Josiah Rhinehart Sypher.

School history of Pennsylvania, from the earliest settlements to the present time online

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Nether Silesia, in 1733. These were soon followed by other
settlers who came in large numbers from Wirtemberg and
the Palatinate. They were mostly of the Lutheran and
German Reformed denominations of Christians.

4. Reading was laid out in 1748, and the first house was
built in 1749. The growth of the village was rapid, mainly
through the efforts of Penn's agents, who called it "a new
town, of great natural advantages of location, and destined to
be a prosperous place." The first hotel in the town was built
by Conrad Weiser, the celebrated Indian interpreter, and the
first house of worship was the Friends' meeting-house, built
of logs, in 1751. The country was organized into a county
called Berks, in 1752, and the seat of justice established at

5. During the Indian war of 1756, when the settlements
along the Tulpehocken were destroyed, the excitement at
Reading was intense; the people threatened to burn the
houses of the Quakers who were opposed to defensive war.
These alarms were often repeated, until the battle of Wyo-
ming, in 1778, after which the Indians were driven beyond
the Alleghanies,

6. The lands in the valley of the Lehigh were thrown
open to settlers by the extinction of the Indian title in 1734.
The pioneers in this valley came from the north of Ireland;

3. "When and by whom was Berks county settled ?,

4. When was Keading hiid out ? What is said of its early history?

5. AVhat occurred during the war of 1756 ?


they were Presbyterians, and churches of that denomination
were among the first in what is now Northampton county.
The exact date of the first settlements is not known, but they
are supposed to have been made about the year 1728. The
Rev. George Whitfield purchased lands and began the erec-
tion of a building in 1739, at a. place he called Nazareth. It
was the intention of that Christian philanthropist to open a
free school for African children; but he subsequently sold the
establishment to the Moravians, who completed the build-
ings and planted settlements both at Nazareth and Beth-

7. Northampton was separated from Berks, and erected
into a county, in March, 1752. Easton is the county town,
and is supposed to have been laid out about the year 1738,
but was not settled until some years later. Councils with the
Indian chiefs were frequently held here, after the year 1754;
it was not uncommon to see from two hundred to five hundred
chiefs, together Avith many of the dignitaries of the Province
and colonies, present on such occasions.

8. During the French and Indian war, the inhabitants of
Northampton county suffered severely from the incursions
of war parties. Many of the white settlements on the
border were destroyed and the inhabitants murdered. The
Moravians and their Indian converts were often in danger
between two fires. The hostile Indians were burning and
ravaging their villages on the Lehigh; and the Irish settlers
in the Kittatinny valley viewed with jealousy, not without

6. When and by whom were the first settlements in Lehigh valley
made? What philanthropic enterprise was undertaken?

7. When was Northampton county established ? What is the
county town ? What councils were held there ?

8. What did the inhabitants suffer from Indian cruelties ?


some reason, the asylum afforded to parties of hostile Indians
at the Christian Indian villages.

9. It was charged, too, against the brethren, that they re-
fused to take up arms in defense of the Province ; and falsely
charged, that they were in league with the French. Under
these circumstances it was dangerous for the friendly Indians
to hunt in the woods, and the Indian converts were openly
threatened with extermination. The missionaries were in-
sulted and abused, and the Indians, whose towns had been
burned, took refuge in Bethlehem. Great numbers of the in-
habitants also took refuge in the Moravian settlements, and
asylums were provided for them in the school-houses, mills,
and other public buildings.

10. Similar scenes of distress were again witnessed in
lt63, during Pontiac's war, when the country was overrun
by hostile tribes. In consequence of the threats of the Irish
settlers, it was deemed unsafe for the Moravian Indians to
remain at their villages ; they were therefore sent to Phila-
delphia for protection, where they were lodged in the public
barracks. After peace was concluded in 1764, the Indians
were permitted to return to their homes.

