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been the secrecy and celerity of Butler's movement that the fort was completely surrounded before the presence of the enemy was suspected, and all chance of communicating the news to Philadelphia was cut off. The place was regularly besieged and the process of starving out commenced. Finally Capt. Ogden determined to escape and carry the news to the authorities. In the darkness of the night he took off his clothes, made them into a bundle and tied his hat on the clothes and these he attached to his arm with a long string and let himself gently into the water' and swimming on his back deep in the water so that his lips were above. His clothes were seen and fired at by the sentinel, and volley after volley at the moving bundle, while he was not seen and he made the shore far below and dressed himself in his wet clothes and hastily made his way to Philadelphia, where his story created the greatest commotion. He reached the city the third day after his escape. Capt. Dick was hastened to the relief of the fort with a convoy of thirty men and pack horses with provisions. Capt. Morris and his company were directed to follow with little delay. Capt. Butler knew of Ogden's escape and guarded strictly against the relief he knew would be sent. Capt. Dick and escort reached the valley the last of July. He was ambushed near the fort, the provision captured and his men rushed to the fort as they were allowed to, as this would the sooner eat the stores on hand. Ogden returned with Dick and found himself again in the fort and besieged. Ledlie was now started from Philadelphia with a company to hurry on and join Morris and Clayton. In the meantime Butler knew of the coming relief and began vigorous attacks on the fort. The gallant Ogden was severely wounded and Lieut. William Redgard had been shot dead while in the act of halting his leader, Ogden, when he was wounded. Negotiations were opened and the fort surrendered to Butler, and they started to return to Philadelphia and on the way met Ledlie and his force, who came on to the brow of the mountain and halted, awaiting orders from Philadalphia. After a short time he was ordered to return.
Thus closed the first Pennite and Yankee war—lasting from January, 1769, to September, 1771. These two facts are now prominently brought to the fore. The groprietaries realized that the people of the province sympathized with the Connecticut settlers, or had grown tired of the profitless contention. On the other hand Connecticut had not kept faith in backing her people in their claims to the land that she had induced them to settle on.
The following is a list of the 200 first enrolled to come here and possess the five townships and man their rights. Those marked with a star were the first forty who came, and were followed the next spring by the others. Every name deserves a sacred remembrance—they were unequaled heroes:
David Whittlesey, Job Green, Philip Goss, Joshua Whitney, Abraham Savage, Ebenezer Stearns, Sylvester Chesebrough, Zephaniah Thayer, Eliphalet Jewel, Daniel Gore, Ozias Yale, *Henry Wall, Rowland Barton, Gideon Lawrence, Asa Lawrence, Nathaniel Watson. Philip Weeks, Thomas Weeks, Asher Harrot, Ebenezer Hebbard, Morgan Carvan, Samuel Marvin, Silas Gore, Ebenezer Northrop, Joshua Lampher, Joseph Hillman, Abel Pierce, Jabez Roberts, Jonathan Corrington, John Dorrance, Noah Allen, Robert Jackson, Zebulon Hawksey, James Dunkin, Caleb Tennant. Zerobable Wightman, Gurdon Hopson, Asa Lee, Thomas Wallworth, Robert Hunter, John Baker, Jonathan Orms, Daniel Angel, Elias Roberts, Nicholas Manvil, Thomas Gray, Joseph Gaylord, William Churchill, Henry Strong, Zebulon Frisbee, Hezekiah Knap, John Kenyon, Preserved Taylor, Isaac Bennett, Uriah Marvin, Abisha Bingham, Moses Hebbard, Jr., Jabez Fish, Peris Briggs, Aaron Walter, James May, Samuel Badger, Jabez Cooke, Samuel Dorrance, *John Comstock, Samuel Hotchkiss, William Leonard, Jesse Leonard, Elisha Avery, Ezra Buel, Gershom Hewit, Nathaniel Goss, Benjamin Hewitt, Benjamin Hewit. Jr., Elias Thomas, Abijah Mock, Ephraim Fellows, Joseph Arnold, Ephraim Arnold, Benjamin Ashley, William White, Stephen Hall, Dian Hall, Joseph Lee, Samuel Wybrant, Reuben Hurl but, Jenks Corah, Obadiah Gore, Jr., Caleb White, Samuel Sweet, Thomas Knight, John Jollee, Ebenezer Norton, Enos Yale, John Wiley, Timothy Vorce, Cyrus Kenne, John Shaw, James Foray the, *Peter Harris, Abel Smith, Elias Parks, Joshua Maxfield, John Murphy, *Thomas Bennet, Christopher Avery, Elisha Babcock, John Perkins, Joseph