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to be orthodox, and could therefore only be whispered, had fallen into low hands. The better
The ensuing winter, at Reading, was gay and agreeable, notwithstanding that the enemy was
, as was now the case, they are when present not painful, and when past they are among the incidents most pleasing in retrospection. Besides the families established in this place, it was seldom without a number of visitors-gentlemen of the army and others. Hence the dissipation of cards, sleighing parties, balls, &c., was freely indulged. Gen. Mifflin, at this era, was at home-a chief out of war, complaining, though not ill; considerably malcontent, and apparently not in high favor at head-quarters. According to him, the ear of the commander-in-chief was exclusively possessed by Greene, who was represented to be neither the most wise, the most brave, nor most patriotic of counsellors. In short, the campaign in this quarter was stigmatized as a series of blunders, and the incapacity of those who had conducted it unsparingly reprobated. The better fortune of the northern army was ascribed to the superior talents of its leader; and it began to be whispered that Gates was the man who should of right have the station so incompetently sustained by Washington. There was to all appearance a cabal forming for his deposition, in which it is not improbable that Gates, Mifflin, and Conway were already engaged ; and in which the congenial spirit of Lee, on his exchange, immediately took a share. The well. known apostrophe of Conway to America, importing that "heaven had passed a decree in her favor
, or her ruin must long before have ensued from the imbecility of her military counsels," was at this time familiar at Reading; and I heard him myself, when he was afterwards on a visit to that place, express himself to the effect that “no man was more a gentleman than Gen. Washington, or appeared to more advantage at his table, or in the usual intercourse of life; but as to his talents for the command of an army, (with a French shrug,) they were miserable indeed.” Observations of this kind, continually repeated, could not fail to make an impression within the sphere of their circulation ; and it may be said that the popularity of the commander-in-chief was a good deal impaired at Reading. As to myself, however, I can confidently aver that I never was proselyted, or gave in to the opinion, for a moment, that any man in America was worthy to supplant the exalted character that presided in her army. I might have been disposed, perhaps, to believe that such talents as were possessed by Lee, could they be brought to act subordinately
, might often be useful to him; but I ever thought it would be a fatal error to put any other in his place. Nor was I the only one who forbore to become a partisan of Gates. Several others thought they saw symptoms of selfishness in the business; nor could the great eclat of the northern campaign convince them that its hero was superior to Washington. "The duel which afterwards took place between Gen. Conway and Gen. Cadwallader, though immediately proceeding from an unfavorable opinion expressed by the latter of the conduct of the former at Germanlown, had perhaps a deeper origin, and some reference to this intrigue ;* as I had the means of knowing that Gen. Cadwallader, suspecting Mifflin had instigated Conway to fight him, was ex. tremely earnest to obtain data from a gentleman who lived in Reading, whereon to ground a serious explanation with Mifflin. So much for the manæuvring, which my location at one of its principal seats brought me acquainted with ; and which its authors were soon after desirous of burying in oblivion.
* Not that Gen. Cadwallader was induced from the intrigue to speak unfavorably of Gen. Conway's behavior at Germantown. That of itself was a sufficient ground of censure. Conway, it seems, during the action, was found in a farm-house by Gen. Reed and Gen. Cadwallader. Upon their inquiring the cause, he replied, in great agitation, that his horse was wounded in the neck. Being urged to get another horse, and at any rate to join his brigade, which was engaged, he declined it, repeating that his horse was wounded in the neck. Upon Conway's applying to congress some time after to be made a major-general, and earnestly urging his suit, Cadwalader made known this conduct of his at Germantown; and it was for so doing that Conway gave the challenge, the issue of which was, his being dangerously wounded in the face from the pistol of Gea Cadwallader. He recovered, however, and some time after went to France.
The Duke of Rochefaucault de Liancourt, an observing French traveller, who passed through Reading in 1795, says:
“The sentiments of the inhabitants of this town and the neighboring country are very good, and breathe a warm attachment to the federal government. There is no democratic society. Read. ing sent about 80 volunteers in the expedition against Pittsburg-[Whiskey insurrection.] Near the market, price of building lots 200 feet deep, $25 per foot. In less populous parts, $10. Price of land some distance from town, about $22 per acre; near town, $32 to $36. Meadows near town cost $150. A project is on foot for extending the town to the bank of the river.”