11. The rapid expansion of the settlements, and the
presence of prosperous farmers and growing villages in
the valleys, and along the rivers, reaching far out into the
forests, could not fail to excite the jealousy of the Indians.
They saw that their favorite hunting-grounds and village
sites would soon be in the hands of the white man. More-
over, the pioneers were not always careful to respect the

9. What charges were made against the Moravian brethren ?

10. What scenes were witnessed during Pontiac's war? "Where
were the Moravian Indians sent for safety ?

11. What excited the jealousy of the Indians ?


boundaries of purchased tracts, but often went beyond the
limits of the treaty lines, and occupied lands which the
Indians had not yet sold to the proprietaries.

12. This was especially the case in the Cumberland valley,
where the settlements of the Irish and Germans on the re-
served lands of the Indians grew so numerous and strong,
that the chiefs of the Six Nations called a council on the
subject and sent a deputation from every tribe to Phila-
delphia, to remonstrate against this encroachment upon their

13. Governor Hamilton received the representatives and
treated them with due respect; he gave them presents to the
value of about $3000, and dismissed them with assurances
that the trespassers on their lands should be removed. In
fulfillment of this promise, Richard Peters, Secretary of the
Province, and Conrad Weiser, the interpreter, were sent to
Cumberland county to withdraw the intruders from the
Indian territory. The people on Sherman's creek and other
places beyond the limits of the purchased lands were com-
pelled to come within the authorized bounds, and their build-
ings were torn down or burned.

14. The cunning natives were not slow to learn that the
governor and Council of Pennsylvania were always ready to
purchase their good will by valuable presents. They, there-
fore, sought every opportunity to complain, knowing that if
a conference was called they would receive new presents.
Thus the Indian policy eventually became expensive, and
even burdensome, and the people claimed that it was the

12. Against what did they remonstrate ?

13. How were the representatives received by the governor ?

14. "What is said of the Indian policy?


duty of the proprietaries, who were equally benefited by
peace, to si j are the expense of preserving friendly relations
with the natives.

15. The proprietaries, however, refused to bear any part
of this burden, and to the vigorous remonstrance of the As-
sembly, they sent a feeble, but disrespectful answer, charging
the Assembly with using this subject only for the purpose of
gaining popularity with the people in order to secure their
own election. This accusation the Assembly sharply denied,
in an address written by Benjamin Franklin, who was a mem-
ber of that body.

16. The discussion resulted in building up a strong party
against the proprietary interests, but accomplished nothing
in the way of relief from the burden of annually purchasing
the friendship of the Indians.

15. What difficulty occurred between the proprietaries and the

16. How did it end?





The First Expedition against the French and Indians on

the Western Frontier.

1. An old and an unsettled animosity existed between
France and England. It began in the early years of their
history, and had been kept alive through many generations
by frequent collisions and severe wars ; it was carried to the
western continent by the first settlers, and here found new
encouragement in the hostilities that occurred on the fron-
tiers. The boundaries between the English and French pos-
sessions had not been definitely marked out; and hence the
same territory was often claimed by both parties.

2. The home governments had ever regarded with jealousy
the growth of each other's colonies in America; each aspired

Chapter XYI. — 1, "What occasioned hostilities between the
French and English ?

2. How did they regard each other's possessions in America?
What did the French do ?


to the supreme rule in the New World. At first the mis-
sionary stations and trading-posts of the French, far out in
the deep forests, attracted little attention ; but after the cap-
ture of Louisburg in It 45, they displayed greater vigor in
opposing the extension of the English settlements. They
made treaties of peace with the Indian tribes in Pennsylvania
and New York; strengthened their great fort near Niagara,
and completed their line of fortifications, consisting of over
sixty military posts, between Montreal and New Orleans.

3. They claimed all the lands lying on the Mississippi and
its tributaries, under the title of original discovery and first
settlement. The English, however, insisted that their char-
ters covered all the territory south of the north shore of Lake
Erie, from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean.

4. The dispute was brought to the arbitrament of arms by
King George II., who, in 1749, granted 600,000 acres of land,
on the southeast bank of the Ohio river, to London merchants
and land speculators, known as the "Ohio Company." Tho
surveyors and traders under this company, regarded by the
French on the Ohio as trespassers, were seized and impris-
oned. Governor Dinwiddie, of A^irginia, at once sent a letter
of remonstrance to the French commander.

