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rowed here and there, by an occasional recitation to the clergyman, and diligent study by the dim light of chips and splinters thrown on a winter's fire, Hugh mastered learning enough to become a teacher himself; and with the scanty earnings of that employment, found himself, at the age of 18, in Princeton College. He agreed to teach two classes, on condition of being permitted to pursue his studies in the others. He was very ambitious. After having graduated, he remained some time as a tutor; was afterwards licensed to preach, and took charge of an academy in Maryland, where he continued until the revolution. About the year 1776, he edited the U. S. Magazine, a political work, in Philadelphia. It abounded in appeals to American patriotism, and occasionally plied the lash of satire. In 1777 he joined the revolutionary army as chaplain to a regiment; lived in camp, preached to the soldiers, and attended them to the battle-field as in the time of the Covenanters. His sermons were of course political. He soon after abandoned the clerical profession, becoming somewhat skeptical as regarded the tenets of certain sects, and studied law with Judge Chase, of the Supreme Court of the U. S. He crossed the mountains to Pittsburg in 1781, and was not long in establishing a reputation in the western counties ; and sometime afterwards, in 1788, when the county of Allegheny was established, he was already at the head of the bar of western Pennsylvania. In a few
years he was elected to the legislature, where he took an active part in favor of instructing congress to demand the free navigation of the Mississippi. When the great struggle for and against the federal constitution came on, he “fought a hard battle in its defence.” Findlay, Gallatin, and others, with whom he afterwards acted in the western insurrection, were in the opposition.
Mr. Brackenridge prospered in his profession, laid the foundation of a large fortune, married, and was universally respected for his integrity and talents. He was popular, and was looked up to as the champion of popular rights. He adhered, after the adoption of the constitution, to the republican, or democratic party. At the date of the great whiskey insurrection, Mr. Brackenridge was about in the forty-fourth year of his age. In this affair he took an important, dangerous, but honorable part, although his conduct at the time was misrepresented by his enemies, and was, for a while, misunderstood. The part which he played in this great crisis was to appear to side with the insurgents-not for the purpose of betraying them, but—to gain their confidence, and get the lead in their movements in such a way as to moderate their impetuosity, and keep them, as far as possible, within the bounds of reason and law, and eventually to bring about a reconciliation, without bloodshed, with the general government. In this he eventually succeeded; but he himself had like to have been arraigned for high treason, until his conduct was satisfactorily explained.
Two years after the insurrection, Mr. Brackenridge published the first volume of Modern Chivalry, a comic and satirical work, but abounding in great political and philosophical views under the guise of pleasantry, in which many traces of those times may be discovered. His object was to indoctrinate the people in the true principles of a democratic republic.
He was one of the most active and efficient in bringing about the revolution of party in the years 1799–1800. On the election of Gov. McKean,
he was appointed a judge of the supreme court of the state, which place he continued to fill until his death, in 1816.
Few combined a greater variety of brilliant qualities. He was a man of decided talents, with a commanding person, an eagle eye, highly popular manners, and a mind richly stored with various learning. He had a profound knowledge of men, possessed great address, could reason clearly, and make the blood run cold by touches of genuine eloquence. His wit was rather delicate irony, than broad humor, and always employed as the means of conveying some important truth, or correcting something wrong. Originality was the peculiar characteristic of his mind.
BIRMINGHAM.- This borough is situated one mile south of Pittsburg, on the opposite side of the Monongahela river, upon the Birmingham and Elizabeth turnpike. Its location is a beautiful one; and in manufacturing interest it partakes of the character of its English namesake,—having within its limits four glass manufacturing establishments-two of all kinds of window and green glass, belonging to Messrs. C. Ihmsen and S. M'Kee & Co., and two flint glass works, one of which belongs to Messrs. O'Leary, Mulvany & Co., and the other suspended at the present time. There are also two extensive iron establishments belonging to Messrs. Wood, Edwards & M'Knights, a large lock factory belonging to James Patterson, sen., a white-lead factory belonging to Mr. Isaac Gregg, several extensive coal establishments, and breweries, together with artisans of various kinds—the whole constituting as useful and industrious a population as any place of the size in our country can boast of. It has two churches, a Presbyterian and a Methodist, and a flourishing temperance society.
Sligo extends, on the south side of the Monongahela, from the bridge, to Temperance village on Saw Mill run, and Millersville on the Washington turnpike. Within this district there are three very extensive iron establishments: the Sligo iron works, owned by Lyon, Shorb & Co.; the Pittsburg iron works, belonging to Messrs. Lorenz, Sterling & Co.; and Robinson & Minis' extensive foundry and boat yard, where the iron steamer Valley Forge was built. There are also several glass establishments, belonging to Messrs. Wm. M'Cully & Co., and a steam saw-mill attached to the boat yard The coal for the use of these works, as well as large quantities for exportation, is let down by railroads from the hill above to the very doors of the furnaces. One owned by Mr. Smith exports large quantities. In Temperance village there are likewise several coal establishments, and a salt establishment-a large saw-mill-an extensive axe factory, where the best articles of edge tools are made-and a steam flouring-mill. This village has two churches
and a large number of industrious mechanics reside here. On the hills around are several delightful country residences,
MANCHESTER occupies a delightful site on the right bank of the Ohio, a mile or two below Pittsburg. Near the river are several thriving manufacturing establishments, such as plough and wagon manufactories, extensive steam saw-mills, paper- mill, &c.,—while the higher grounds are adorned with beautiful country-seats, surrounded with tall shade trees and gardens, and commanding an extensive view of Pittsburg and the river scenery. Manchester has grown up principally within the last ten or twelve years.