Died, in the 80th year of his age, at his residence in Reading, [in June, 1832,) Gen. Joseph Hiester, late governor of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The deceased, one of the heroes of the revolution, entered the army at an early period of his life. He was engaged in the battle of Long Island; was captured, and subsequently confined on board the prison-ship Jersey. Af. ter his exchange had been effected, with a gallant spirit unsubdued, he again entered the army, and was engaged in the battles of Germantown and Brandywine. After independence had been established, he served many years in the legislature of his native state ; and for many years subse. quently, with the almost unanimous voice of his fellow-citizens of his district, served his country in congress, with a zeal unsurpassed by that of any of his contemporaries. In private life, he was a kind and tender husband, an affectionate and indulgent parent, a charitable and hospitable neighbor, and a warm and zealous friend.- Reading Journal.
WOMELSDORF is a large village near the Tulpehocken, on the Reading and Harrisburg turnpike, 14 miles from Reading, and 88 from Harrisburg. Pop. 849. There is a church here common to the Lutheran and German Reformed societies. The Tulpehocken valley was settled at an early day, about 1733 to 1740, by the whites; and previous to their arrival there is said to have been a cluster of Indian villages north of Womelsdorf, under the Kittatinny mountain. Conrad Weiser chose this valley for his favorite residence, in the late years of his life, and was buried in this vicinity.
Conrad Weiser was born in Germany, but came to this country in early life, and settled about the year 1714. He lived much among the Six Nations in New York. He was a great favorite among them, was naturalized by them, and became perfectly familiar with their language. De. siring to visit Pennsylvania, the Indians brought him down the Susquehanna to Harris's ferry, and thence he came across to the Tulpehocken; and thence to Philadelphia, where he met William Penn for the first time. He became a confidential interpreter and special messenger for the prov. ince, among the Indians; and was present at many of the most important treaties between the proprietary government and the Indians. In 1737 he was commissioned by the governor of Virginia to visit the grand council at Onondaga. He started very unexpectedly, in the month of February, to perform this journey of 500 miles through a wilderness, where there was neither road nor path, and at a season when no game could be met with for food. His only companions were a Dutchman and three Indians. În 1744 he was in like manner despatched to Shamokin, (Sunbury,) “on account of the unhappy death of John Armstrong, the Indian trader.” On both these journeys he has specially noted interesting observations relating to a sincere and general belief among the Indians in the interposition of an overruling providence, and their habit
of ac. knowledging with gratitude all such interpositions in their favor. * Mr. Weiser had an Indian agency and trading house at Reading. In 1755, during alarms on the frontier, he was appointed colonel of a regiment of volunteers from Berks co. The Indians always entertained a high re. spect for his character, and for years after his death were in the habit of making visits of affec. tionate remembrance to his grave. Col. Weiser was the grandfather, on the maternal side, of the Rev. and Hon. Henry A. Muhlenberg, lately minister to Austria.
Dr. Franklin tells the following story of Weiser's visit to Onondaga; it is replete with the doctor's peculiar humor, and probably indicates his own prejudices quite as strongly as those of the Indians :
The same hospitality, esteemed among them as a principal virtue, is practised by private per. sons ; of which Conrad Weiser, our interpreter, gave me the following instances : He had been naturalized among the Six Nations, and spoke well the Mohawk language. In going through the Indian country, to carry a message from our governor to the council at Onondaga, he called at the habitation of Canassatego, an old acquaintance, who embraced him, spread furs for him to sit on, placed before him some boiled beans and venison, and mixed some rum and water for his drink. When he was well refreshed, and had lit his pipe, Canassatego began to converse with
* Proud, ü., 316.
