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A MASONIC FUNERAL IN 1770.
First Lodge Met In Northern Penimylva nia—Honei of the Martyr** Thrice Interred.
As an advance detachment of General Sullivan's army was approaching the Valley of Wyoming in April, 1779, it was Sred on by a small band of Indians lying in ambush at a point near where General Oliver's powder mills now are on Laurel Run, and Captain Joseph Davis and Lieut. William Jones, of a Delaware regiment, were slain. The bodies received a hasty burial near the spot where they fell, for soHiers on Ihe march have little time to waste on sympathy. On the arrival of the invading army en route to accomplish its mission of forever wiping out the power of the once mighty Six Nations in the State of New York, in the month of July following, the remains were exhumed and reburied with imposing Masonic services by brother Masons belonging to the army. So far as is known, by either record or tradition, it was on this occasion that the first lodge of Free Masons ever met on this side of the Blue Mountains, was opened in due and ancient form in Colons 1 Proctor's marquee, which was probably pitched somewhere on what is now the Common on the river front of our city, the object being to arrange a funeral service for the re-interment of their brethren slain on the mountain the preceding April. We have no means of knowing whether the more solemn portion of the Masonic bnrial service took place in the secrecy of the lodge room at that time, as it does no s, or not, but the followiug account of the imposing ceremony on depositing the bodies in the grave is copied from the Providence, Rhode Island, Gazette of Sept. 18, 1779:
"wyoming, July 31, 1779 —On Tuesday last, the 28th inst., agreeable to previous de termination.the bodiesof our brethren, Capt. Joseph Davis and Lieut. William Jones, who were massacred by savages near this post on the 23d of April last, were re-interred. This mark of respect we thought necessary for the following reasons; it being expressive of our esteem and their not being buried in the proper grave-yard. The form of procession being fixed upon at lodge No. 19, was as follows:
1. Twenty-four Musketeers with reversed arms.
2. Two Tylers bearing their swords.
3. A band of music.
4. Two Deacons with wands.
5. Three brethren bearing the orders.
6. The Holy Bible and Book of Constitutions.
7. Two Reverend brothers.
8. The Wor hipful Master, with Hon. Major General Sullivan.
9. Senior and Junior Wardeus, bearing their columns.
10. The Treasurer and Secretary.
11. Past Master.
12. The brethren, two and two.
13. Gentlemen of the Army.
14. Two corps of drums muffled and fifes playing a solemn dirge.
The brethren were neatly clothed with jewels, etc., and were in numbers odd of one hundred and fifty. Just as we arrived at the ground an exceeding easy gust of rain comiug up prevented the delivery of a discourse which had been prepared for the occasion by Brother William Rogers, a short and suitable prayer being by him offered up. We then committed their bodies iu Masonic form to the dust. Afterwards three vollies of small arms wore discharged. The Brotherhood were attended by the Pennsylvania Regiment of Infantry, commanded by Col. Hubley, as likewise by a great concourse of people, both inhabitants and soldiery. The melancholy scene was clothed with the usual decorum amongst the brethren and satisfaction to all the bystanders. A stone being prepared by our brethren Forest and Story with suitable inscription, was fixed at the head of their graves."
The first interment was on the top of the Wilkes-Barre Mountain, near where Charles Parrish's sylvan residence now is. The one here spoken of was within a few leet of the corner of Market and Washington Streets, on ground now occupied by the skating rink, but they were not permitted to enjoy a final resting place even here. A marble headstone had taken the place of the rude one set by their Masonic brethren at the re-interment, so that the graves were readily recognized in after years, and when the removal of the bones of the forefathers of the hamlet were ruthlessly shoveled up by the unsympathizing stranger workmen not many years ago. and some of them removed to the new cemetery, the remains of these two victims of savage warfare were again dug up and removed to the Holleuback Cemetery, and again interred with high Masonic ceremonies conducted by old Lodge 61, with Hendrick B. Wright as worshiplul master; where it is hoped they may be permitted to rest in undisturbed repose until the last trumpet shall sound and bid the dead awake and come to judgment, w. J.
[So far as we know the above newspaper extract has never been reprinted. We are informed by Dr. Hollister that he copied it from au issue of the paper mentioned, in the possession of Pulaski Carter, of Providence, Pa. The Gazette was published at Providence, R. I., by John Carter, probably an ancestor of Pulaski Carter. —ed.]
How We Acquired Our Domain.
