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events of the French war, without regard to the individuals holding the executive power.
It is pleasant to record, in the midst of wars and rumors of wars, the founding of such an institution as the Pennsylvania Hospital, in 1751-54 ; and by the bequest of James Logan, who died in 1751, the establishment of the valuable Loganian Library.
In 1749, sprang up the germ of the University of Pennsylvania, in the humble form of an academy and charitable school, supported by subscription; it was opened in 1750 as a Latin school, incorporated and endowed by the proprietaries in 1753; and in 1755 it received the additional honor of conferring degrees, under the title of "The College, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia."
The American Philosophical Society had been organized in 1743, under the auspices of Franklin and other kindred spirits. He commenced his remarkable experiments in electricity about the year 1745, and in 1747 published a memoir upon the subject of positive and negative electricity. In 1749 he had suggested the probable agency of electricity in thunderstorms, and in the aurora borealis ; and in 1752 he first succeeded in his brilliant experiment of drawing the electric spark from the clouds.
The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, in October, 1748, as far as regarded American affairs, was little better than an armistice. The French, in 1753, were busily extending their posts from the lake to the Ohio, and George Washington was sent on a mission to Fort Le Boeuf to inquire by what right these encroachments were made. He received an evasive answer; but their intention was plain, to connect by a line of fortifications along the Ohio, their possessions on the lakes with those on the Mississippi. In 1754 they pushed forward a thousand men and built Fort Duquesne, (Pittsburg,) and forced Col. Washington, with a small detachment at the Great Meadows, to capitulate.
In July, 1754, at Albany, the proprietors purchased of the Six Nations all the land within the state, not previously purchased, lying southwest of a line beginning one mile above the mouth of Penn's Creek, and running northwest by west “ to the western boundary of the state.” So far, however, from striking the western, it struck the northern boundary a little west of Conewango creek. The Shawanees, Delawares, and Monseys, on the Susquehanna, Juniata, Allegheny, and Ohio rivers, thus found their lands“ sold from under their feet," which the Six Nations had guarantied to them on their removal from the eastern waters. The Indians on the Allegheny at once went over to the French, and the blood of Braddock's soldiers was added to the price of the land. To allay the dissatisfaction resulting from this purchase, all the lands north and west of the Allegheny mountains were restored to the Indians by the treaty at Easton in 1758.
The unfortunate expedition of Gen. Braddock against Fort Duquesne, took place in the summer of 1753. Doctor Franklin, then postmaster, eagerly seized the occasion to raise 150 wagons and 250 pack-horses in aid of the expedition, by circulating advertisements through the German and Irish counties. Col. Washington accompanied Braddock's expedition as aid-de-camp. When the army had just crossed the Monongahela, within ten miles of Fort Duquesne, they were surprised by a party of French and Indians in ambush, and completely routed. Gen. Braddock was mortally wounded. This defeat was justly ascribed to the obstinacy
of Braddock in not permitting the provincial soldiers, as they desired, to fight the Indians in Indian fashion.
Braddock's defeat spread consternation throughout the province; the frontier was left exposed, and the defenceless settlers could only seek safety by flight. The assembly and the governor disputed, and supplies were only obtained by patriotic subscriptions.
The whole frontier, from the Delaware to the Potomac, was now lighted with the blaze of burning cottages. The Indians, now joined by the Delawares, roamed unmolested among the passes of the mountain, laying waste all the settlements beyond the Kittatinny Mountain, making inroads upon those below, and butchering the settlers. Gnadenhutten, Mahanoy, Tulpehocken, and the hamlets in the lovely limestone coves west of the Susquehanna, were all reduced to ashes. The peaceful Moravians of Bethlehem cheerfully fortified their town, and took up arms in self-defence. Franklin, too, now consented to take up the sword, and with his son William, and a regiment of five hundred men, proceeded to the Lehigh and superintended the erection of the line of forts. The Six Nations still remained neutral, and their mediation was solicited to recover, if possible, the lost allegiance of the Shawanees and Delawares. In this they were successful.
The proprietors, alarmed by Braddock's defeat, now came forward and offered a donation for defence of £5,000, to be collected from arrears of quit-rents; but they refused to grant it on any other ground than as a free gift. The assembly, in 1756, waived their rights for a time, in consideration of the distressed state of the province, and passed a bill to strike £30,000 in bills of credit, based upon the excise. This was approved by the governor.
