ePub 版
[ocr errors]

Moyamensing Prison. The Philadelphia County Prison, usually known as the Moyamensing Prison, is situated about one mile south of the city, between Tenth and Eleventh streets. The whole exterior is built with a blue sienitic granite, from the Quincy quarries in Massachusetts. The architecture is in the Tudor style of English Gothic, in which the castles of the middle ages were built ; and the design reflects great credit upon the architect, Mr. Thomas U. Walter. The interior is disposed in two general divisions, one for the untried prisoners, and the other for male convicts whose term of service does not exceed two years; the females being confined in a building in the rear of the debtor's apartment. The main prison contains 408 separate cells in two blocks of three stories each; the cells open into a corridor of 20 feet wide, extending along the centre of each block. The debtor's apartment (seen on the right of the vicw) presents a front of 90 feet, composed of brown sandstone, in the Egyptian style of architecture. The aggregate cost of the whole establishment was more than $450,000. The county prison was founded in 1832, and finished in 1835; the debtor's apartment in 1836; and that for females in 1837–38. Previous to the erection of this prison, and the Eastern penitentiary, the two prisons of Philadelphia had been situa. ted, one at the southeast corner of Sixth and Walnut streets; and the other in the upper part of Arch-st. Both these sites are now occupied by splendid dwellings.

The Laurel Hill Cemetery, situated on the banks of the Schuylkill, four miles northwest of the city, was laid out by a company of citizens in 1836. The site was originally occupied by the country seat of a wealthy citizen. No better selection could possibly be made for the repose of the dead. Nature seems to have lavished every variety of beauty and grandeur on this secluded spot; the grounds are laid out with serpentine gravelled walks, and the whole is shaded by ancient forest and ornamental trees. A beautiful Gothic chapel, with its immense variegated window of stained glass, stands in the upper part of the grounds. At the entrance of the

[ocr errors]

cemetery is a splendid colonnade, with appropriate architectural devices, and just within the gate, in a small structure erected expressly for it, is an admirable group of statuary by Mr. Thom, the self-taught artist, representing Sir Walter Scott conversing with Old Mortality. The remains of several public benefactors have been already entombed here ; among which are those of the “man of truth," Charles Thompson, secretary of the Continental Congress; Joseph S. Lewis, for so many years the efficient chairman of the watering committee; Birch, the munificent benefactor of the blind ; and Godfrey, the inventor of the quadrant, over whom a beautiful and appropriate monument has recently been erected.

Another beautiful enclosure, called the Monument Cemetery, situated nearer the city, not far from the Girard College, was laid out in 1838. And another is known as Ronaldson's Cemetery, between Ninth and Tenth streets, in the southwest section of the city. Mr. James Ronaldson deserves much credit as the pioneer in this laudable enterprise. He laid out this cemetery on a square belonging to himself several years before that of Laurel Hill was commenced, and it now contains a large number of splendid tombs, shaded with appropriate trees, and adorned with flowers and shrubbery.

About a mile below Laurel Hill, the splendid bridge of the Columbia railroad crosses the Schuylkill. This bridge is at the foot of the inclined plane. A short distance above Laurel Hill the Reading railroad crosses the Schuylkill on a fine bridge recently constructed near the Falls.


Manayunk. MANAYUNK is a bustling and populous manufacturing village, on the left bank of the Schuylkill

, seven miles from Philadelphia. This village has grown up entirely since 1818, by the impetus given by the completion of the Schuylkill canal, which has created a vast amount of water. power at this place. Previous to that time, and to the erection of the Fairmount dam, it was remarkable only for an extensive shad fishery,

[ocr errors]

with one or two houses scattered here and there. Among the earlier residents here were the Leverings and the Tibbin's family. In 1823 the only factory enumerated as being here was Mark Richards' “Flat Rock Cotton Factory." There are now erected along the canal, 5 cotton factories, 3 woollen factories, 2 paper-mills, 1 rolling-mill, 1 steel manufactory, 1 machine-shop, 1 mill for polishing saws, and 2 flouring-mills. Two neat bridges cross the Schuylkill here. The Norristown railroad passes through the place. The village also contains Catholic, Dutch Reformed, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches. The slope of the hill above the village affords a delightful site for dwelling-houses, commanding a fine prospect of this picturesque valley.