The Public Domain of the United States are lands in which the general Government has exclusive property, whether they be situated in the States or Territories. They are those of which Henry Clay, when he first ran for President in 1832, said "no subject which has presented itself to the present, or perhaps any preceding Congress, was of greater magnitude than that of the public lands. Long after we shall cease to be agitated by other public questions now before us the public lands will remain a subject of deep and enduring interest." Our public domain has been acquired by cession, purchase and conquest, and, in view of its rapid absorption, and the opinions involved, it is interesting now to review its history.
The British subjects who came to this country were obliged to comply with three condi tions before, as individuals, or colonies, they acquired full title to the land: First, A grant from the Crown of Great Britain; Second, Extinguishment from the Indian title, and Third, Possession. Of the Indian titles, it is sufficient to Bay that, sham philanthropy to the contrary notwithstanding, no set of people on earth were ever treated with the consideration our Indians have often received, under circumstances constantly the most exasperating, in treating with them for their lands. It Las nirVly occurred that they have been cheated, treacherous and deceptive though they themselves are.
By treaty of 1783, the result of the Revolutionary war, the United States was recognized as extending from the Atlantic ocean to the Mississippi River, and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, comprising 830,000 square miles. Most of the land lying west of the Allegheny Mountains, viz.: 406,000 square miles, known as "Crow Lands," became the subject of a protracted struggle for ownership between the colonies, when that war broke ont—owing to the indefinite grants by the British Crown. These serious differences were averted, however, about the close of the war, by all ceding their lands in dispute to the general Government. The part lying north of the River Ohio, known as the "Northwest Territory," was claimed by four colonies, each R part, some all; namely, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Virginia. In the south the Carolinas and Georgia claimed extensions westward to the Mississippi.
In September, 1776, in order to give incentive to the soldiers, Congress resolved to donate bounty lands for military services. But the general Government had no lands to give. They were claimed exclusively by a few of the colonies, and of the others, it is surprising that only one saw how she would
be impoverished by attempting to execute this resolution. To little Maryland appears to belong solely this foresight, which eventuated in the creation of the public domain. Maryland's delegates in Congress were at once directed by the home Legislature to oppose the above resolution, but they were entirely alone in their opposition, and Virginia, establishing a land office, proceeded to deal out some 3,000 claims. But Maryland persisted in her efforts; caused her delegates in 1770 to refuse to sign the Articles of Confederation then so necessary to give strength to our country's cause, and, by 1780, to meet the demands of the war, New York agreed to cede her claims in the Northwest to the general Government. Virginia's delegates, Jefferson and Madison, then signed articles ceding her extra lauds, and the others soon following, the public domain came into existence, with a beginning of about two hundred and sixty million acres. So much for cessions.
When Jefferson became President he at once began efforts to purchase New Orleans of the French, regarding any foreign power in ownership of that island and city as the natural and certain enemy of the United States. Two million dollars were offered for it and declined, but, by a stretch of authority, and a stroke of diplomacy, our representative at the French court, Mr. Monroe, purchased of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803 not only New Orleans, but all the Louisiana district, five times thearea of France of today. The price was sixteen million dollars, one-fourth of which (if they amounted to so much) was to be paid to our citizens having claims against France known as the French Spoliation Claims. The territory thus acquired was about seven hundred and fiftyseven million acres, and is now cut up into eleven States and six Territories, and cost, including interest, three and three-fifths cents an acre. In 1802 Georgia ceded her extra fifty-seven and a half million acres to the United States, but, having previously sold most of it to the Yazoo companies, it cost us six million two hundred thousand dollars, about 11 cents an acre.
Thirty-eight million acres of East and West Florida still owned abroad were purchased of Spain in 1819. for six and a half million dollars. Alaska, whose climate, vegetation, minerals, furs and fisheries made it a most valuable acquisition, was purchased of Russia, through Baron Stoeckel. in 1867, for seven million two hundred thousand dollars; and thus three hundred and seventy million acres were added to the public domain.
The remainder of the public domain has been acquired as the result of conqnest. Mexico, by treaty of Cordova, became independent of Spain in 1821. Texas, belonging then to Mexico, but settled mostly by emigrunts from the United States, desired to be admitted as one of our States. Mr. Clay, then Secretary of State, offered Mexico one million dollars for Texas in 1827, and Mr. Van Boren offered five millions in 1829— which were declined. Texas rebelled against Mexico and obtained separation in 1836, bnt still failed in her design of being admitted as one of our States. The North had long been opposed to agrarian extension in the South, for that meant extension of negro slavery. But the South was victorious in 1843 and elected Polk President on that issue, linked to a promise of high tariff. Texas was then admitted as a State in this Union, and war with Mexico was the result. Texas was bankrupt, and for the public lands we got from her, sixteen million dollars of her debts were paid by this country. But this was more than balanced in the end, for the Mexican war resulted in her cediug to us New Mexico and Upper California for fifteen million dollars, together with the Gadsden purchase, also of Mexico, of a tract as large as Pennsylvania, for ten millions more.