In 1756 the forts along the frontier were garrisoned by twenty-five companies, in all amounting to 1,400 men. Col. Armstrong, in the autumn of the same year, at the head of three hundred men, crossed
the Allegheny Mountains and cut off the Indian town of Kittanning. This drove the hostile Indians beyond the Allegheny river. In the following year the assembly again yielded to the pressure of the general danger and distress, and consented to pass another bill for raising by tax £100,000, with the exemption of the proprietary estates. They, however, sent Benjamin Franklin, as provincial agent, to London, to lay their grievances before the
In November, 1756, a grand council was held at Easton, between Teedyuscund and other Indian chiefs and warriors on the one part, and Governor Denny on the other. Teedyuscund, who was the chief speaker on this occasion, supported the rights of the Indians with great dignity and spirit. The conference continued nine days. All matters of difference were inquired into, particularly in relation to the Indian walk, and
* The famous Review of the History of Pennsylvania, written Franklin, was published in London, anonymously, in 1759. It is an able argument in favor of the popular side of the questions at issue between the proprietors and the assembly, bearing many marks of Franklin's cunning and sarcasm, as well as his power of argument; but it cannot be otherwise esteemed than as a partial and one-sided statement. Franklin, on account of his official station, could not be known as the author, and it long passed as the production of James Ralph, who had been a writer of some note in the province, and was then in London.
the lands on the W. Branch and Penn's cr. purchased in 1754. A treaty of peace was concluded with the Delawares.
Another conference was held at Lancaster, in 1757, with some of the chiefs of the Six Nations, but the Senecas and Delawares of the Ohio refused to attend, on Col. Croghan's invitation.
As a result of Dr. Franklin's exertions in London, the influence of Wm. Pitt's comprehensive mind was now extended over America, and affairs in the colonies assumed a different aspect. Abercrombie was appointed commander-in-chief, and Amherst second in command, aided by Brigadiers Wolfe and Forbes. The French were vigorously attacked on the northern frontiers of New York. General Forbes was charged with an expedition against Fort Duquesne, to be aided by the provincial troops of Pennsylvania and Virginia, under Cols. Washington and Bouquet. Washington strongly urged the road cut by Braddock (now the great Cumberland road) as the most favorable route; but the Pennsylvanians were bent upon the policy of securing a new road exclusively through their province, and they prevailed. The road is now the Chambersburg and Pittsburg turnpike. Many weeks were consumed in cutting the road; but at length the army, consisting of 7,859 men, penetrated the thick forest, and on reaching the Ohio, found the fort abandoned by the French, who had fled down the river, relinquishing forever their dominion in Pennsylvania. The fort was rebuilt, and received the immortal name of Pitt. The main body of the army returned, and were quartered in different parts of the province.
Another council was held at Easton in the autumn of 1758, at which the chiefs, both of the Six Nations and the Delawares, were present, and met the agents of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and Mr. Croghan, the agent of Sir William Johnson. The causes of the late war were fully discussed; complaints of the Indians concerning land were listened to, and all differences amicably adjusted ; and a message was sent by the Six Nations ordering the Shawanees and Twigtwees, on the Ohio, to desist from their hostilities, on penalty of being attacked by them. Teedyuscund, at this treaty, received one of those insulting taunts from the Six Nations by which they too often exhibited their national superiority; taunts, however, which were deeply revenged upon the whites in after years, when the Delawares had thrown off the galling yoke. Teedyuscund, however, supported his station with dignity and firmness, and refused to succumb; and the different Indian tribes at length became reconciled to each other. General Forbes died in Philadelphia, worn out by the fatigues of the campaign.
Franklin struggled and negotiated for two or three years in London against the proprietary influence, without success; but at length, bring. ing to bear upon the subject his favorite engine, the press, he succeeded in 1759 in obtaining the royal assent, with some modification, to a bill which the assembly had passed, and Gov. Denny, wearied with opposition, had assented to ;-although the proprietaries had opposed it before the privy council. Gov. Denny's acquiescence in this bill cost him his place. James Hamilton, the former lieutenant-governor, succeeded him in 1759.
Pennsylvania was again blessed with peace, which continued until 1763: her pioneers resumed the implements of agriculture,-temples of
religion were erected. The French were entirely driven from the northwestern frontier, and a treaty of peace between Great Britain, France, and Spain, was concluded in 1762, by which Canada became a British province. Parliament had promptly agreed to reimburse the colonies for the expenses of the war, and Dr. Franklin received and invested the first instalment of £26,000 in London. The doctor having secured the removal of the great cause of dissension in the province, returned home loaded with honors, to receive the gratitude of his constituents. He resumed his seat in the assembly, and was presented by them with £500 per year for his services in London.
After a long series of delays and altercations between the parties, the boundary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland was finally determined, according to the original agreement in 1732, between the proprietaries. In 1767, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, two distinguished mathematicians and astronomers, were employed to run the line, and erect stone pillars at conspicuous points. Mason and Dixon's line has since been famous, as marking the division between the free and slave states.