him; asked how he had fared the many years since they had seen each other; whence he then came; what occasioned the journey, &c. Conrad answered all his questions; and when the discourse began to flag, the Indian, to continue it, said, Conrad; you have lived long among the white people, and know something of their customs: I have been sometimes at Albany, and have observed that once in seven days they shut up their shops and assemble in the great house. Tell me what that is for—what do they do there ?"* They meet there," says Conrad, “ to hear and learn good things." "I do not doubt,” says the Indian, “ that they tell you so ; they have told me the same. But I doubt the truth of what they say; and I will tell you my reasons. I went lately to Albany to sell my skins, and buy blankets, knives, powder, rum, &c. You know I used generally to deal with Hans Hanson; but I was a little inclined this time to try some other merchants. However, I called first upon Hans, and asked him what he would give for beaver. He said he could not give more than four shillings a pound; but, says he, I cannot talk on business now: this is the day when we meet together to learn good things, and I am going to the meeting. So I thought to myself, since I cannot do any business to-day, I may as well go to the meeting too; and I went with him. There stood up a man in black, and began to talk to the people very angrily. I did not understand what he said, but perceiving that he looked much at me and at Hanson, I imagined that he was angry at seeing me there; so I went out, sat down near the house, struck fire and lit my pipe, waiting till the meeting should break up. I thought too that the man had mentioned something of beaver, and suspected it might be the subject of their meeting. So when they came out, I accosted my merchant. Well, Hans, says I, I hope you have agreed to give more than four shillings a pound. No, says he, I cannot give so much ; I cannot give more than three shillings and sixpence. I then spoke to several other dealers, but they all sung the same song-three and sixpence, three and sixpence. This made it clear to me that my suspicion was right; and that whatever they pretended of meeting to learn good things, the purpose was to consult how to cheat Indians in the price of beaver. Consider but a little, Conrad, and you must be of my opinion. If they met so often to learn good things, they would certainly have learned some before this time. But they are still ignorant. You know our practice. If a white man, in travelling through our country, enters one of our cabins, we all treat him as I do you; we dry him if he is wet, we warm him if he is cold, and give him meat and drink that he may allay his thirst and hunger, and we spread soft furs for him to rest and sleep on. We demand nothing in return. But if I go into a white man's house at Albany, and ask for victuals and drink, they say, Get out, you Indian dog. You see they have not yet learned those little good things that we need no meetings to be instructed in, because our mothers taught them to us when we were children; and therefore it is impossible their meetings should be, as they say, for any such purpose, or have any such effect. They are only to contrive the cheating of Indians in the price of beaver.”
KUTzTown is a large village in the Maxatawney valley on the Allentown and Reading road, 17 miles from either place. It contains some 120 dwellings, a Lutheran and German Reformed church, and 693 inhabitants by the census of 1840. A correspondent of the Ledger in 1842, says
“I am ruralizing for a week in a fertile vale of deep-soiled red shale, underlying the lime. stone of the Moxatawney valley. The peasantry are honest, hard-working Germans. Here lock no doors. The congregations, of different sectarian faith, worship in the same church on alternate Sundays. The church is filled with attentive people, and a very great proportion are communicants. They have an excellent organ, made in this county. Preaching in German. It pains me to observe in every country churchyard the naked marble slabs, unsheltered by a single tree, and unadorned by a single shrub or flower.
“A contented mind is generally associated with the life of a farmer, by our novelists at least, and by those who get their notions from such sources. But farming is far from being exempt from the petty vexations that constitute the stinging annoyances of life; and it is an undoubted fact, that the worship of the dollar finds among this class the most devout adherents. My companion pointed to a house near Kutztown, where, a few weeks since, a farmer in good cir. cumstances hung himself, because he had $200 of the notes of a bank that had stopped pay. ment; and many years ago, I temember a wealthy farmer in the same valley, who destroyed himself in the same way, because he had on hand in the spring all of his wheat, and could not sell it at the price he was offered during the winter.”
HAMBURG is a considerable village on the left bank of the Schuylkill, just below its passage through the Kittatinny or Blue mountain. Population about 500. One church, common to the Lutheran and German Reformed denominations. The surrounding country is fertile and well
cultivated. A bridge here crosses the river, and the Pottsville railroad passes on the west side of the river.
There are many small villages in Berks co. at the cross-roads, and in the smaller valleys, each rendering their peculiar service to the surrounding agricultural population. Among these, the more important are MORGANTown in the southern corner, and REHRERSBURG in the western corner of the co.
The smaller villages are MERTZTOWN, PRICETOWN, UNIONVILLE, WARRENSBURG, BIRDSBORO', WEAVERSTOWN, EXETERTOWN, MILLERSBURG, WohLEBERSTOWN, &c.