And this comprises all the public domain. The aggregate is over eighteen hundred million acres. It is subject to a great variety of acts, by virtue of which it has been enormously reduced in the past thirty years. At first it was the policy of the Government to dispose of it as a means of revenue, but it was soon learned that the greatest real benefit would be derived from such disposition an would enable settlers to cultivate it free of first cost. With such vast possibilities before them, it is not surprising that politicians have run mad, and many speculators swamped; that the United States is the greatest agricultural country in the world, and the mother countries view with alarm what promises to be the strongest and wealthiest nation in the woi Id at no distant day.
The Burying Ground at White Haveu.
On Saturday, Nov. 6, a meeting of the Laurel Cemetery Association, White Haven, Whs held for the purpose of dedicating a newly acquired tract of land. Religious exercises were conducted by the local clergy —Rev. F. V. Krug, of the Presbi terian; Rev. H. H. Bruning. of the Evangelical Lutheran; Rev. G H. D iy, of the Methodist, and Rev. d'Estning Jennings, of the Episcopal. Gains L. Halsey, Esq., gave an interesting historical sketch of the enterprise, which had its inception in 1842, at which time the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co. set apart a tract for a public burying ground and as a site for a place or places of worship.
In 17115 the first newspaper in the county "The Herald of the Times." was published in Wilkes-Barre.
The Old Sullivan Koad. The first of a series of articles bearing the above tille appeared in the November number of The Guardian, a monthly magazine of the Reformed Church. The paper is contributed by the Rev. Mr. Kieffer, of Easton, the editor of the magazine, and is of historical account, inasmuch as it relates some incidents hitherto unpublished or inaccessible to the general reader, connected with Gen. Sullivan's expedition against the Western Indians, which set out from Easton on its long and dangerous march in the year 1770. The attention of the State Historical Society, Philadelphia, having been called to these articles, the librarian has written to the editor of the Guardian requesting copies for preservation in the State and Revolution collectioni-, giving also the much desired information that the block bearing the inscription ''Hell's Kitchen" is in the possession of the soci' i j, having been purchased of Mr. Stokes, of Monroe County, some years ago. This curious and oelebrated inscription was cut into the solid wood of the yellow pine tree on Sullivan's march away up in the Pocono region by some unknown hand, and after having been removed some thirty years ago, all trace of it was lost, no one being able to tell what had become of it. It will be of interest to some of our readers to know that it is where it ought to be—in the keeping of the State Historical Society, 1,300 Locust Street, Philadelphia.—Easton Free Press.
The llattle of German town. The Germantown Telegraph for November 10 contains an historical article on "Ancient Germantown," by Rev. S. F. Hotchkin. It is full of interesting matter relating to the Revolutionary period and of the occupation of Germantown by the British. In the course of the narration it is related how one of the Keysers, then living there, escaped from her home while entertaining under compulsion a party of British soldiers, she thus saving the family silver and a fine horse. The silver was buried and not found for many years. "It has been seen, the writer says, by Martin Coryell, of Lambertville, N. J., a descendant, but was lost iu 1833 by a robbery. Mrs. Coryell, and her sister, Mrs. John Anderson, are descendants also of Mr. Duy, from whom Duy's Lane takes its name." Mr. and Mrs. Coryell were formerly residents of WilkesBarre and have a host of friends here. A previous article by Mr. Hotchkin was descriptive of "The Chew House and the Battle of Germantown." The series form a valuable contribution to Revolutionary hietory.
NANTICOKE PRESltYTEKIAN CHURCH
It* Early History -One of Its First Moderators, Rev. E. Hazard Hnowden, Still Living.