The short calm was succeeded by a terrific storm. The Indians around the great lakes, and on the Ohio, had cheerfully connived at the establishment of the French chain of forts from Presqu'isle to the Monongahela, so long as they proved an obstacle to the encroachments of the English ; but they now saw the English in possession of Canada, and this same chain of forts occupied as outposts, from which further encroachments might be made towards the west. The forts themselves were an intrusion ; for the lands upon which they stood had never yet been purchased from the Indians, or if purchased, had been restored. The boundary of Indian purchases was still more than a hundred miles nearer the Atlantic. Other settlements, too, were built on the Susquehanna, on Indian lands. The great Pontiac had conceived the gigantic plan of uniting all the northwestern tribes in a simultaneous and vigorous attack upon the whole frontier. Utter extermination was their object. The forts were to be taken by stratagem, by separate parties, on the same day. The border settlements were to be invaded during harvest,—and men, crops, cattle, and cabins, were to be destroyed. The English traders among the Indians were the first victims: out of one hundred and twenty, only two or three escaped. The frontier settlements, among and near the mountains, were overrun with scalping parties, marking their track with blood and fire. The forts of Presqu'isle, Le Boeuf, Venango, St. Joseph, and Michilimackinac, were taken, with a general slaughter of their garrisons. Those of Bedford, Ligonier, Detroit, and Pitt, were preserved with great difficulty. It was intended to assault Fort Ligonier, and thus, by cutting off supplies, to reduce Fort Pitt by famine. Col. Bouquet was promptly despatched by Gen. Amherst to the relief of Fort Pitt, with a large quantity of provisions under a strong escort. He was fiercely attacked by the enemy at Bushy Run, but defeated them with great slaughter, and succeeded in reaching Fort Pitt in time to save it. Consternation spread throughout all the settlements on the Juniata and the Susquehanna, and the dismayed inhabitants, with their children and flocks, sought shelter at Shippensburg, Carlisle, Lancaster, and Reading.
The garrison at Fort Augusta (Sunbury) was reinforced; and Col.
Armstrong, with about three hundred volunteers from Cumberland and Bedford counties, went up and routed several parties of hostile Indians on the west branch.
These expeditions warded off the attack from the settlements of the Connecticut men, who had already gathered in considerable numbers into the Wyoming valley. In October, however, of the same year, they suffered in their turn. A party of the Six Nations having stealthily murdered Teedyuscund the Delaware chief, and burnt his cabin, persuaded the Delawares that it was done by the whites. The Delawares, hitherto peaceable neighbors, butchered about thirty of the Wyoming settlers while at work in the fields, and after the remainder had escaped in dismay to the mountains, set fire to their dwellings, and drove away their flocks.
It is painful to record the details of savage barbarity ; but it is more painful to be obliged to confess, that the atrocities of the Indians in this war were fully equalled, if not exceeded, by those committed by some of the whites. Some of the Scotch Irish settlers in Paxton and Donnegal townships in Lancaster county, generally known since that event as the Paxton boys, had suffered exceedingly by marauding parties of Indians; and they suspected some secret collusion between the hostile tribes of the west, and the Christian Indian settlements among the Moravians, and a little isolated tribe of friendly Indians, living on Conestoga manor in Lancaster county. They therefore determined to exterminate every Indian within their reach. Commencing with the Conestoga Indians, they butchered a number of women and children and old men in cold blood : the other Indians were not at home at the time; and when they learned the fate of their relatives, they sought protection in the old jail at Lancaster. Here again their relentless persecutors found them, and, in defiance of the magistrates, put them all to death, sparing neither age nor sex. The Moravian Indians escaped to Philadelphia, where they were effectually protected, although the men of Paxton threatened a descent upon the city to take them. Other equally barbarous murders were committed by whites on the Susquehanna. Such was the state of feeling along the frontier towards the Indians, that the perpetrators of these barbarities were never brought to justice.
On the 30th October, 1763, John Penn, grandson of William Penn, and son of Richard, arrived from England as lieutenant-governor. His father and his uncle Thomas, the proprietors, were still living in England. An earthquake at Philadelphia marked the day of John Penn's arrival, and many regarded it as an ill omen. General Gage had determined to repel the invasion of the Indians by carrying the war into their own country, and Col. Bouquet was to proceed with a small army against the Delawares and Shawanees beyond the Ohio. Governor Penn applied himself with vigor to second the movements of General Gage, and urged the assembly for the usual supplies. It should here be recollected that all the Penn family had long since left the Society of Friends, and entertained no scruples whatever against war, offensive or defensive. It creates a feeling of sadness to know that this grandson of William Penn, in the very city of brotherly love itself, in July, 1764, offered, by proclamation, the following bounties for the capture, or scalps and death of Indians :*
* Gordon, p. 438.