LAURENCEVILLE, named in honor of the gallant Capt. Laurence of the U. S. navy, was located in 1816 by Wm. B. Foster, Esq. It is pleasantly situated on the left bank of the Allegheny, 2 1-2 miles above Pittsburg. The U. S. Arsenal, noticed under the head of Pittsburg, stands near the centre of the village. Immediately around the town are several extensive manufacturing establishments-paper-mill, woollen manufactory, edge tool manufactory, brewery, &c. Above the town a short distance is Messrs. Noble and Bayard's steamboat yard, where a large steam sawmill and other extensive works are in operation. In this vicinity, on the higher grounds, are the splendid mansions of Messrs. Bayard and other wealthy citizens of Pittsburg. Laurenceville contains three churchesEpiscopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian,—and the Lyceum, a literary institution.
Washington's island is directly opposite the arsenal. The following extract from Washington's journal while returning from his visit to Fort Le Bæuf in 1753, describes a trying scene which he encountered at this place. He had left his horses and heavy baggage, and for the sake of expedition was travelling with Mr. Gist on foot.
I took my necessary papers, pulled off my clothes, and tied myself up in a watch-coat. Then, with gun in hand, and pack on my back, in which were my papers and provisions, I set out with Mr. Gist, fitted in the same manner, on Wednesday the 26th Dec. The day following, just after we had passed a place called Murdering Town, (where we intended to quit the path and steer across the country for Shannopin's Town,) we fell in with a party of French Indians, who had lain in wait for us. One of them fired at Mr. Gist or me, not fifteen steps off, but fortunately missed. We took this fellow into custody, and kept him until about nine o'clock at night, then let him go, and walked all the remaining part of the night without making any stop, that we might get the start so far as to be out of the reach of their pursuit the next day, since we were well assured they would follow our track as soon as it was light. The next day we continued travelling until quite dark, and got to the river about two miles above Shannopin's. We expected to have found the river frozen, but it was not, only about fifty yards from each shore. The ice, I suppose, had broken up above, for it was driving in vast quantities.
There was no way for getting over but on a raft, which we set about with but one poor hatchet, and finished just after sun-setting. This was a whole day's work : we next got it launched, then went on board of it, and set off; but before we were half way over, we were jammed in the ice in such a manner that we expected every moment our raft to sink, and ourselves to perish. I put out my setting-pole to try to stop the raft, that the ice might pass by, when the rapidity of the stream threw it with so much violence against the pole, that it jerked me out into ten feet water; but I fortunately saved myself by catching hold of one of the raft-logs. Notwithstanding all our efforts, we could not get to either shore, but were obliged, as we were near an island, to quit our raft and make to it.
The cold was so extremely severe, that Mr. Gist had all his fingers and some of his toes frozen; and the water was shut up so hard, that we found no difficulty in getting off the island on the ice in the morning, and went to Mr. Frazier's.
As we intended to take horses here, and it required some time to find them, I went up about three miles to the mouth of Youghiogany, to visit Queen Aliquippa, who had expressed great con. cern that we passed her in going to the fort. I made her a present of a watch-coat and a bottle of rum, which latter was thought much the better present of the two.
Tuesday, the 1st of January, we left Mr. Frazier's house, and arrived at Mr. Gist's, at Mo nongahela, the 2d, where I bought a horse and saddle. The 6th, we met seventeen horses loaded with materials and stores for a fort at the Fork of the Ohio, and the day after, some families go. ing out to settle. This day, we arrived at Will's Creek, after as fatiguing a journey as it is pos sible to conceive, rendered so by excessive bad weather.
East LIBERTY.—This handsome town is situated five miles east of Pittsburg, on the Greensburg and Philadelphia turnpike. It was laid out more than twenty years since, by the late Jacob Negly, Esq. It is surrounded by a delightful country, over which many beautiful country-seats belonging to wealthy citizens are scattered.
WILKINSBURGH.-Wilkinsburgh is pleasantly situated near the turnpike to
Chambers buite ba; the Northern turnpike, leading to Blairsville, intersects
About two and a half miles south is the celebrated Braddock's Field, on the Monongahela river, a place interesting for its historical reminis
For a long time the prosperity of this delightful village was cences. paralyzed, and its inhabitants disheartened by litigations attending
uncertain titles to the soil ; but this difficulty has been removed, a new impetus has been given to business, good buildings are being erected, important improvements are making, and Wilkinsburgh is becoming a desirable location for country-seats. There are many flourishing farms and gardens in and around it, and within a mile of the village, the Hon. Wm. Wilkins, our late ambassador to Russia, has a most charming countryseat. Mr. Wm. Peebles, Major A. Horback, and several others have pleasant country residences in this neighborhood.