The following interesting sketch of the Nauticoke Presbyterian Chnrch is from the Quarterly Revietc, a neat little paper issued from the 6'toi office, hy Rev. G. H. Ingram, pastor of the church:
The session have in their possession the records of the church back as far as Nov. 27, 1829. Then it was called the Church of Hanover and Newport. At the organization there were two ministers present. Rev. Cyrns Gildersleeve and Rev. Nicholas Murray. The meeting was held in the school house, near Mr. Lines'. Eighteen members were received from the Congregational Church in Wilkes-Barre. Ruling elders were chosen—John Schleppy, Anderson Dana, Jr., and Henry Stayer. John Schleppy was chosen deacon. The new officers were ordained to their offices. The names of the members are as follows:
John Schleppy, Anderson Dana, Jr, Henry Styer, Elizabeth Fairchild. Margaret Fairchild.Mary Line, Mary Lueder,Christian Schleppy, Anna Styer, John Sarber, Solomon Mill, Abraham Arnold, Sarah Schleppy, Clara Sarber, Elizabeth Whipple, Loriuda Dilley.
The session of the church ot Hanover and Newport continued to meet in tne school house "near Mr. Line's" or "near Mr. Mill's" until 181*2, when on March 19tti the entry is made "1 he Session met agreeable to appointment at the Nauticoke chnrch. Rev. Mr. Rhodes presided as Moderator." At this meeting Miss Rosana Fairchild was received into the church upon proie.-sion o( faith.
In 1834 Rev. J. Dorrance moderated the Session by request.
In Noy. 1836, Rev. Mr. Cori-,e moderated the meeting of Session.
In Sept. 1837, Rev. Mr. E. H. Snowden presided.
May 31, 1843, the following entry appears: "The Rev. E. H. Snowden closed his connection with this church after supplying the pulpit one fourth of the time for seven years." From the time of the orgMinz'-.tion until May. 1844, thirty persons united with the church: Kosauna Fairchild, Catharine Vandermark, Jane Agatant, John Mill, St. John Koeker, Elizabeth Ann Schleppy, Julia Ann Single. Jame* Vtchley, Mary Atchley, Fricilla Fairchild, Robt. G. Robbing, Jr., R. Robbins, Sr., Margaret Robbins, John Bobbins, Sarah Robbins, Elizabeth Robbins, Julian Stettler, Christiana Robbins, Susanna Roate, Lavinia Espy, Elizabeth Lnpe, Elizabeth Rasely, Susan Schleppy, Mary Vandermark, Ellen C. Stjer, Martha Fairchild.
Jenkins Family of Rhode Island. The above is the title of a 10 page pamphlet by Hon. Stenben Jenkins, of Wyoming, reprinted from the Narrayanxet Historical Register. The author finds that the ;Jenkins families were among the first to become Friends. The first trace he can get of his branch of the family • searched out from the records of the Sandwich Monthly I Meeting of Friends, the oldest organized society of those people in America; is relative to one John Jenkins, of Sandwich. The name John seems to have been a favorite one, it having been borne by one generation after another (with only a single break) down to the author's grandfather, who was of the sixth generation from John of Sandwich. The name of John figures so extensively in the records as to quite confuse the general reader. The original John, in 1658, was fiued or "distrained" 10 pounds, 10 shillings for attending Quaker meeting. He had a son, Zachariah, (born 1651, died 1723), who had a son John, (born 1607, died 1742), who had a son John, (born 1728, died 1784), who had a son John, (born 1751, died 1827). The latter was Oel, John Jenkins, grandfather of Hon. Steuben Jenkins. He was a school teacher, surveyor and conveyancer. He was one of the pioneers in settling Wyoming Valley, and was a leading man in the controversies with the Pennamites. He was guide to Sullivan's army in 1779 in the expeaition to the northern wilderness to avenge the atrocities of the year before at Wyoming and Cherry Valley. He was born at Gardner's Lake, New London, Conn.,Nov. 27,1751, 0. S., aud died at Wyoming in 1827, on the historic battle ground. He married Bethiah Harris, of Colchester, Conu., in Jenkins Fort, Wyoming, only a fortnight before the bloody massacre of July 3, 1778. They had eight children, James (born 1796, died 1873) being the author's father. He was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary army, resided in Exeter Township, Luzerne County, Pa., where he died in 1827. James Jenkins married in 1815, Elizabeth, daughter of Capt, Samuel Breeze, of BHskiug Ridge, N. J. Hon. Steuben Jenkins is the third of their nine children, not one of whom, however, bears the traditional name of John. We notice that in 1745 one Stephen Wilcox married the widow of one of the Johns, but whether this is the same family as the William A. Wilcox, who married a daughter of the author, we are unable to say.
In 17H7. on May 27th, Justices of the Court of Common Pleas commissioned and sworn in.
