« PreviousContinue »
Providence! How wonderful the tie which can thus bind a family together with a chain 80 strong!
I will only add that nothing has ever been heard of the boy Kingsley. The probability certainly is, that he is not living. This account I had from the lips of Mr. Slocum, the brother, and the same who was two and a half years old when little Frances was carried away.
The battle of Wyoming took place upward of five miles north from Wilkesbarre, on the opposite side of the Susquehanna. The monument raised over the
remains of the killed is on the eastern side of the village road, in the vicinity of the Luzerne Institute. It is 62 feet high, constructed of hewn blocks of granite, and stands upon the spot where the dead were buried in the autumn succeeding the battle. The names of those who fell, as far as could be ascertained, and also the names of the survivors of the battle, are engraved on marble tablets in the order following:
Near this spot, on the afternoon of Friday, the third of July, 1778, THE BATTLE OF WroMING, in which a small band of patriotic Americans, chiefly the undisciplined, the youthful, and the aged, spared by inefficiency from the distant ranks of the republic,
led by Col. Zebulon Butler and Col. Nathan Dennison, with a courage that deserved success, boldly met and bravely fought a combined British, tory and Indian force of thrice their number. Numerical superiority alone gave success to the invader, and wide-spread havoc, desolation and ruin marked his savage and bloody footsteps
through the valley. This MONUMENT, comBATTLE MONUMENT, WYOMING,
memorative of these events, and of the actors
in them, has been erected OVER THE BONES OF THE SLAiN by their descendants, who gratefully appreciate the services of their patriot ancestors.
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. Slain in battle: Field Officers-Lieut. Col. George Dorrance, Major John Garret. Captains–James Bidlac, jr., Aholiab Buck, Robert Durkee, Rezin Geer, Asaph Whittlesey, Deathic Hewitt, William McKerachan, Samuel Ransom, Lazarus Stewart, James Wigton. LieutenantsA. Atherton, Stoddard Bowin, Aaron Gaylord, Timothy Pierce, Perrin Ross, Elijah Shoemaker, Lazarus Stewart, jr., Asa Stevens, Flavius Waterman, James Wells, Ensigns-Jeremiah Bigford, Asa Gore, Silas Gore, Titus Hinman, John Otis, William White. Privates — Jabez Atherton, Christ. Avery, Ake, A. Benedict, Jabez Beers, Samuel Bigford, Chas. Bixby, David Bixby, John Boyd, John Brown, Thomas Brown, William Buck, Joseph Budd, Amos Bullock, Asa Bullock, Henry Bush, John Caldwell, Isaac Campbell, Josiah Cameron, Joseph Carey, Joel Church, James Coffrin, Samuel Cole, Robert Comstock, Cook, Brothers Cook, Christ. Cortright, John Cortright. Anson Cory, Rufus Cory, Jenks Cory, Samuel Crooker, Joseph Crooker, Jabez Darling, D. Denton, Conrad Davenport. [Here follows the list of the survivors.]
Scranton, a new town, about 16 miles N. E. from Wilkesbarre, and 97 N. N. E. from Harrisburg, is one of the most flourishing places in the Lackawanna coal regions, and the center of a large trade. Iron ore and rich coal .mines are worked in the vicinity, and these productions are sent to market by railroads, recently constructed. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Rallroad connects it with New York city and the west. This place is an
important depot of the Pennsylvania Coal Company. It contains also extensive iron furnaces and rolling mills. The population has rapidly in
North-western view at the Railroad-station, Pottsville, The view is taken from near the passenger station at the western terminus of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. The Clay Monument is seen on the elevatlon ou the right, the coal cars on the left, beyond which are iron foundries. The river, canal and railroad pass at the base of the mountain, seen in the extreme distance.
