« PreviousContinue »
of erery kind. At the formerly quiet corner of North Queen and Chestnut streets, where lived a few old fashioned German families, making fortunes by untiring industry and the most minute economy, there is now nothing but bustle and confusion, arrivals and departures of cars, stages, carriages, hacks, drays, and wheelbarrows, with hundreds of people, and thousands of tuns of merchandise.
I can not help contrasting the present appearance of Orange street, with what it was in my boyhood. At that time it was little more than a wide lane, with half a dozen houses, nearly all of which are yet standing. The peaceable and retired looking mansion, with the willow trees in front, at present inhabited by the widow of Judge Franklin, I remember as a commission store, where trade was carried on with a few Indians still in the neighborhood, and also with those from a greater distance, who exchanged their furs and peltries for beads, blankets, cutlery, and rum, as is still done in many parts of the western country. The house in which the North American Hotel is kept, was occupied by the land commissioners a few years later.
Annually, in those days, a fair was held on the first Thursday and Friday in June. You could hardly see the street for the tables and booths, covered with merchandise and trinkets of every kind, there were silks, laces, and jewelry, calicoes, ginger-bread, and sweetmeats, such as the ladies love; and that was the time they got plenty of them, too, for the young fellows used to hoard up their pocket money for months together, to spend at the fair; and no girl felt ashamed to be treated to a fairing, even by a lad she had never seen before. This was the first step toward expressing admiration, and she who got the most fairings was considered as the belle. Then the corners of the streets were taken up with mountebanks, ropedancers, and all the latest amusements."
Few events have caused more excitement, in their day, than the murder of the Conestoga Indians, in this vicinity, by the Paxton men, in the time of the French and border wars. Many of the families of the Paxton settlers had suffered by the Indian tomahawk, and it was suspected by them that the hostile Indians were harbored, if not encouraged, by the friendly Indians at Conestoga and among the Moravians. A deadly animosity was thus raised among the Paxton men against all of Indian blood, and against the peaceful and benevolent Moravians, and Friends, or Quakers. The following narrative is from Day's Hist. Coll., of Pennsylvania:
“On the night of the 14th Dec., 1763, a number of armed and mounted men, from the townships of Donnegal and Paxton, most of them belonging to the company of frontier Rangers of those townships, concerted an attack on the Indians at Conestoga, for the purpose, as they alleged, of securing one or more hostile Indians, who were harbored there, and who were supposed to have recently murdered several families of the whites. The number of the Paxton men is variously estimated from 20 to upward of 50. Few of the Indians were at home--the men, probably, being absent either in hunting or trading their baskets and furs at Lancaster. In the dead of night, the white men fell upon the village: some defense was doubtless attempted by the few male Indians present (Dr. Fradklin's narrative says there were only three men, two women, and a young boy), but they were overpowered, and the whole, men, women and children, fell victims to the rifle, the tomahawk, and the knife of the frontier-men. The dwellings were burnt to the ground.
The citizens and magistrates of Lancaster, shocked at the horrible outrage, with commendable humanity, gathered the scattered individuals of the tribe who remained into the stone work-bouse at Lancaster, where, under bolts and bars, and the strict supervision of the keeper, they could not doubt but the Indians would be safe until they could be conveyed to Philadelphia, for more secure protection.
But the Paxton men were satisfied with nothing short of the extermination of the tribe, alleging, however, that one or two of the hostile Indians were still among the Indians protected by the civil authority at Lancaster. Concealing themselves at night near Lancaster, they waited until the next day, 27th Dec., when the whole community was engaged in the solemnities of the sanctuary; then, riding suddenly
into town at a gallop, the band seized upon the keeper of the work-house and overpowered him, and rushing into the prison, the work of death was speedily accomplished: the poor Indians, about 14 in number, were left weltering in gore, while the Paxton men left the town in the same haste with which they had entered it The alarm was raised through the town; but, before the citizens could assemble, the murderers were beyond their reach. In consequence of this affair, the Moravian Indians, from Wyalusing and Nain, who had come to Philadelphia for protection, were removed to Province Island, near the city, and placed under the charge of the garrison.
The Paxton men, elated by their recent successo assembled in greater numbers early in January, and threatened to march to Philadelphia in a body, and destroy the Indians there. The people of the city were prodigiously alarmed, and several companies of foot, horse, and artillery were formed to repel the expected attack The Paxton men, who had approached the Schuylkill on their march, finding such a force prepared to receive them, returned home.
A proclamation was issued by the governor, expressing the strongest indignation at the outrage at Conestoga and Lancaster, and offering a reward for the arrest of the perpetrators; but such was the state of public opinion in the interior counties, that no one dared to bring the offenders to justice, although they mingled openly among their fellow-citizens.'