Slocum, Robert Hopkins, Benjamin Shoemaker, Jr., Jabez Sill, Parshall Terry, John Delong, *Theophilus Westover, John Sterling, Joseph Morse, Stephen Fuller, Andrew Durkee, Andrew Medcalf, Daniel Brown, Jonathan Buck, David Mead, Thomas Ferlin, William Wallsworth, Thomas Draper, James Smith, *James Atherton, Jr., 'Oliver Smith, James Evans, Eleazer Carey, *Cyprian Lothrop, James Nesbitt, Joseph Webster, Samuel Millington, Benjamin Budd, John Lee, Josiah Dean, Zophur Teed, Moses Hubbard, Dan Murdock, Noah Lee, Stephen Lee, Lemuel Smith, Silas Park, Stephen Hnngerford, Zerobable Jerorum, Comfort Goss, William Draper, Thomas McClure, Peter Ay era, Solomon Johnson, Phineas Stevens, Abraham Colt, Elijah Buck, Noah Read, Nathan Beach, Job Green, Jr., Fred Wise, Stephen Jenkins, Daniel Marvin, Zachariah Squier, Henry Wall, Simeon Draper, John Wallsworth, Ebenezer Stone, Thomas Olcott, Stephen Hinsdale, Benjamin Dorchaster, Elijah Witter, Oliver Post, Daniel Cass, Isaac Tracy, Samuel Story, John Mitchel, Samuel Orton, Christopher Gardner, Duty Gerold, Peris Bradford, Samuel Morgan, John Clark, Elijah Lewis, Timothy Hopkins, Edward Johnson, Jacob Dingman, Capt. Prince Alden, Benedict Satterlee, Naniad Coleman, Peter Comstock, John Franklin, Benjamin Matthews, John Durkee, William Gallop, Stephen Hurlbut, Stephen Miles.
Very few of the settlers had yet brought out their families; and in May, 1772, there were only five white women in Wilkes-Barre: Mrs. McClure, wife of James McClure: Mrs. Bennett, grandmother of Rufus Bennett (who was in the Indian battle); Mrs. Sill, wife of Jabez Bill; another Mrs. Bennett, wife of Thomas Bennett, mother of Mrs. Myers, and Mrs. Hickman, with her husband; Mrs. Dr. Sprague, and her daughter, Mrs. Young. The second white child born in the settlement was a daughter of Mrs. McClure.
Not until the year 1772 had there been any attempt to establish any form of police government. Stewart Pearce says that each individual acted as his own sense of propriety, or his notion of right, might dictate. Even the salutary influence of woman, exercised over man in civilized society, was wanting. In May, 1772, there were only five women in Wilkes-Barre township. But in this year quite a number of settlers went east for their families. Lands were surveyed and assigned to claimants, and block houses were erected on both sides of the river. Many new faces appeared in the settlement, men gathered their relatives about them, and marriages were celebrated. The township of Wilkes-Barre was surveyed in the year 1770 by David Meade, and within its limits the struggles for possession of the valley mostly took place. The uuion of the names of John Wilkes and of Col. Barre, two Englishmen, the latter a brave and accomplished soldier, well known in America, and both celebrated as distinguished advocates of the rights of the colonies against the encroachments of the crown, formed the name Wilkes-Barre. But the village or borough of Wilkes-Barre was not laid out until 1772. This was the work of Col. Durkee, who formed the town plot on grounds immediately adjoining Fort Wyoming, which, as has been already stated, was situated on the river bank near Northampton street. During that year the people were so busily engaged in preparing to live that there was no time to think of a regular form of government. When difficulties arose in respect to land rights, the dispute was decided by town committees. Those were halcyon days, for there was order without law, and peace without the constable—that was t he golden age of Wyoming. Ferries and mills were provided for the people, and finally, toward the close of this year, as soon as practicable, that is, December 11, 1772, provisions were made for the permanent support of the gospel and of schools. Nor was there an exhibition of religious intolerance, but the views and feelings of the Baptists were consulted by the Presbyterians, who formed much the larger body. At length, as the population increased, and the interests of the community became in some degree conflicting, it was deemed necessary by the Susquehanna company, on June 2, 1773, at Hartford, Conn., to adopt a code of laws for the government of the settlement. This code punished crime, enforced order, provided for the election of directors, peace officers, and other officers who might be found necessary in every township. Every settler was required to subscribe his name to these regulations, to abide by and to support the same. All males of the age of twenty-one years and upward were allowed a voice in the elections.