GERMANTOWN is a very ancient village six miles northwest from Philadelphia. It has no lateral streets, but is composed of dwellings, stores, taverns, and occasionally splendid mansions extending for four or five miles on each side of the turnpike. The houses are substantially built generally of stone, and many of them still bear the quaint pent-eaves and ponderous cornices of the last century. The population of this lengthy place may be about 2,500. Many of the citizens are wealthy—having retired from business in the city--and all appear to enjoy that happy competence that results from quiet industry, uninterrupted by the excitement and expensive luxuries of a large city, but still enjoying all the advantage of its market. A railroad to the city affords a ready means of communication several times a day. At the southern end of the village is situated Logan's hill, the favorite country residence of James Logan, long the distinguished confidential secretary of Wm. Penn, and eminent in the annals of the early province as a scholar and statesman. Here he spent the later years of his life, when his infirmities had forced him into retirement. He died in 1751, aged 77, and lies among the Friends, in the cemetery in Arch, below Fourth st. The mansion and grounds are still untouched by the encroachments of modern lot-speculators, and are occupied by his descendants.


Birthplace of David Rittenhouse. In a secluded valley about a mile west of Germantown stand an ancient mill and a house, represented in the annexed view. This was the

birthplace of David Rittenhouse, and about this mill he first learned to exercise his mechanical genius. The following sketch of his life is from Mr. Lord's American edition of the Universal Biography:

This eminent mathematician was born at Germantown, Pa., April 8th, 1732. His ancestors were emigrants from Holland. He was employed during the early part of his life in agriculture, and occupied himself habitually at that period with mathematical studies. While residing with his father he made himself master of Newton's Principia, by an English translation, and also discovered the science of fluxions, of which he for a long time supposed himself to be the first in. ventor. His constitution being too feeble for an agricultural life, he became a clock and mathematical instrument maker, and, without the aid of an instructor, produced work superior to that of the foreign artists. He also contrived and erected an orrery, much more complete than any which had been before constructed. In 1770 he removed to Philadelphia, and employed himself in his trade. He was elected a member of the philosophical society of that city, and one of the number appointed to observe the transit of Venus in 1769, an account of which he communicated to the society. His excitement was so great on perceiving the contact of that planet with the sun at the moment predicted, that he fainted. He was one of the commissioners employed to determine the boundary line between Pennsylvania and Virginia, and between New York and Massachusetts He held the office of treasurer of Pennsylvania from 1777 to 1789. In 1791 he was chosen president of the philosophical society, and held the place till his death. He was also, in 1792, appointed director of the United States mint, and continued in the office till 1795, when ill health induced him to resign. His mathematical talents were of the highest order ; and had it been his lot to have had the advantages of education which the great European mathematicians enjoyed, he would undoubtedly have been excelled by none of them in the extent of his discoveries, and lustre of his fame.

The celebrated battle of Germantown has been described under Montgomery county, on pages 490 to 495. The following extracts are from several numbers written by John F. Watson, Esq., and published in Hazard's Register and the Village Telegraph.

The Germantown settlement was first taken up by Francis Danl. Pastorius, the 12th of the 8th month, 1683, by a purchase from William Penn; and was surveyed and laid out by the suveyor-general, 2d of 3d month, 1684, under a grant to him, for himself and others, of 6000 acres. It proved, however, to contain but 5700 acres.

It was a part of Springetsbury manor, and was distributed among the proprietaries as follows, viz. : 200 acres to Francis D. Pastorius himself, on Chestnut hill ; 150 to Jurian Hartsfielder, (the same who in 1676 owned all Campington ;) 5350 to Pastorius, as agent to German and Dutch owners.

Pastorius and Hartsfielder were to pay yearly 1s. per 100 acres, quit-rent; and all the others at the rate of 1s. per 1000 acres, (" they having bought off the quit-rents,") forever to Wm. Penn and heirs.

Germantown was incorporated as a borough town by a patent from Wm. Penn, executed in England in 1689. Francis Daniel Pastorius, civilian, was made first bailiff; and Jacob Teline, Dirk Isaacs op den Graff, and Herman op den Graff, three burghers, to act ex-officio as town magistrates; and eight yeomen ;-the whole to form a general court to sit once a month. They made laws and laid taxes.

The town lost its charter for want of a due election, (officers not being found willing to serve.) somewhere about 1704. In a letter from Pastorius to Wm. Penn, dated in 1701-2, he states his concern that he shall not be able to get men to serve in the general court for "conscience sake;" and he trusts, for a remedy, to an expected arrival of emigrants. This difficulty probably arose from the oaths used in court proceedings.