5. George Washington, then about twenty-one years old,
was chosen to carry this letter from the capital of Virginia
to the French military headquarters on the Ohio. Though
young, Washington was already experienced in forest life.
From his early youth he had been a land surveyor, and was
accustomed to the dangers and hardships of the wilderness ;
he w^as acquainted with the character of the Indian tribes,
and knew something of the country he was about to traverse.

3. What did they respectively claim?

4. What caused an appeal to arms? What did Dinwiddie do?

5. Whom did he send to the French ? What is said of Washinfrton ?


6. The journey through the deep forests and uninhabited
country was one of great danger, involving much personal
peril and numerous hardships ; but Washington possessed
the courage of a soldier and the sagacity of a statesman.
Neither the hostility of the savage, nor the wiles of the
civilized enemies he might encounter, could alarm or deceive
him. With only two attendants, he left Williamsburg, in
Virginia, on the last day of October, 1T53; and, after travel-
ing full four hundred miles, through dark forests, in deep
snows, amid rain aiid storm and savage tribes, he reached
the French fort, at Yenango, on the 4th of December.

Y. The French officers received the messenger kindly, and
sent him forward to the headquarters of St. Pierre on Le Boeuf
river, near Lake Erie. That officer entertained him politely dur-
ing four days, and then gave him a written answer to Governor
Dinwiddle's letter. Washington retraced his dangerous jour-
ney through the wilderness, and on the 16th of January, 1754,
arrived at Williamsburg, having been absent eleven weeks.

8. In addition to the letter from St. Pierre, and a carefully
drawn map of the country he had traversed, Washington
brought back other important information. At Venango, the
French officers gave him an entertainment, at which, by the
too free use of wine, his hosts were made drunk. Washington
wisely restrained his appetite, and thus learned from the blab-
bing soldiers the whole plan of the contemplated operations
against the English colonies.

9. St. Pierre's reply stated that he was acting under orders

6. Eelate the particulars of his journey ?

7. How was he received by the French officers ?

8. How did he learn their plans ?

9. What reply did the French commander make to Governor Din-
widdle's letter? What did Dinwiddle do? How was the call for
troops answered?


of the commander at Montreal, and that he would not with-
draw his troops from the disputed territory. Governor Din-
widdle, thereupon, determined to send an armed force against
the French, and invited the other colonies to join him. The
call for troops was answered, and, on the 2d of April, 1754,
a regiment of 600 men, with Joshua Fry as colonel, and
George Washington, major, marched from Alexandria, on
the Potomac, toward the Ohio.

10. While this expedition was being organized, the Ohio
Company sent out thirty men to build a fort at the conflu-
ence of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers. The work
had scarcely begun, when a party of French and Indians,
under Contrecoeur, attacked and drove them away. The
French completed the fortification and named it Du Quesne,
in honor of the governor-general of Canada.

11. When Washington, who led the vanguard of the
colonial troops, heard of the attack on the working party, he
pushed forward rapitlly at the head of one hundred and fifty
men to a point on the Monongahela river, about forty miles
above Fort Du Quesne; there he received information that a
strong force of the enemy was marching to intercept him,
and hence cautiously fell back to the "Great Meadows," now
in Fayette county, and there erected a stockade, which he
called Fort Necessity.

12. Before the fort had been completed, the French came
so near, that a few of Washington's troops attacked their ad-
vance party under Jumonville, killed the commander, with
nine of his men, and put the whole party to flight.

10. When, why, and by whom was Fort Du Quesne built?

11. Where was Fort Necessity erected? By whom?

12. What caused the first bloodshed? What commander was


13. Two days after this, May 30th, Colonel Fry died, and
the command of the expedition devolved on Washington. At
the head of 400 men, the young leader marched toward Fort
Du Quesne. At about the same time, M. de Yilliers had
marched toward Fort Necessity, with a force of over one
thousand Indian warriors and some French troops, determ-
ined to avenge the death of his comrades. Washington
learned of the approach of the enemy, and prudently retired
to his fort, where, on the 3d of July, he was attacked by al-
most fifteen hundred French and Indians.

