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THE EVENTFUL DAY
In the History of Wyoming Duly Commemorated—A Tribute to the Wives unci Mothers of 17 78-The Flight from the Stricken Valley.
The exeroises commemorative of the battle and massacre of Wyoming were held at the foot of the monument on Saturday forenoon. The base of the monument was decorated with baskets and vases of flowers and an American flag floated from a staff at the entrance. Some of the private houses in Wyoming were also decorated with the American colors. The day was intensely hot but a delicious breeze played aronnd the monument, so that beneath its shade and that of the surrounding trees the assemblage managed to keep comfortable. The gronuds had been made ready by Payne Pettebone, who lives near by and whose sprinkling wagon was set to work laying some of the dust.
At 1030 Col. Dorrance called the meeting to order. He is 82 years of age and has been the president of the Wyoming Commemorative Association since its inception. The colonel's remarks were singularly appropriate aiid impressive, even eloquent. Though his bodily powers naturally feel the tooth of time his mind is as clear as a bell and his utterances were characterized by force and feeling, piety and patriotism and at times were aglow with the fires of native oratory.
Capt. Calvin Parsons offered prayer and the aasi mblage, led by Hon. Steuben Jenkins and Mr. Parsons, sang "Before Jehovah's awful throne," to the tune of "Oid Hundred."
The address of the day followed by W. A. Wilcox, E«q., of the bars of Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties, his subject being "The Flight from Wyoming." Passing by the of t-told story of the battle and massacre, Mr. Wiloox gave the after- scenes, and traced the escape of the fugitives by the several routes open to them — down the Susquehanna by rafts and boats, others oa font across the mountains by the "Warriors' Pe.th" and down the Lettish, and still others through the "Shades of Death" and acro«s the Pooono to the Delaware River. True they were not in the battle and their names were not on the monument, but theirs was the agony of suspense; they had taught their husbands and sons patriotism; they showed a fortitude, a faith and a power of enduranoe that brought final success even after defeat. Many graphic incidents were given and a lofty tribute was paid to the escaping women, some of whom suffered the pains of maternity in the mountain wilds. Snnbury could be reaohed by canoes in 24 hoars, Strondsburg, then Fort Penn,
in 2 or 3 days, and a fortnight was required in which to reach Connecticut.
Mr. Wilcox's paper was warmly applauded and he was congratulated upon having worked up one of the mere incidents of the battle into so admirable a sketch. Though to a certain extent a compilation the paper also contained original matter, the author having evidently availed himself of the unpublished historical data in the possession of Mr. Jenkins, whose son-in-law Mr. Wiloox is. We hope to reproduce the paper, or portions of it, in subsequent issues.
Oen. Edmund L. Dana was oalled on by Chairman Dorrance. He expressed hU pleasure at the paper inst read. From what he had seen of war, the battle was not the great thing. Ten times as many die of privations, wounds and exposure as there are killed in battle. Judge Dana pictured the long Bufferings and trials of patience and courage before and after the fight. For months before, peril rested over this community. There was a war olond in the north and they knew not when it would burst. The settlers were out oft from help, their able bodied men were in the Continental Army and cries for aid in that direction met with no response. Imagine the night and day before the final shook, the march out of the fort to meet an over whelming foe, the sad farewells. The women nerved the men to action and never counseled flight. Had the women dissuaded the men they would have blotted oat one of the brightest chapters in the history of the world. The heroism of the women of Wyoming was a part of unwritten history.
Payne Pettebone indulged in some interesting reminiscences of his boyhood days, comparing wages of 1827 with that of 1887.
Dr. Hakes said we are a trifling people and there was a lamentable and growing absorption in base ball, horse raoes and slugging matches, to the exclusion of things which elevate. On occasions like this it was not expected there would be many to take an interest, but he would rather meet 40 or 60 people filled with patriotism and noble thoughts than to see that many thousand drawn together by idle curiosity or to gratify some brutal or degraded instinct. He, too, paid a tribute to the women of Wyoming and said that for sterling worth, industry, piety, charity and patriotism they have never been excelled.
Secretary Wesley Johnson was oalled upon to report. Among other things he made some feeling allusions to the continued infirmity of Dr. H. Hollister, one of the most able and efficient members of the association, and then read the following communication received from him a few days previous to the meeting:
Scbanton, June 18, 1887.—Gentlemen of the Wyoming Commemorative Association: 1 regret that 1 cannot be with yon any more in person at
Soar annual meeting July 3, bat I am glad to now that yon are able to meet in health and properly commemorate thin sad day, that above all in the hist"ry of the country will rank first to be remembered by the old patriotic sons and daughters of Wyoming.