All the settlers in Cresheim (or Cresum) built on the Cresum road before settling a house on the Germantown road through Cresheim. There is an old map, made in 1700, in which all their residences and barns at that time are marked.

The original of the following curious paper is in the hands of John Johnson, Esq.:

“We whose names are to these presents subscribed, do hereby certify unto all whom it may concern, that soon after our arrival in this province of Pennsylvania, in October, 1683, to our certain knowledge, Herman op den Graff, Dirk op den Graff, and Abraham op den Graff, as well as we ourselves, in the cave of Francis Daniel Pastorius, at Philadelphia, did caşt lots for the respective lots which they and we then began to settle in Germantown; and the said Graffs (three brothers) have sold their several lots, each by himself, no less than if a division in writing had been made by them. Witness our hands this 29th Nov. A. D. 1709. Lenart Arets, Jan Lensen, Thomas Hundus, William Streygert, Abraham Tunes, Jan Lucken, Reiner Tysen."

The first paper-mill in Pennsylvania was built by Yarret Rittenhouse. It stood about 100

yards higher up the stream than where old Martin Rittenhouse now lives, at C. Markles's. It was carried off by a freshet. Wm. Penn wrote a letter, soliciting the good people to give some aid in rebuilding it with the money. The grist-mill, now Nicholas Rittenhouse's on Wissahiccon, below Markles's, was built there, without the use of carts, or roads, or barrows.

Thomas Godfrey, the inventor of the quadrant, was born in Bristol township, about one mile from Germantown, in the year 1704, on a farm adjoining to Lukens' mill, on the Church lane. His father died when he was but one year old. His mother put her son out to learn the business of a glazier and painter.

While engaged at this business on the premises at Stenton, (J. Logan's place,) accidentally observing a piece of fallen glass, an idea presented to his reflecting mind, which caused him to quit his scaffold and go into Mr. Logan's library, where he took down a volume of Newton. Mr. Logan entering at this time, and seeing the book in his hand, inquired into the motive of his search, when he was exceedingly pleased with Godfrey's ingenuity, and from that time became his zealous friend. He procured for him a skilful person to try his quadrant at sea ; and finding it fully answered every wish, he endeavored to serve him by writing to his friends in England, especially to Sir Hans Sloane, so as to get for him the reward offered by the Royal Society. This was intended to be a measure in opposition to the claim of Hadley,—who, it was supposed, had obtained the description of the instrument from his nephew, who, it was recollected, had seen it in the West Indies. Such is the tradition of the matter in the Logan family, as preserved by Mrs. Logan. James Logan asserts, in a letter to one of his friends, that Godfrey's discovery was two years prior to Hadley's.

“Joshua Fisher, of Lewistown, afterwards of Philadelphia, merchant, first tried the quadrant in the bay of Delaware.” Afterwards, Capt. Wright carried it to Jamaica, where, unsuspicious of the piracy, he showed and explained it to several Englishmen, among whom was a nephew of Hadley's.

Godfrey's affection for mathematical science occurred at an early period, from a chance oppor. tunity of reading a book on that study. Finding the subject perplexed with Latin terms, he applied himself to that language with such diligence as to be able to read the occasional Latin he found. Optics and astronomy became his favorite studies. He died in Dec. 1749. His remains have recently been removed to Laurel Hill cemetery.


PIKE COUNTY was separated from Wayne, by the act of 26th March, 1814; and in 1835 a portion of it was cut off to form Monroe co. Length 23 miles, breadth 23; area about 580 sq. miles. Population in 1820, only 2,894; in 1830, 4,843; and in 1840, 3,832. This remarkably sparse population, in a county bordering on the Delaware, only eighty miles from New York and Philadelphia, is caused by the rugged and mountainous character of the greater portion of the county.

A broad range of broken spurs of the Pokono, and more northwesterly ridges of the Apalachian system-composed principally of the slates, shales, and sandstones of formations VIII. and IX. of our state geologists sweeps through this county, forming a high, broken, and rather cold country, covered with a dense forest of pine, hemlock, oak, and other timber. The soil of this region is comparatively poor, that is, in comparison with the warm fertile valleys of slate and limestone below the Blue mountain, or at the west ; but, though generally too cold for corn, it produces, under the hand of cultivation, good rye, oats, potatoes, and grass, and is well adapted for dairy farms. The extensive alluvial flats, along the margin of the Delaware, are very fertile, adapted for all agricultural products, and generally well-cultivated. The county is abundantly watered, and contains some of the best mill-sites in the state, many of which are only

« 上一頁繼續 »