creased for a few years past: a large portion are Welsh, Irish and English. Scranton was founded by Hon. George W. Scranton, member of congress from this district, one of the largest iron masters in the country. A public print, in the subjoined notice of him, gives in connection a history of the town: "Born in Connecticut, on the shores of Long Island, he, while yet a boy of seventeen, showed his indomitable energy of character by navigating a vessel and cargo from New London to Washington, which he disposed of in the latter city. The next year he emigrated to New Jersey, his entire resources consisting of a scanty education, an empty purse, and a determination to succeed in the world. After being engaged for awhile as a lumberman and trader, he commenced his career as an iron master at the famous Oxford Furnace, the second establishment of the kind in the United States. In 1840 he pushed his way across the Delaware into the mountainous county of Lackawanna, and began the manufacture of iron by anthracite coal, at a wild spot called Slocum Hollow, where there dwelt only two families, but where now stands the flourishing town of Scranton, teeming with varied manufactures, and supporting a thriving population of 12,000 souls. From the small furvace erected in 1840, and which was the third successful experiment in the use of anthracite, the works at Scranton, inspired by the genius and energy of its founder, have swelled to four large furnaces, capable of yielding 40,000 tuns of iron annually. Col. Scranton and his associates erected the second rolling mill in Pennsylvania, which now turns out some 18,000 tuns of fin
ished iron per year, chiefly railroad iron. He conceived, and mainly contributed to carry through, the connecting railroad link between the great coal region of Pennsylvania, and the city of New York—a project pronounced wild and visionary when first contemplated, but which has proved eminently successful, giving New York a direct communication through Central New Jersey and Northern Pennsylvania to the Erie Railroad, and thence to the Great West.” Mauch Chunk (pronounced Mok-Chunk), the county-seat of Carbon county,
the Lehigh, in one of its wildest passages, in the midst of the coal region, 36 miles westerly from Easton. It is a place of active business in coal and lumber. The bed of coal on Mauch Chunk Mountain, or Summit Hill, is 50 feet in thickness; it is 9 miles west of the town, and from it loaded cars descend to Mauch Chunk, on a railroad, by force of their own gravity.
Carbondale is situated at the head of Lackawanna Valley, 30 miles N. E. from Wilkesbarre, and 145 miles N. E. from Harrisburg. It was incorporated as a city in 1851, and the population in 1853 was about 7,000. The Lackawanna Valley, which is a continuation of the fertile Valley of Wyoming, contains extensive beds of coal, which, in the vicinity of Carbondale, are about 20 feet in thickness. The coal is drawn up by several inclined plains, to the hight of 850 feet. A railroad, 17 miles long, connects this place with Honesdale.
POTTSVILLE, the principal town in Schuylkill county, and the great mining depot for the anthracite coal and iron regions of the Upper Schuylkill, is situated just above the gorge where the Schuylkill breaks through Sharp Mountain, and at the mouth of Norwegian creel 35 miles from Reading, 93 N. W. from Philadelphia, and 46 N. E. from Harrisburg. Pottsville was incorporated as a borough in 1828, including in its limits the once separate villages of Mount Carbon, Morrisville, Greenwood, Salem, Bath and Allenville. It contains 15 churches, in three of which the Welsh language, and in two the German language, is used. Population about 15,000. This place is remarkable for the rapidity of its growth, the picturesque wildness of the scenery, and the immense trade in coal, of which it is the center. In 1822 the “White Horse Tavern" was kept in this place, by John Pott,
who owned land in the vicinity, as a sort of watering-place for stages on the Sunbury road. About the year 1825, the coal mines in this section having come into notice, the town was soon laid out-or rather several towns—and houses were rapidly constructed to accommodate the crowds that came to search for lots and lands. John and Benjamin Pott had erected their Greenwood furnace and forge, and were making iron from ore obtained from Blue Mountain. A daily stage was also established,
and a trip of fourteen hours was thought something remarkable. The Schuylkill Valley, the Mill Creek and
Mount Carbon Railroads, and the Miner's Journal, were started the same year. In 1831 the number of buildings had increased to 535.
As early as 1790, coal was known to abound in Schuylkill county; but, being hard of ignition, it was for a time deemed useless. About the year 1800, William Morris, who owned a large tract of land in the neighborhood of Port Carbon, procured a quantity of coal and took it to Philadelphia, but was unable to bring it into notice. He returned discouraged, and sold his lands to Mr. Pott. In 1812, Col. George Shoemaker procured coal from a shaft sunk on a tract he recently purchased on the Norwegian, known as the Centerville mines. With this he loaded nine wagons, and proceeded to Philadelphia. His efforts to introduce it, proved unavailing, and he was declared an impostor for attempting to impose stone on them for coal. He, however, persisted in the undertaking, and at last succeeded in selling two loads for the cost of transportation. The remaining seven were given away to persons who promised to try the use of it. Messrs. Mellon and Bishop, at his earnest solicitation, were induced to make trial of it in their rolling mill, in Delaware county; and finding it to be equal to the recommendations given, they noticed its usefulness in the Philadelphia papers. From this period the use of this valuable product has been more extended, until it has become one of the chief staples of the state.