MINERSVILLE.—This village is pleasantly situated about two miles east of Pittsburg, on a new turnpike road, from Pittsburg to East Liberty. It is the dwelling-place of a number of very respectable families, whose neat houses and flourishing farms and gardens, and other choice improvements, surrounded by the naturally picturesque scenery, render it a very desirable residence. There are some of the best coal pits in the vicinity here. There are two churches, (Presbyterian and Welsh,) and the population is sober, intelligent, and industrious. As much mining is done here, a large proportion of the inhabitants are Welsh.
SHARPSBURGH.-Sharpsburgh is pleasantly situated on the right bank of the Allegheny river, five miles above Pittsburg. The Pennsylvania canal passes through it. It has two churches, hotels, stores, a sash manufactory, and 3 boat yards, at which several steamboats and a number of keels are built yearly. There is a chain ferry at this place across the Allegheny. The population is sober, industrious, and enterprising.
STEWARTSTOWN.-Stewartstown is a pleasant village, situated on the Butler turnpike, five miles from Pittsburg. There is an extensive iron establishment and several industrious merchants, mechanics, &c., here.
ELIZABETHTOWN is a beautifully situated manufacturing town, lying on the right bank of the Monongahela river, 16 miles above Pittsburg. The town was originally laid off by the late Col. Stephen Bayard, in 1787, who brought out from Philadelphia a company of ship-carpenters, and established the building of vessels at this point in 1800, and in the following year they built the schooner Monongahela Farmer, owned by the builders and farmers of the neighborhood, who loaded her with a cargo of flour, &c., and she sailed, via New Orleans, for New York. In 1803, the brig Ann Jane, of 450 tons, was built here for the Messrs. M'Farlane, merchants, who loaded her with flour and whiskey, and sailed her to New York. This vessel was one of the fastest sailers of her day, and was run as a packet to New Orleans for some time.
From the above period to the present time, Elizabethtown has done a large share of building, and has turned out some thousands of tons of boats, barges, and other river crafts.
In 1826, the steamboat building was commenced by Messrs. Walker & Stephens.
This place has 3 churches, Methodist, Baptist, and Covenanters; also, 3 steamboat yards, several saw-mills, 1 steam flour-mill, 1 glass manu
factory, 1 woollen manufactory, &c. The completion of the Monongahela slackwater steamboat navigation has added greatly to the commercial advantages of this place.
SHOUSETOWN is pleasantly located on the left bank of the Ohio river, 15 miles below Pittsburg. It has a population of 150 inhabitants, the greater part of whom are engaged in the building of steamboats. The value of steamboats built in this place in the last ten years, averages about $50,000 per annum.
This place is surrounded with a most extensive farming neighborhood, bordering on the river.
There are 2 large steam saw-mills, a house of worship, built and recorded as such by Mr. Peter Shouse; 1 public school.
M'KEESPORT is 12 miles above Pittsburg, by land, and about 16 by the river, and is pleasantly situated on the Monongahela, at the junction of the Yough'ogheny.
There are considerable shipments of bituminous coal from this point ; 10 collieries are in active employ within one mile of the village, where about two million bushels of the best bituminous coal are annually shipped, at an expense of 4 cents per bushel, and resold at the various points from the mouth of the Ohio to New Orleans. The village, its suburbs, and collieries, comprise about 100 houses, having a population of about 500 persons, including 1 steam flour-mill, 2 steam saw-mills, 1 steam woollen factory, several establishments for boat building, 3 taverns, a church, school-house, &c.
NOBLESTOWN, or NOBLESBORO, is situated 12 miles S. W. from Pittsburg, in a rich agricultural neighborhood. This place has a population of 250 inhabitants. It has 1 church-Scotch Seceders-1 steam grist-mill, 1 saw-mill, 3 stores.
BAKERsTown is pleasantly situated in a healthy agricultural neighborhood, 16 miles from Pittsburg, and about 15 miles from Butler, on the turnpike. A good many old farmers live around it, who annually bring a considerable surplus of all kinds of produce to the Pittsburg market.
TARENTUM is a well-built village, on the Pennsylvania canal, 21 miles from Pittsburg, near the right bank of the Allegheny river. The locks of the canal afford an excellent water power. There are several mills here propelled both by water and steam. In the township are six salt works and several coal mines. The village has two churches, Presbyterian and Union. Near this place, on the immediate bank of the river, is the mansion and farm of Hon. H. M. Breckenridge, lately district judge in Florida, member of congress, &c., and distinguished also as the author of several interesting volumes, from one of which we have been kindly permitted to make several extracts in this work. Mr. Breckenridge thinks that his farm was once the site of an ancient Indian village. His son has found upon the place many curious Indian relics, such as axes, hatchets, pipe, &c.
There are several other villages in Allegheny co., of which our limits will not permit an extended notice, such are Howardsville, Perritsport, Perrysville, Middleton, Jeffriestown, &c. &c. For many of the short statistical notices inserted above, we are indebted to Mr. Harris's Pittsburg Directory for 1837 and 1841.