Squire Johnson then referred to the fact that it was just ten years since the Association held its first meeting, and that the officers had remained the same ever since. Of the original members of the exeontive committee we still have Dorranoe, Jenkins, Hollister, Dana, Parsons and Pettebone among the living, while there have gone from among as Wright, Wisner, Atherton, Coray, Gordon and Barker, the last having died since onr last meeting here. ThnB it will be seen that within the first decade after the formation of the association about one-half its members have crossed the line. How long will it be at this rate before the last man, old and infirm, will assemble here on some future July morning to redeem his promise to make this annual pilgrimage to the common grave of our patriotic ancestors?
The ohairman called upon F. C. Johnson of the RaooBD, for some remarks, he inviting those present having old family letters, documents, or anything interesting concerning the early history of the valley to forward oopies of originals to him for publication and thus save for the future much of the unwritten history that would otherwise be lost.
The patriotic hymn '"America" was sung after which an adjournment was had to Layoook's hotel where a sumptuous dinner was served, Gapt. Parsons presiding, in the absenoe of Col. Dorranoe who was not feeling well enough to attend.
After dinner Mrs. Judge Pfouts gave a most thrilling account of the escape of her grandmother, wife of Capt. Stewart, who was killed in the battle, how the family passed down the river to Harrisburg and found shelter among sympathizing friends and relatives, as she had heard the story from the lips of the old lady.
The meeting, though not large, was a pleasant and enjoyable one, and the association adjourned to meet on July 3 of next
Ualeb E. Wright's Latest Novel.
The author of "A Legend of Bucks County" will need no introduction to RecObd readers, for he is a former WilkesBarrean. We refer to Caleb E. Wright, Esq., now of Doylestown. He is not a novice at novel writing, as his "Tale of Wyoming," "Marcus Blair" and "On the Lackawanna" abundantly attest. It is safe to say that the new one suffers in nowise in comparison with its predecessors, either in
literary excellence or in ingenuity of plot. Like all of Mr. Wright's novels it is to a certain extent founded on fact. While it is a "love Btory" it deals with something more and gets down into the home life of our ancestors in a manner that makes it fascinating in the extreme.
The scene is laid in Old Bucks and is doubtless based upon ao'uil occurrences in thatoounty a century ago. Just what foundation it has in fact would be interesting to know. The places in the story are actual and it is to be presumed that not a few of the present dwellers in Bucks can recognize their ancestors in Mr. Wright's fascinating tale
The plot is so skillfully created that the reader is afforded constant surprises. An interest is awakened in the opening chapter*, impelling the reader not to lay it down until the finis is reached. The writer of this review of the novel read it at a single sitting.
The title is not "taking" enough to suggest the value of the book as a work of fiction. Had it been named for its hero, "Bonnaville Cresson, or a Legend ot Bucks County," it would have been a much more attractive title for the shop shelves. However, there are so many books with attractive covers and poor contents we can well afford to pardon Mr. Wright for reversing the order and maaing the contents the princi pal thing in this oreature of Mb brain and pen.
Mr. Wright's career as a lawyer furnishes him admirable material for the prosecution and conviction of bis badly-treated hero and it is quite in keeping with the author's fondness for the church of his choice, to picture the hero as becoming an itinerant preacher and stirring camp meeting with such fervid pleadings as to bring hardened sinners weeping to the altar. The introduction of Gen Washington in the opening chapter, where he compliments the little waif,Bon,on his success in winning a foot race is among the happier minor incidents, but not more so, perhaps, than is the last, where the orphan boy, having overcome all the obstacles in the way of his advancement, having proven himself innocent of the crime charged against him in his younger days, having acquired wealth and fame, is vindicated before the world and is at last united to the object of his love, the wedding guests including Washington himself.
The book is deserving of a generous pat ronage for its inherent worth. We understand, also, that it is a present from Mr. Wright to his printer friend, B. MoGinty, of Doylestown, who is to have the proceeds of sales. Consequently every purchase will go to swell the exchecquer of a deserving bnt not overly wealthy printer. The price is SI.25 and the book is on sale at Brown's,
LAYING THK CORNER STONE
Of a New Kdiflce for one of the Oldest Congregations in Wyoming Valley— Address by Rev. Dr. Parke.