President Buchanan's Residence. Wheatland, Lancaster. Quite a number of prominent men have been natives or residents of Lancaster county, or city. Robert Fulton, so well known by his steamboat inventions, was born in Little Britain, in Lancaster county. He received his education in Lancaster, where his parents removed soon after his birth. The parents of John C. Calhoun resided, in Dromore township, in this county, removed to South Carolina, a short time before the birth of the distinguished senator. Edward Shippen, and his son of the same name, both held high offices under the colonial government.
JAMES BUCHANAN, president of the United States, though born in Frank lin county, has, for a long period, resided in Lancaster. His house is situated a mile or more westward of the city, in a grove of ornamental trees, and in the midst of the luxuriant wheat-fields of this section. In the cemetery of the Episcopal Church in Lancaster, is the monument of Gov. Thomas Mifflin, erected by order of the legislature. The remains of Thomas Wharton, the first president of the supreme executive council, also repose in Lancaster.
The following inscriptions are copied from monuments in the cemeteries of the German Reformed and Lutheran Churches:
St. John Chap. xii, 26. Where I am there shall my servant be also. Erected by the members of this Congregation, to perpetuate the memory and pious services of the Rev. John HENBY HOFFMEIER, born at Anhalt Koeten, Germany, March XVII, MDCCLX. He was a graduate at the Theological University, at Halle, A. D., MDCCLXXXXIII. He became pastor of this Congregation A. D. MDCCCVI, and died a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, A. D., MDCCCXXXVIII.
Sacred to the memory of John HUBLEY, Esq. A member of the State Convention that framed its constitution in various offices of trust and employment, and trust in the City and County as Warden, Elder, and for many years Trustee and Vice-President of this Congregation: as neighbor, Friend, Husband, Parent, he was respected, beloved, revered. Having arrived at the age of 73 years, 5 Mo. and 27 days, he departed this life the 21st day of June, A. D. 1821.
Hier ruhen die Gebeine GOTTHILF HEINRICH MUHLENBERG's, S. T. D. der diese Gemeine 37 Jahre lang mit dem Evangelio von Christo als ein treure Hirte geweidet hat. Sein Geist entriss sich froh der hier nieder gesenkten Hutte den 23ten Mai, 1815; im 62ten Jahre Seiner Pilgrimschaft. Die ganze Gemeine beklagt in Ihm den groszen verlust eines vaters und treuen Lehrers, Einer Witwe und acht Kindern die Ihm dieses Denkinal errichten blerbt Sein Andenkin heilig.
Heil Dir Du hast nach truben Kumer Stunden
This monument, which covers the remains of the Rev'd. Christian L. F. ENDRESS, D.D. has been erected by his friends, as a mark of their atfection and a tribute to his worth. He served this Congregation as their faithful pastor for 12 years, and having completed 30. years of his ministry, and the 52d year of his age, he was, on the 30th of Sept., 1827, gathered to his Fathers, a bright example of peace and confidence that spring from the faith that he had so long and faithfully taught. Peace to his Soul.
Easton, a borough, and the capital of Northampton county, Pennsylvania, is situated on the W. side of the Delaware, on a point of land at the confluence of Lehigh River and Bushkill creek, with the Delaware about 100 miles E., N. E. of Harrisburg, 78 by the New Jersey Central Railroad, from New York, and 56 N. from Philadelphia. The streets are regularly laid out, crossing each other at right angles, and forming, in the center of the borough, a square area, on which stands the court house. That part of Easton which adjoins the Delaware river is level, but is elevated above the river, and the ground rises gradually to a considerable elevation on the west: fine bridges span the various streams mentioned. As a business place, Easton is one of the most flourishing in the state, being advantageously situated at the junction of the Delaware, Lehigh, and Morris Canals, by which vast quantities of coal, lumber, grain, and other produce are exported. A rail. road on the opposite bank of the Delaware, in Phillipsburg, N. J., connects this town with Philadelphia and with Belvidere. The town has great water power, and is the seat of extensive manufactures, among which are flouring mills, oil mills, iron foundries, saw mills, cotton and other factories. Immense quantities of the best kinds of iron ore are found in the vicinity. The scenery at Easton and its vicinity, is uncommonly picturesque and beautiful. The three prominent gorges in the Kittatinny Mountains, the Lehigh and Delaware Water-gaps and the Wind-gap, celebrated for their striking and picturesque appearance, are all within 25 miles of Easton.