It may be noted here that at an early period, even before the code of laws was enacted by the Susquehanna company, the settlers resolved that any person who sold liquor to an Indian should forfeit his goods and be expelled from the colony. But it is probable this order was never observed, for at first, after 1763, there were but few straggling Indians in the valley, and these were mostly Christians connected with the Moravian society. And in a short time almost the entire body of settlers became drinkers. Whisky and rum were consumed in astonishing quantities. At that day ardent spirits could be procured in their purity, and as the people were hard workers and much exposed in the open air, they came to be considered as articles of prime necessity. The effects of their use were wholly different from those produced on the people of our day, by the soul and body-destroying mixtures of alcohol and strychnine and other poisons.
In October, 1773, the general assembly of Connecticut attempted to open negotiations with the Pennsylvania authorities, with a view to the amicable settlement of the dispute pending in reference to the Wyoming lands. But the governor and council, on behalf of Pennsylvania, alleging the total absence of right on the part of Connecticut, declined every proposition which the commissioners of the colony advanced. The general assembly of Connecticut then, on learning the refusal of the authorities of Pennsylvania to come to any terms, proceeded to exercise those acts of sovereignty which she conceived belonged to her. In January, 1774, all the territory within her charter limits, from the Delaware to a line fifteen miles west of the Susquehanna, was erected into a town called Westmoreland, and attached to the county of Litchfield. Westmoreland was about seventy miles square, embracing nearly 5,000 square miles. Within it were numerous townships divided into lots, which were sold to purchasers or were drawn for by proprietors. The governor of Connecticut issued his proclamation forbidding any settlement in Westmoreland except under authority from Connecticut. About the same time the governor of Pennsylvania issued his proclamation, prohibiting all persons from settling on the disputed lands, except under the authority of the proprietaries. Zebulon Butler and Nathan Denison were commissioned under Connecticut as justices of the peace, with authority to organize the town. In March, 1774, the whole people of Westmoreland, being legally warned, met and organized the town, and chose selectmen, a treasurer, constables, collectors of taxes, surveyors of highways, fence viewers, listers, leather sealers, grand jurors, tything men, sealers of weights and measures, and key-keepers. Eight town meetings were held in the year 1774. The government was of the most democratic character. It can not be supposed that the whole male population entitled to vote turned out at every meeting, for the number of people in Westmoreland this year was found to be 1,922.
Referring to the close of the year 1771, when the Connecticut people had conquered from the Pennsylvania proprietaries a respite by driving out Ogden and his forces, William L. Stone, in his Poetry and History of Wyoming, says: "Thus far the government of the Connecticut settlers—that is to say, all the government that was exercised—had been of a voluntary and military character. But the cessation of all opposition to the proceedings of the Susquehanna company, for the time, on the part of Pennsylvania, rendered the longer continuance of martial law inexpedient, while by the rapid increase of the population it became necessary that some form of civil government should be adopted. The increasing irritation existing between the parent government and the colonies, already foreshadowing an approaching appeal to the ultima ratio regum, had taught the directors of the company that a charter for a new and distinct colonial government from the crown, was not to be expected. In this exigency, the company applied to the general assembly of Connecticut to have their Wyoming settlements taken under the protection of the colony until the pleasure of his majesty should be known. But the general assembly was in no haste to extend its regis over so broad a territory, at so great a distance from home. They therefore advised the company in the first instance to attempt an amicable adjustment of their difficulties with the proprietaries of Pennsylvania, offering to undertake the negotiation in their behalf. In case of a failure to obtain a just and honorable arrangement, the general assembly next suggested a reference of the whole subject to the king in council. Meantime, while they wished the colony God-speed, they advised them to govern themselves by themselves, in the best manner they could.
Pursuant to this advice, the inhabitants of the valley proceeded to elect a government of their own; and the institutions established by them were the most thoroughly democratic, probably, of any government that has ever existed elsewhere among civilized men. "They laid out townships, founded settlements, erected fortifications, levied and collected taxes, passed laws for the direction of civil suits, and for the punishment of crimes and misdemeanors, established a militia, and provided for the common defence and general welfare of the colony." The supreme legislative power was vested directly in the people, not by representation, but to be exercised by themselves, in their primary meetings and sovereign capacity. A magistracy was appointed, and all the necessary machinery for the government of towns according to the New England pattern, organized and put in motion. Three, courts were instituted, all having civil and criminal jurisdiction; but the court of appeals, called the supreme court, to which every case might be carried, was formed, like their legislature, of the people themselves in solemn assembly convened.
The extent of territory was 100 miles wide and 110 miles long—abundant room in which to sprout and grow a great democracy. Under this government the people lived very happily, and the colony advanced with signal prosperity for two years, when the town of Westmoreland was formed and became a part and parcel of Connecticut. Possibly it would have been better for the people had they continued their independent democracy.