The impressive services of laying the cornerstone for the new First Presbyterian Church took place on the floor of the new building on the corner of Northampton and Franklin Streets Monday, July 11, at 6 pm. There were many of the members present, the weather being clear and pleasant.
The services began with singing of the doxology after which Rev. R. B. Webster made an invocation. Rev. Caspar R. Gregory read a scripture lesson and all present joined Dr. Uodge in repeating the creed.
The address was delivered by Rev. N. G. Parke, D. D., of Pittston, who said, after some pleasant introductory remarks:
The men and the women who came to Wyoming Valley a hundred years ago to make for themselves and children homes', had been trained intellectually and religiously in the schools and the churches of Mew England, and they were not wanting in the courage and thrift and godliness of their Pnritan fathers.
They have long since passed away, but their works abide as evidenoe that they were God fearing people. They founded the First Presbyterian Church of WilkesBarre, called a minister of Christ to labor among them, the Rev. Jacob Johnson. And as soon as they were able built for themselves a sanctuary. That sanctuary was still standing in 1844 when I first came to Wilkes-Barre, and with its tall gracefully tapering spire, was pointing heavenward. Old Michael, the faithful sexton of the church for almost naif a century, still rung the curfew bell in true Mew England style, greatly to the disgust of some young people who were not prepared to go home at nine o'clock.
That church on the Green, the first completed sanctuary in the valley, was a union church for the accommodation of all denominations. The Presbyterians in 1829 called the Rev. Nicholas Murray to be their pastor, became in form, what they had previously been in faot, a Presbyterian organization, and with the help of the Presbyterians of New Jersey, built themselves a new house of worship on Franklin street.
During the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. John Dorrance, who succeeded Dr. Murray, the brick house in which you have been worshiping for nearly fifty years was erected.
Wilkes-Barre has become a city of large wealth and palatial homes. In her commercial prosperity theFir»t Presbyterian Church has shared largely and her sons and daughters have determined to manifest their gratitude
to the giver of all mercies by erecting a now sanctuary, adapted in all respects to the needs of the congregation and worthy of the Wilkes-Barre of 1887, In thiB, we believe they have acted wisely. And we are here to-day to lay the comer-stone of the building and to pray that He who has put it into their hearts to build, may dwell in the building when it is complete; and that here in days to come many sons and daughters may be born into the kingdom of God.
Money expended in the building of sanotnaries where the gospel is preached and God Ib worshiped is well spent. Material prosperity divorced from religion is a questionable blessing. It is sanctified wealth that beautifies and glorifies a oity, and that brings with it joy and peace aud blessings to our hearts and homes. It is this type of wealth that abides. The wealth of parents does not always oome to their children, and when it does oome to them it does not always prove a blessing. But grace is in a measure entailed, transmitted. It descends from generation to generation, unto the thousandth generation. You, the members of the First Presbyterian Church of WilkesBarre, are to-day reaping a harvest from the sowing of a hundred years ago, and this whole community shares in this harvest. We are, under God, what our father and mother of a hundred years ago made us.
This old Presbyterian Church, of WilkesBarre, among the oldest, if not the oldest church organized in this valley, with a history intensely interesting, closely interwoven with the early settlement of this part of Pennsylvania, haB been a power for good in all this region. Quietly, but steadily, in a conservative way, it has helped to develope and cultivate what is good in man and to restrain "the evil," by maintaining the ordinances of God's house and by seeking to bring men to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ.