Fortunes Awaiting Claimant*. Dr. W. H. Egle, author of "Pennsylvania Genealogies," gives the following good advice in his Notes and Queries department of the Harrisburg Teleyraph, advice, too, which may benefit some in Wilkes-Barre, the same "lint" referred to by Dr. Egle having recently been advertised in a local paper:
A correspondent writes us to this effect: "I see in the Free Press of Detroit a list of names of persons entitled to money and property in England. France, Germany and other countries, among them being those of Dixon, Cochran, Murray, Henry and Robinson. My ancestors on my father's side came from England, on my mother's side from Scotland and Ireland. Ah yon know so ranch abont my ancestors I thought I would ask you if it would be any use to Bend onr names as claimants. The advertisement says that $480,000,000 lie buried in the courts of chancery, Bank of England, etc., awaiting claimants. The date of the newspaper is Oct. 9,1886. I know that my grand mother often told ns there were money and property for us if we got our rights. Please let me know what you think of this advertisement. It also says, send to the British American Claim Agency, Stewart Building, New York City, for their book register." This is only a specimen of letters very frequently received by us. We can only reiterate what we have heretofore said upon this subject. The whole thing is a deception of the basest kind, and the villains who are interested in this scheme to defraud the unwary deserve the penitentiary. There is no money awaiting unknown claimants and these thieving rascals who send out such advertisements know it.
Mr. Loop's Coon Sausage Dinner.
We had a conversation with Mr. Edward S. Loop, who has just returned from an extensive visit west through Western New York, Canada, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Returning he stopped off at Detroit, at the Griffin House, where he found the most clean and comfortable compartments he met with duriug bis entire journey West, in a publio house. From thence he left for Pontiac, Mich., to see his old colored friend "Black Ben Tennant," as he was well known on the Ross farms over fifty years ago. Mr. Loop took a good dinner with him and family, of stewed chicken and coon sausage, celery, cranberries, sweet and white potatoes, two kinds of pickles and pies, cake, etc., etc., enjoying all. Jack Frost is getting into Tom's hair for he is nearly 84 years old. He cultivates a patch of ground a mile or so ont of Pontiac and is happy with his wife and large family. His wife is a sister of Mrs. Susan Anderson, of 'his city. His
elder son, Thomas Miner, named for the elder Dr. Miner, is a carver at the Hodge House and his daughter Lavina is the cook. Another son, Tom, is a horse jockey when on land and at other times is head porter on one of the lake steamers. The family are all strict Methodists and Mr. Loop joined heartily in an "amen" after thanks were said for the coon sausage and other delicacies. Ben has many pleasant recollections of life in Wilkes-Barre and these will now be augmented by ihe Weekly Recobd which hereafter is to go to him regularly. The carriage was to call for his return at 4 pm. sharp. As it did not Ben said "never mind 'Sterl,' there will be another train later." "No, that will not do. I must be in Detroit to take 7:15 sharp." He made the train—the following passenger train was wrecked at Royal Oak, about 8 miles north of Detroit, and a number killed and injured. One of the m.wt striking traits in Mr. Loop's character is his promptness and this determination to catch the 7:15 train probably saved his life.
One of the little deceptions which pleased onr forefathers was a piece of furniture, looking like a book, but which on examination proved to be entirely of wood, the covers, raised bands, edges, etc., being very fairly simulated. This instrument—for such it was in reality—was nothing more or less than a pitchpipe for use in a church in order that the precentor might not start too high or too low (then the psalm was given ont. A New York man is the happy possessor of one. It measures three and a half by five and a half inches and was nsed in the first chnrch in the town of Sterling, Mass., prior to the Revolution. At the junction of the upper edge with the front edge there is just such an aperture as is found in an ordinary whistle. The lower edge pulls out, being fastened to a slide, upon which the tones and half tones of the scale are marked by letters and lines. At the end of the slide is fastened packing of cork, which makes it fit accurately. Upon adjusting this slide at the desired pitch, and bloving through the aperture, a loud, clear tone is given forth. From the bottom of the movable edge hangs a piece of tape, which seems to serve as a book-mark and (lightens the deception..
The Doylestown Democrat, Nov. 16, says that M. W. Oliver, of Crawford County has donated to the Bucks County Historical Society a fine specimen of the iron axes which are frequently plowed up in the fields of Crawford County. The axe was shaped something like a hatchet, with a large eye, and was about seven inches long with about a four inch blade. The axes are supposed to have been made in Canada and used by the Indians in the French and Indian war.