At the closing decade of the nineteenth century it sounds a little odd to hear that a government that was "voluntary and military" was the "most thoroughly democratic, probably, of any government that has ever existed elsewhere among civilized men." A purely "voluntary" government, without a shred of military, may elect a king to rule over them, but a military power, to modern ears, sounds so anti-democratic as to be irreconcilable with all ideas of a democracy. But consider the times and the surroundings of the people of whom Mr. Stone was speaking, and is he not right? Every man was a soldier, without pay, subsistence or arms, except as he provided these for himself; they worked by relays on the forts and block-house, while others stood guard, or with gun swung across his back, plowed and hoed the corn. Whether a man was enrolled in a company or not he was a soldier, all the time and everywhere, active and alert to beat off the open or skulking approach of the enemy; the women and children could mold bullets and load guns. Where all were unpaid soldiers, all were equally free, and in the spirit of justice and pure democracy these soldiers met in council and voted their own laws.
After Plunkett's invasion until 1782, six years, the whole valley had been repeatedly and most cruelly devastated. The unfortunate settlers, now worn and weary, poor and literally like Rachel weeping for her children, now that the Revolution was closing its long chapter of war. thus woke to the new, sad realization that it was worse than peace with themselves left out of the protocol. Like a shadow of death overspread the cloud that now they must take up the battle anew against the authorities of Pennsylvania, and that they were left to fate by Connecticut. The decree of Trenton had been accepted by the latter and now where was a ray of hope for the settlers in the valley? They petitioned the general assembly of Pennsylvania for their rights.
"We have settled a country, which in its original state of but little value, but now cultivated by your memorialists, is to them of the greatest importance, being their all. We are yet alive, but the richest blood of our neighbors and friends, children, husbands, and fathers, has been spilt in the general cause of their country, and we have suffered every danger this side of death. We supplied the continental army with many valuable officers and soldiers, and left ourselves weak and unguarded against the attack of the savages, and of others of a more savage nature. Our houses are desolate, many mothers are childless, widows and orphans are multiplied, our habitations are destroyed, and many families are reduced to beggary."
In the history of State papers I have met none whose every word was so significant of the deep and earnest sense of men who spoke from hearts moved by higher or nobler impulses. Notwithstanding, as soon as the continental troops were withdrawn from Wyoming, where they had been placed for the protection of the people against the savages, Capts. Robinson and Shrawder, with two companies of Pennsylvania troops, marched and took possession of Fort Wyoming, which they named Fort Dickinson. Shortly after, the general assembly of Pennsylvania, in pursuance of the petition of the settlers, appointed Joseph Montgomery, William Montgomery and Moses McClean, commissioners, with instructions to repair to Wyoming and compromise the dispute between them and the commonwealth. They arrived in the valley in April, 1783, and immediately a spirited correspondence took place between them and John Jenkins, Nathan Denison, Obadiah Gore and Samuel Shepherd, the committee on the part of the settlers. The issue of this was that the State commissioners reported to the assembly, recommending "that a reasonable compensation in land in the western part of the State should be made to the families of those who had fallen in arms against the common enemy, and to such other settlers as had a proper Connecticut title, and did actually reside on the lands at the time of the decree at Trenton; provided they immediately relinquish all claim to the soil where they now inhabited, and enter into contracts to deliver up full and quiet possession of their present tenures to the rightful owners under Pennsylvania by the first of April next." This report evidently expressed the sentiments of Alexander Patterson, who had in charge the interests of the Pennsylvania settlers. Patterson had been in the employ of the Penn family, and had aided to arrest the Connecticut settlers in 1769. He was now a justice of the peace under Pennsylvania, and was settled in Wilkes-Barre, whose name he endeavored to change to Londonderry. He, with his associate justices, and backed by military force, under the command of Maj. James Moore, and Capts. Shrawder and Christie, commenced a series of contemptible and cowardly outrages upon the Yankee settlers. The soldiers were quartered upon the inhabitants. Col. Zebulon Butler, who had just returned from the army, and who boldly denounced Patterson's conduct, was arrested and sent to Sunbury jail. But, as the proceedings had been illegal, he was released.
Mr. Miner says, " October 31, the settlement Shawnee was invaded by the military, headed by the justice in person, and eleven respectable citizens arrested and sent under guard to the fort. Among the prisoners was Maj. Prince Alden, sixtyfive years old, feeble from age, and suffering from disease. Compassion yielded nothing to alleviate his sufferings. Capt. James Bidlack was also arrested. He was between sixty and seventy. His son, of the same name, had fallen, as previ