A fine statute of Henry Clay, on a lofty fluted column of iron, ornaments the town; on its base is the following inscription :
IN HONOR OF Henry Clay this monument is erected by the citizens of Schuylkill county, and bequeathed to their children, a record of gratitude for his illustrious deeds, which brought peace and prosperity and glory to this country. A tribute of admiration for the virtues which adorned a useful life, and won for his imperishable name the affection and respect of mankind. Henry Clay was born in Hanover county, Virginia, April 12, 1777, died in Washington, Dist. of Columbia, June 29, 1852. John Bapnan, Esq., presented the ground on which this monument stands. Corner stone laid July 26, 1852, work completed July 4, 1855. Samuel Sillyman, Frank Hewson, Edward Yardley, building committee. Master mason, Jacob Madara. Statue of iron, moulded and cast by Robert Wood; column of the same material, by George B. Fisler and Brother. The statue and sections of the column were raised to their respective places by Waters S. Chillson.
READING, the capital of Berks county, is situated on the left or east bank of the Schuylkill, on the line of the Philadelphia, Reading and Pottsville Railroad, 52 miles east from Harrisburg, and 52 from Philadelphia. This well built and beautiful city is on ground rising gently from the Schuylkill to the base of Penn's Mount, a lofty ridge directly east of the place, and ranks third in the state for industrial pursuits : it is noted for its vast iron and coal business, and has large machine shops, foundries, etc. As a trad. ing point, it is the most extensive in the anthracite regions. Population, about 25,000.
The following sketch of the early history of Reading, was published in the Ladies' Garland, in Feb., 1839.
As early as 1733, warrants were taken out by John and Samuel Finney, and 450 acres of land surveyed under their sanction, which are now entirely embraced within the limits of Reading. Whether the inducements to this selection were other than its general beauty and fertility, it is now difficult to say, though it is asserted that when the proprietaries, John and Richard Penn, became aware of its advantages, and proposed to repurchase it for the location of a town, the Messrs. Finney long and firmly resisted all the efforts of negotiation. duced a momentary change in the design of the proprietaries, as they employed Richard Hockley to survey and lay out the plan of a town on the margin of the Schuylkill, opposite its confluence with the Tulpehocken. This survey is still to be found on record, though divested of any date or name by which the precise period
in which it was made can be ascertained. It is now only known as an appended portion of Reading, under the designation of the “Hockley out-lots." The importance, as well as reality of the design now appears to have subdued the objections of the Finneys to the sale of their claim, as they immediately relaxed in their demands, and finally yielded them to the proprietaries, who at once caused the “Hockley plot” to be abandoned, and in the fall of the year 1748, that of Reading to be laid out. The difficulty in obtaining water, even at great depths
Western view of Reading. The view shows Reading, as seen from the elevated ridge rising immediately above the Schuylkill River, which appears in front, with a canal on each side. The bridge over the Schuylkill is shown on the right; Penn's Mount, east of the city, in the distance. through the limestone, was the specious reason generally assigned for the sudden vacation of the former site, as the new one was remarkable for the numerous and copious springs existing within
its limits. Thus, Thomas and Richard Penn, proprietaries and governors-in-chief of the province of Pennsylvania, became private owners of the ground plot of Reading, the lots of which they carefully subjected in their titles to an annual quit or ground rent. Singular as it may seem, this claim became almost forgotten, through neglect and the circumstances that resulted from the change in the old order of things produced by the revolution; indeed, when recurred to at all, it was generally believed to have become forfeit to the state, by the nature of that event. But a few years ago it was revived by the heirs, and its collection attempted under the authority of the law; but so excited were the populace, and adverse to the payment of its accumulated amount, that it was generally, and in some cases violently, resisted, until the deliberations of a town meeting had suggested measures leading to a more direct, amicable, and permanent compromise.
Like most of the primitive towns of the state, Reading is indebted for its name, as is also the county in which it is situated, to the native soil of the Penns. The streets intersect each other at right angles. Their original names were retained to a very recent date (Aug. 6, 1833), and were characteristic of the loyalty of the proprietary feeling, as well as family attachment and regard. King, Queen, Prince, Duke, Earl, and Lord streets, Penn and Callowhill, are as distinctly indicative of filial regard. Hannah Callowhill, their mother, was the second wife of William Penn, and had issue, besides Thomas and Richard, of John, Margaret and Dennis, whence also had originated the names of Thomas, Margaret, and Richard streets: Hamilton street, from James Hamilton, Esq., who was deputy governor of the