Easton, ineluding South Easton, contains about 12,000 inhabitants. LaFayette College is on an eminence 184 feet above the water of Bushkill
creek at its base: this eminence descends abruptly to the bridge over the creek, and is ascended by a long flight of steps. It had its origin in the exertions of the Hon. J. M. Porter, afterward secretary of war, and a number of other citizens of Easton. It was originally designed for a military school; but this plan not meeting with general approbation, it was changed in 1832, to that of a collegiate institution on the manual labor system. It is now under the patronage of the Synod of Philadelphia.
South-eastern view of Easton, from Phillipsburg. The view is from the New Jersey side of the Delaware, at the termination of the New Jersey Central Railroad, where it connects with the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The Belvidere and Delaware Railroad passes underneath the railroad bridge on the left. Part of the Delaware bridge, with Lafayette College in the distance on the hights, is seen on the right.
Easton was quite a place for holding councils with the Indian chiefs between the years 1754 and 1761, while the French were endeavoring to draw away the tribes on the Susquehanna and Ohio, from their allegiance to the English. From 200 to 500 Indians and many of the leading men of this and the other colonies, were often present on these occasions. During the course of these negotiations, Teedyuscung, the Delaware chief, by his eloquence, weight of character, and by the firmness and cunning of his diplomacy, succeeded, in a great degree, in redeeming his nation from their degrading vassalage to the Six Nations. He also secured from the colonial government some reparation for the wrongs done his nation by the whites. He appears to have obtained these advantages by the assistance and advice he received from the Friends or Quakers.
“ The Forks of the Delaware” is the ancient name by which not only the site of the present town of Easton was known, but the whole territory included between the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers, and bounded on the northwest by the Kittatinny or Blue Mountain. The Indian title to these lands was pretended to have been extinguished by what is known as the walking purchase,” or the “ Indian walk.' William Penn and his agents, owing to their ignorance of the topography of the wilderness in the interior, were quite vague in defining the extent of their purchases from the Indians, by
using such terms as these, "to run two days' journey with a horse up the country," " or as far as a man can go in two days from said station,” etc. The proprietors, in order to obtain a claim to as much land as possible, advertised for the most expert walkers in the province, offering 500 acres of land any where in the purchase, and a sum of money to the person who should walk the furtherest. The walk was performed in September, 1737. There was evidently much overreaching in this transaction, and the Indians considered themselves so much wronged, that it led them to join the French in 1755.
The Rev. David Brainard, perhaps the most devoted and self-denying missionary of modern times, labored among the Indians at the Forks of the Delaware about three years, when his feeble frame sunk under the exposure of the wilderness. He returned home from the Susquehanna, sick, and died in New England, Oct. 9, 1747. He built himself a cabin near the ancient Bethel Presbyterian Church, about seven miles northward from Easton.
The wild and romantic passage of the Delaware through the Blue or Shawangunk Mountain, is about 20 miles above Easton; and when approached from the south, the view is highly attractive.
The engraving shows it as seen from this direction ; the mountain on the right is in New Jersey; on the left, in Pennsylvania. The traveler coming from the south, sees the Blue Mountain running southwesterly, in an unvarying line, for per
haps 50 miles, and forming the boundary of the horizon. The range rises nearly 2,000 feet, and forms one unbroken wall of blue, excepting where two deep notches appear to be cut through it. The first is the Water-Gap, the opening for the Delaware, here the boundary between New Jersey and Pennsylvania; the second the Wind-Gap, 14 miles south-westerly from it, in Pennsylvania.
Bethlehem, the principal town of the United Brethren, or Moravians, in the United States, occupies an elevated site on the left bank of Lehigh River, 11 miles above Easton, and 51 north from Philadelphia, and is an agreeable place of resort during the summer. The town was founded by the Moravians, in 1741. They have a large stone church, in the Gothic style, and a female seminary, which enjoys a high reputation, beside other schools and benevolent institutions. Population upward of 2,000. All the property at Bethlehem belongs to the society, who lease out the lots only to members of their own communion. Nazareth is a village of about 400 inhabitants, about nine miles north-west from Easton. It contains a large church and a flourishing academy for boys, conducted by the Moravians. The village was first begun by the celebrated George Whitefield, in 1739. He commenced a building intended for a school for African children, but before it was finished, he disposed of it to Count Zinzendorf, who completed the edifice.
At the close of the year 1741, Count Zinzendorf arrived in America ; and in the ensu. ing summer of 1742, visited Bethlehem. While here he made a missionary tour among the villages of the red men in the neighborhood, accompanied by his daughter Benigna, and several brethren and sisters-learning their manners, securing their affections, and