This church has been fortunate in many ways. There have been in it many noble Christian men and women who have held up the hands of the servants of God, who have stood on these walls of Zion, around whose memories there still abides a sweet aroma. Your pastors have not been common men. Those who have led you for the past fifty years, it has been my privilege to know personally. Of Marsh and Johnson and Taylor and Molton, I know nothing except what our historians tell us. The Rev. Cyrus Gildersleeve. whose pastorate commenced here in 1810 and antedates my knowledge of you, was a missionary who looked carefully after the widely scattered sheep of the flook. lie preached in Wilkes-Barre, Kingston, Hanover, Morthmoreland, Pittston, Providenoo andTonkhannook. The Rev. Nicholas Murray who succeeded him was one of the strong men of onr ohuroh, in the pulpit and in onr ecclesiastical courts, bnt without the missionary spirit of his predecessor. He limited his labor to Wilkes-Barre. The Rev. John Dorranoe, "to the manor born," and with a large amount of Puritan blood in his veins, was an earnest preacher, a wise counsellor and a thorough organizer. He laid the foundations of the Presbyterian churches in Ashley, Shiokshinny, Plymouth Lackawanna, Pittston and 8c ran ton. He made an earnest effort to establish a Presbyterian Academy at Wyoming and for your flourishing Ladies Seminary at WilkesBarre you are largely indebted to him. Personally I was in a position to know that his plans of work took in this whole region. He was not an Episcopal Bishop but he was a Bishop who had a supervision of all the churches in the county. Of the lamented Dr. A. A. Hodge, who succeeded Dr. Dorranoe I need not speak. Surely you have reason to be thankful that you have been permitted to sit under his preaching. While with a measure of pride you point to him as your former pastor, you have been and still are fed with the finest of the wheat. And let me just remind you that of those to whom much has been given muoh will be required.
Allow me in oonolusion to congratulate the representatives here assembled, of the First Presoyterian Church of Wilkes-Barre,
on the prospect of a speedy realization of the hopes inspired by the laying of the corner stone. We love to see our honored mother, of whom we are confessedly proud, renewing her strength, if not her age, as the years roll by.
At the oonolusion of Dr. Parke's address George R. Bedford, Esq., read a list of the contents of the corner stone, as follows: One Bible, one Confession of Faith, minutes of the Oeneral Assembly of 1886, history of the church, by Sheldon Reynolds, Esq.; officers of the ohuroh, including pastor, trustees, deacons, building committee, session, architect and builder, organist and ohoir; list of oommunioants, list of officers and teachers of the church Sabbath school, list of offioers and teaohers of South WilkesBarre Mission Sabbath School and list of officers and teaohers of Grant Street Sabbath Sohool, sermon preached in 1876 by Rev. W. S. Parsons on the history of the Sunday Sohool; photograph of the old ohuroh taken July 0, 1887, and of the interior taken Christmas, 1886; history of the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the ohuroh and its members; daily and religious papers and oit" directory; offioers and committees of Men's Association
for Christian Work of First Presbyterian Churoh.
Dr. Hodge then performed the servioe of laying the oorner stone of a house dedicated to the worship of God in the manner of the Presbyterian Church of North America, concluding with prayer. All present Bang "All hail the power of Jbsub' name," after which the benediction was pronounoed by Rev. Horace G. Miller, of the Church of the Covenant.
Historical Society Meeting.
The rain is to blame for a very slim attendance at the special meeting of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society in their rooms on South Franklin Street Tuesday, June 21. The members present were Judge Dana, president, Dr. Ingham, George B. Kulp, Esq. and G. Mortimer Lewis, Esq. The meeting was not formally called to order, but a general discussion was had in referenoe to the proposition to move into the rear portion of the Osterhout Library building. Mr. Lewis read a report of the committee on repairs, whioh will be presented at the next meeting of the society.
A highly satisfactory bid, Mr. Lewis said, has been received from Contractor Shepherd, who ' agrees to furnish all necessary repairs and the oases for the cabinet at a total cost of 8977. The bookoases, which will be located on the ground floor of the present lecture room, will be constructed of oak or ash, with glass doors, for $2 and $2.50 a running foot. It was roughly estimated that the society library will demand 80 feet, the oases being 7 feet high.
Considerable difference of opinion was manifest as to the desirability of removing the possessions of the society to the custody of the Osterhout library. Mr. Kulp was strongly of 'he opinion that it would mean a strangulation and annihilation of the society. Dr. Ingham evidently thought that it would be a case of miscegenation that would seriously impair the stamina of the society, and that it would mean its eventual absorption by the Osterhout library. Mr. Lewis, on the contrary, believed that the society would find adequate room in the Osterhout addendum for its books and cabinet. Judge Dana, who spoke with authority, being an Osterhout trustee, observed that the clause in Mr. Osterhout's will, charging the trustees to provide adequate quarters for the Historical Society, would be carried out to the letter. A majority of the trustees are members of the sooiety and have its interests dearly in view. He thought that in as muoh as the society is now orowded it could make no wiser move than to take advantage of the Osterhout bequest of quarters.
Death of Rev George D. Stroud.
