching from east to west, through
the whole length of the State. These lines of communica-
tion reaching out into the valleys of the Susquehanna and
its tributaries, of the Delaware, the Schuylkill and Lehigh, and
across the ridges and through the mountains by expensive
tunnels, connecting the valleys and streams, and binding
together the different parts of the State, formed a system of
public thoroughfares, which, in their extent and cost, were
unequaled by any similar works in America.

3. What did the act of 1780 provide?

4. In what census did the name of the last slave appear?

5. What act was passed in 1824, and what was done under it?


6. In 1T69, the American Philosophical Society of Phila-
delphia ordered a survey for a canal to connect the Chesapeake
bay with the Delaware. At about the same time, the Pro-
vincial legislature authorized the survey of a route for a canal
extending a distance of 582 miles, from the Delaware to
Pittsburg and Erie. The survey was made, and a report,
submitted to the governor, strongly recommended the exe-
cution of the work. This was at the time the most stupen-
dous project in the world. Xo canal was then in existence
either in England or in America ; engineering, as a distinct
science, was unknown in the colonies; the great west was
an uninhabited wilderness, and no money corporations, such
as now furnish capital for great enterprises, had yet been
organized; nevertheless, had not the shadows of the coming
revolution admonished the people to prepare for war, the
construction of this canal would doubtless have been under-
taken at that time.

t. The Union canal was begun in 1791, but the company
was frequently embarrassed by financial misfortunes, and the
work was therefore not completed until 182t. The Schuyl-
kill navigation improvement was begun in 1816, and com-
pleted in 1825; the Lehigh canal was begun in 1818, and
completed in 1838. The work on the Conestoga navigation
was begun in 1825, and completed in 1829. The great
Pennsylvania canal was begun near Harrisburg in 182T.
The several parts, including the Delaware, the Columbia, the
Harrisburg, the Susquehanna, the North Branch, the West
Branch, the Juniata, and the Western divisions, and the
French Creek Feeder, in all, 420:^ miles in length, were com-

6. What great surveys were made? Why were these works not
constructed ?

7. Give name and dates of beginning and completion of each canal
and railroad?


}3leted in December, 1830. The Philadelphia and Columbia
railroad was begun in 1829, and completed in 1834; and the
Ilarrisburg and Lancaster road was completed in 1838.

8. These were the first of the great works brought to com-
pletion. They were the legitimate outgrowth of the public
spirit of the people, who, bj numerous private enterprises,
had led the way to these great undertakings. As early as
the year 1806, a gentleman in Delaware county constructed
a wooden railroad track, from a stone quarry to a boat land-
ing. This was, no doubt, the first railroad in America.
Pennsylvania mechanics were the pioneers also in the in-
vention of steamboats. The first boats propelled by steam
were floated on the Delaware and Schuylkill; and Robert
Fulton,* who attracted the attention of the world to steam
navigation, was a native of Lancaster county.

9. The system of turnpike roads and substantial stone

^ Robert Pulton was born in Lancaster county in 1765, and was for
several years a student of Benjamin West,* the painter, but as he had
more genius for mechanics than the fine arts, he soon changed his
vocation. He was one of the first to apply steam successfully to
navigation. His first steamboat, the Clermont, was launched at New
York, in 1807. He died in 1815, aged 50.

* Benjamin "West was born in Springfield, Delaware county, in 1738. His parents were
Quakers. In very early life lie exhibited remarkable talent for painting, and from the
age of sixteen, devoted himself to art. In 1759 he visited Italy, to study under the best
masters. After four j'ears of study in Italy, he went to England, was patronized by the
king, and became the most eminent historical painter of his age. He died in London
in 1S20.

8. "Where was the first railroad in America? Where was the first
steamboat floated? Who introduced steam navigation to the com-
merce of the world? Where was Fulton born ?

9. When and where was the first great turnpike in America con-
structed? When and by whom was the first canal surveyed? What
did this course afterward become? What other great works were


bridges, for which this State is justly celebrated, was inaugu-
rated by the construction of the pike from Philadelphia to
Lancaster, begun in 1792 This was the first great turn-
pike road in America. Such was the public spirit in Penn-
sylvania, that as early as 17G2, a survey for a canal between
the Schuylkill and the Susquehanna was made by David
Kittenhouse* and others; and the course then marked out,
subsequently became the line of the Union canal.

10. This growth of industrial skill, with its early applica-
tion to the development of the resources of the Common-
wealth, was the result of the wise and liberal policy estab-
lished by the Founder, and defended by the legislation of the
Province, whereby the industrious and sober people from all
nations, and of every religion, were invited and w^elcomed to

11. Mechanics, skilled in every branch of industry, came
from the shops of England and the factories of Germany;
miners and engineers from Wales, Scotland and Ireland;
farmers and educated professional men came from all parts of
Europe, and settled in these v-alleys and along the hillsides.

* David Eittenhouse was born in 1732, near Germantown. When
young, he was apprenticed to a clockmaker, and early manifested
extraordinary mechanical genius. He became one of the most em^i-
nent mechanicians and mathematicians of his time; discovered the
science of fluxions, of which he for a long time supposed himself the
sole inventor; and constructed the most complete orrery that had
ever been made. It is at present in possession of the college at
Princeton, N. J. Rittenhouse succeeded Pranklin as president of
the American Philosophical Society. He died in 1793.

10. Of what were these great enterprises the result ?

11. Who came to Pennsylvania?



There was thus given to the community, genius to discover
and skill to develop the vast mineral resources of the mountain
ranges, and the agricultural wealth of the valleys and slopes;
and hence the State speedily grew rich and populous.

12. Encouragement was also given to private enterprises.
Charters were granted to companies organized to construct
turnpikes, canals, and railroads to connect with the works
owned by the Commonwealth. Under the operation of this
legislation, public improvements were so extended to all
parts of the State that the inhabitants of every county en-
joyed easy access to the best markets for the products of
their labor.

13. The improvements in the Lehigh valley are an illustra-
tion of the energy and skill of the people who laid the founda-
tions for the prosperity of the State. In 1793, a company
was formed under the title of the "Lehigh Coal Mine. Com-
pany," which took up a large tract of land and opened mines
near Mauch Chunk.

14. After numerous unsuccx3ssful efforts to send coal to
market, it was found necessary to organize a navigation com-
pany to improve the channel of the Lehigh. For this pur-
pose a charter was obtained from the legislature in 1818.
During the first year, twelve dams and sluices were con-
structed in the river; in the spring of 1820, many of the

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Online LibraryJosiah Rhinehart SypherSchool history of Pennsylvania, from the earliest settlements to the present time → online text (page 16 of 24)