14. After a fierce conflict, lasting about ten hours, de Yil-
liers proposed to end the fight and allow Washington to return
to Virginia with his troops. These terms of surrender were
accepted, and on the morning of the fourth the fort was
vacated, and the hostile forces marched in opposite directions,
to the places whence they had come.

15. When Governor Hamilton received the news of Wash-
ington's defeat, he convened the Assembly and laid before it
a statement of the defenseless condition of the Province. The
settlers on the frontier asked for arms and ammunition to
protect themselves ; and the friendly Indians, ready to take
the field against the enemy, petitioned the governor for pro-
tection and support for their families during their absence.

16. The Assembly, with its characteristic tardiness in the
appropriation of money for public defense, easily found excuses
for delay. The governor, having already forwarded his resign

13. What change took place in the command? What did Wash-
ington do ?

14. What occurred at Tort Necessity? What were the terms of
Washington's surrender?

15. What action did Governor Hamilton take? What did the
frontier settlers ask for ?

16. How did the Assembly act ?


nation to the proprietaries, did not wish to begin a new quarrel
with the legislature, but chose rather to refer the subject of
public defense to his successor; and thus nothing was done.

17. On the same day that Washington inarched from Fort
Necessity back toward Virginia, the expedition haWng failed,
Articles of Union, drawn up by Benjamin Franklin, wherein
the representatives of the colonies set forth a plan of general
defense, were adopted by the Provincial Congress at Albany.
This Congress was composed of delegates from New Hamp-
shire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, iS'ew York,
Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Pennsylvania sent four repre-
sentatives, of whom Franklin was the most distinguished.

18. The plan for a union of the colonies was referred for
approval to the provincial assemblies and to ''The Board of
Trade " in England, acting under instructions from the crown.
The Articles provided for the appointment of a governor-
general and the organization of a senate composed of repre-
sentatives from all the colonies ; to these, all questions of war
levying troops, and assessment of taxes for general defense
were to be referred.

19. The assemblies thought too much power was given to
the governor-general, and that the plan was too aristocratic,
hence they refused to ratify it; the Board of Trade thought it
gave too much power to the people, was too democratic, and
also rejected it. Therefore, the union was not effected; but
the principles of a united government were freely discussed,
both b}^ the Congress and by the people, and out of this effort
sprang, ultimately, our noble Declaration of Independence in
17*76, wherein the United States were proclaimed a free Nation.

17. What important event took place at Albany?

18. To what bodies was the plan of union referred?

19. What was its fate? What ultimately sprang from this effort?




Braddock^s Defeat. — Frontier Settlements destroyed by

1. Robert Hunter Morris was appointed governor of
Pennsylvania to succeed Hamilton ; he arrived in the Prov-
ince in October, 1754. It was the duty of the new gov-
ernor to lay before the Assembly the order of Xing George
II., commanding the American colonies to unite in a common
effort to repel the encroachments of the French.

2. The government of Great Britain had now determined
to use force in the defense of its claims to a large share of
the American continent. Accordingly, two regiments of
infantry were sent to Virginia, and Edward Braddock, a
young Irish officer of distinction, was sent over as com-

Chapter XYII. — 1. When was Morris appointed governor?
"What was his first duty ?

2. What had the British government determined to do? What
troops were sent to America? Who was appointed commander-in-


mander-in-chief of all the British and provincial forces in

3. The members of the Assembly were surprised that
Braddock had not landed his troops at Philadelphia. Penn-
sylvania was far more able to feed and transport an army,
than any other colony. It was feared that the general was
prejudiced against this Province; and Benjamin Franklin was
sent down to Alexandria to assure the British commander
that the people would have received the troops kindly, and
to inform him that the roads and the extent and wealth of
the settlements would have afforded advantages to his expe-
dition, that could not be obtained in Virginia.