BRADFORD COUNTY was at first separated from Luzerne and Lycoming in 1810, under the name of Ontario. In March, 1812, the co.was fully organized for judicial purposes, and the name was changed to Bradford. At the same time the courts were directed to be holden, until public buildings should be erected, at the house of Wm. Means, in Towanda township. Length 40 m., breadth 29; area 1,174 sq. miles. Population in 1820, 11,554; in 1830, 19,746; in 1840, 32,769. Besides the Susquehanna, which winds nearly through the centre of the co., there are its tributaries, Wysox cr. and Wyalusing cr. on the east, and the Tioga river, and Sugar cr. and Towanda cr. on the west side, with several streams of less note. The surface of the co. is quite rough, but there are no very long and distinct ranges of very lofty mountains. The great subordinate chains of Laurel hill and Chestnut ridge, so prominent in other sections of the state, are here found to be much depressed in height, and broken and scattered in innumerable isolated ridges and spurs. There is, however, along the course of the Towanda cr., on its southern bank, a high precipitous ridge stretching away towards the head of Pine cr., formerly called Burnett's mountain, which may indicate the track of the Laurel hill. The same ridge forms the precipitous “ narrows" on the Susquehanna, two or three miles below Towanda. The land on the summits of the ridges is gently undulating, forming good grazing farms. Along the streams are many enchanting valleys, with meadows and uplands not exceeded in fertility and picturesque beauty by any in the state. The bituminous coal formation touches the southwestern corner of the co., and veins of from three to seven feet in thickness are found on the heads of Towanda cr. A railroad route from Towanda to these mines was surveyed in 1839, but it now slumbers with many of the other projects of that day. Iron is abundant, but not developed: and indications of copper have been discovered. There are sulphur springs at Rome, eight miles from Towanda. Considerable pine and other lumber is still prepared and sent to market from this county ; more perhaps than is for the real interest of the population, who would derive a surer profit from the cultivation and export of agricultural produce.
The Berwick and Newtown, or Susquehanna and Tioga turnpike road, which passes through the co., was projected at the early settlement of the co., about the year 1802 or '04, and was driven through the then wil
derness by the exertions of Philadelphians and others interested in the lands. It was not fully completed until subsequent to 1820. The Williamsport and Elmira railroad is completed from Williamsport to the southwestern corner of the county, but has been suspended for the present.
The north branch division of the Pennsylvania canal follows the windings of the Susquehanna to the north line of the state, forming a connection with the canals of New York. Most of the heavy work has been done upon the line ; and a company has been chartered to take the unfinished work from the state, and complete it. When this opening is made, a profitable exchange will take place between the salt, plaster, and lime of New York, and the coal and iron of Pennsylvania.
Previous to the arrival of the whites in this region, the valley of the Susquehanna was under the special jurisdiction of the Cayuga tribe of Indians, one of the great confederacy of the Six Nations. To each of that confederacy was confided the charge of a door of their “long house." as they termed their residence in the state of New York. The Senecas kept the southwestern door on the Allegheny, the Mohawks the eastern at Schenectady, &c. The Cayugas themselves did not reside in the region now Bradford co. It was, with the Susquehanna valley lower down, assigned as the asylum for scattered tribes of Mohicans, Wampanoags, Tutelos, Monseys, and other tribes who had retired from the encroachments of the whites. It was also on the great war-path between the Six Nations and the southern tribes; and it may be inferred from the reply of the Cayuga chief to the Moravian Indians, that these now peaceful valleys have been the scene of many a bloody encounter. Tradition states that Wysox valley was occupied by a tribe of that name, who had two sanguinary battles with the Towanda Indians, on the flats at the mouth of Towanda cr. Many relics have been found of these former races. About two miles above Towanda, at the “ Break-neck narrows," on the left bank of the Susquehanna, is the resemblance of a squaw's head and face carved in the perpendicular rock. It is now much obliterated by the ice freshets. It is said that the name of Break-neck was given to these narrows by Sullivan's army, who lost some cattle there : but whether there is any connection between the name and the sculpture does not distinctly appear.
The calumet or pipe of peace was found a few years since on the Sheshequin flats, and is now in possession of Mr. Silas Gove. It is curiously wrought of red-stone, as perfect as when new; and the material corresponds with the description given of the red pipe-stone of the Rocky mountains, by George Catlin, Esq. In Burlington township the skeletons of two human beings were lately found in excavating a cellar. They were uncommonly large, and had apparently been deposited with much ceremony and care. Their heads were laid eastward, and their bodies enclosed with large flat stones. The bones were in a state of perfect preservation.
To whom. or to what date may be ascribed what are called the Spanish fortifications above Athens on the Tioga, it is not easy to ascertain. The Duke de la Rochefaucault ascribes them to the French in the time of Denonville, about 1688. Before the men of Connecticut had asserted their claim to the fair valleys of Bradford co., the