The sudden, though not wholly unexpected death of Rev. George D. Stroud, rector of St. James' Parish, Pittston, occurred at the rectory at 6 o'clock pm. on June 28, and has cast a gloom over all the circles in which he has moved. In his death the church has lost a devout and nsefnl servant, the community a valued member, the State an exemplary citizen, and the Grand Army a loved and respected oomrade and chaplain. The funeral servioee will be held at St. James' Church to-morrow (Friday) at 11:30 o'clock in the forenoon and the remains and cortege will move thence by train to Philadelphia, where the interment will take place in German town. Those friends who desire to take a last look upon the featnres of the deceased can do so by calling at the rectory by or before 10 o'clock am. The coffin will not be opened at the ohuroh.—Pittston Press, Thursday.
The funeral service over the late Rev. George D. Stroud took place in St. John's Episcopal Church, Pittston, July 1, Rev. D. Webster Goxe, of West Pittston, and Rev. Henry L. Jones, of Wilkee-Barre, officiating. The pallbearers were G. A. R. men, deceased having been chaplain of the post in Pittston. The body was taken by the noon train to German town for interment. In its biographical sketch the Gazette says:
Mr. Stroud, though bat 46 years old, had a very large experience. He was a soldier of the late war and was conspicuous for enterprise and bravery. He was quartermaster's sergeant in the 6th Pa. Cavalry, Rush's Lancers, and was mustered out in 1862. He was oaptain of the 20th Pennsylvania Cavalry in 1863, served his time and in 1864 he organized a company of independent cavalry and was mastered out at the close of war. He was a past commander in the Grand Army of the Republic present ohaplain of Nugent Post, and past chaplain of a Philadelphia Post. He was a soldier in every sense of the word, and always felt an active interest in whatever pertained to the history of the war. Deceased undertook mission work after ordination as a priest of the Episcopal Church at Towanda, where he had three charges. He was rector of St. Peter's at Tonkbannook in 1883. He spent the following year in Philadelphia in an effort to cure a local affliction, and subsequently took charge of St. James' Parish. He proved an acceptable pastor and added greatly to the strength and piety of the church by his earnest work and Christian example. He leaves a wife, three daughters and the son as survivors.
Mr. Stroud's ailment was of long standing complicated with brain fever. His death leaves the pulpit of St. James vacant.
Mrs. Cornelia Butler Dead.
The friends of Mrs. Cornelia Richards Butler who had seen her in apparent health but a few weeks ago, will be shocked to hear of her death which occurred on Tuesday evening, July 12. Tnough of advauoed age Mrs. Butler bore her years with surprising strength and was not considered to be in failing health until within a few weeks.
Mrs. Butler was born in December 1801 at Farmington, Hartford County, Conn. In 1826 she married Col. John Lord Butler, who died at Wilkes-Barre in August 1868, since which time she has lived at the house of her son-in-law Judge Stanley Woodward, where her death took place.
Mrs. Butler came of Revolutionary stock, her father, Samuel Riohards, having been captain of a company in the Connecticut line throughout the war. Capt. Riohards marched with his company from Farmington to Boston in time to take part in the Battle of Bunker Hill. He kept a journal of each day's events during his entire service, the journal being still in the possession of his granddaughter who naturally regards it as a precious relic Capt. Richards was also a member of the Society of the Cincinnati organized by officers of the American Army and composed now qf their lineal descendants.
Mrs. Butler's mother was Sarah Welles, daughter of Jonathan Welles, of Glastonbury, Conn., and a Sister of Rosewell Welles who was admitted to the bar of this county in 1787. the year of its organization.
Mrs. Butler was an eminently pious woman of most lovable character. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in whose Sabbath School she had been the teacher for more than half a oentury, her long service being honored, on her retirement in 1880, by a beautiful testimonial from the members of the Sabbath School. She was a constant reader and diligent student of the Bible and read the revised Old Testament through during the last year of her life. She was perhaps as widely known and respected as any woman in Wilkes-Barre and the olose of her long and faithful life will be generally mourned.
Mrs. Butler had four children, Frank, Chester, Sarah and Emily, all but one of whom survive. Chester died while pursuing his studies at college. Frank is a resident of Virginia, but was present at his mother's bedside during her illness. Miss Emily Butler resides with her sister, Mrs. Stanley Woodward.
Mr*. Butler's Funeral.
The funeral services of the late Mrs. Cornelia Butler took place at the residence of Judge Woodward July 14 at 5 pm. The parlor and hall were filled with friends who