4. While Franklin was in the camp on the banks of the
Potomac, a report was brought to General Braddock, that
not more than twenty-five wagons could be found for the
use of the army. The general, thereupon, declared the ex-
pedition at an end; for it Avas impossible to move the bag-
gage and supplies for the troops. Franklin modestly ex-
pressed his regret that the army had not been landed in
Pennsylvania, where the people owned many horses and
wagons, which could be spared for the use of the king's

5. General Braddock seized eagerly on Franklin's words,
and directed him to return at once to his Province, and pur-
chase one hundred and fifty wagons and fifteen hundred
horses. In less than two weeks, Franklin had procured all

3. "Where did Braddock land his troops? What action did the
Assembly take? What was Franklin instructed to do?

4. What occurred while Franklin was in Braddock 's camp ? What
did he suggest?

5. How did Braddock receive this intelligence? What did he
authorize Franklin to do? How did Franklin perform this duty?
How did the farmers take security ?



the wagons ordered, and two hundred and fifty horses; he
not only expended all the money that Braddock had given to
him, but in addition to this, advanced two hundred pounds of
his own funds, and gave his private bonds for the payment
of the full value of any horses that might be lost in the service.
The Pennsylvania farmers were unwilling to trust the British
general, but so great was their confidence in Franklin, that
his bond was considered ample security for the return, or
payment of the horses and wagons.

6. While these preparations were being made, the gov-
ernors of Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Mary-
land, Virginia, and North Carolina met in council with the
general, at Alexandria, in April, 1755, to make arrangements
for a vigorous campaign. Three separate expeditions were
planned: one against Fort Du Quesne, one against Fort
Niagara, and one against Crown Point, on Lake Champlain.
This plan of military operations, approved by the- English
government, aroused the people of the colonies to a high
pitch of excitement, and the din of active preparation for war
filled the settlements to their remotest bounds.

T. General Braddock moved his army up the Potomac
river to Fort Cumberland, where he waited for the wagons
and other supplies from Pennsylvania. Here he was rein-
forced by several companies of American and Indian troops,
and on the 12th of June, broke up his encampment and began
his march westward. He crossed the Alleghany mountains
with an army of 2200 men. His line of march corresponded
nearly to what afterward became the course of the "National

6. What council was held? What campaigns were planned?
How did this action affect the people?

7. How and when did Braddock march ? How many men had he ?


8. At Little Meadows, which was five clays' march from
Fort Du Quesne, he held a council of war to determine on a
plan of attack, should they meet the enemy. George Wash-
ington, who had volunteered as an aid-de-camp on Braddock's
staff, knew more about the country to be traversed, and the
enemy to be encountered, than any one else in the expedition.
From the beginning, he had advised the general to leave the
wagons and the heavy artillery in the rear, and to march in
light order, with pack horses to carry supplies. In the
council at Little Meadows, he renewed this advice, and urged
it with such forcible arguments, that it ultimately prevailed.

9. General Braddock selected 1200 men and twelve pieces
of light cannon for the purpose of making a rapid march
against the enemy. Thirty wagons, including the ammu-
nition train, followed. The remainder of the army, with all
the heavy cannon and baggage, was left at the Meadows
under the command of Colonel Dunbar.

10. The British officers, however, had not \ei learned the
art of carrying on war in trackless forests. They refused to
push forward regardless of obstacles, but delayed the troops
to construct roads and build bridges, where the provincial
companies would have marched and waded without stopping
to dig earth or cut down trees. Four days were thus spent
in marching nineteen miles.

11. Braddock was haughty and arrogant; he sneered at

8. "Where did he hold a council of war*^ What young man was a
volunteer on Braddock's staff? What did Washington advise? How
was the advice received?

9. How did Braddock march from Little Meadows ?

10. What had the British 6tScers not learned? How was the cam-
paign conducted?

11. What was Braddock's character? What was his conduct?
What befell him ?


the advice of his subordinate officers, who endeavored to
guard against surprise and ambush. He was confident of an
easy triumph, and thought more of the glory a great victory

Online LibraryJosiah Rhinehart SypherSchool history of Pennsylvania, from the earliest settlements to the present time → online text (page 7 of 24)