"A Law having passed yesterday for erecting a part of the County of Bedford into a separate County, called Westmoreland, and Arthur St. Clair, Esq., the Present Prothonotary, &., of Bedford, having requested the governor to Grant him the offices in the new County, in lieu of those he now holds in Bedford County, His Honor was this day pleased to appoint him to the Several offices following, in the said County of Westmoreland, by three Separate Commissions, under the Great Seal of the Province, viz.: Prothonotary or principal Clerk of the County Court of Common Pleas, Clerk or Register of the Orphans' Court, and Recorder of Deeds." ¹

The courts of Westmoreland County are now organized, and, as the extracts soon to be given from their records will show, the people west of the Monongahela were within the benefits afforded thereby. Up to this time no roads had ever been established by authority of law south of Pittsburgh and between the two rivers, and whatever legal jurisdiction had been exercised was, like the condition of the settlements themselves, of a kind not very concentrated.

The Provincial System.—It should be remembered, too, that at this time Pennsylvania was still a proprietary province, its people bearing allegiance to the English sovereign. To understand the form of government, soon to be changed (not very radically, it is true, except as to the sovereign power), it must suffice to say that the proprietary form of government was one in which the proprietary was granted the ownership of the lands, and became the Governor of the people to whom the lands were conveyed by him, subject only, as to his political power, to the supreme sovereignty of the king. By the charter granted by Charles II. in 1681,² he conveyed to Mr. Penn, his heirs and assigns, all the territory within the limits specified :

" And him, the said William Penn, his heirs and assigns, we do by this our royal charter, for us, our heirs and successors, make create and con-

¹ X. Col. Records, 77. As we shall meet with Arthur St. Clair frequently hereafter, a brief sketch may be acceptable. He was born in the town of Thurso, in Caithney, Scotland, in 1734; was educated at the University of Edinburgh; studied medicine with the celebrated Dr. William Hunter, of London, but in 1757 entered the military service of Great Britain in the Sixtieth, or Royal American, Regiment of Foot, and became a subordinate of Gen. Amherst in America. He was with Gen. Wolfe in the reduction of Quebec and the battle on the Plaine of Abraham, Sept. 13, 1759, and resigning from the British army in 1762, first removed to Bedford, then to Ligonier valley in 1764. In 1770 he was appointed surveyor for Cumberland County, and the same year became a justice of the courts and a member of the Council for that county. When Bedford County was created, in 1771, he was made a justice of its courts, prothonotary, clerk, and register. When the conflict of jurisdiction occurred between Pennsylvania and Virginia, he was a zealous Pennsylvanian, but the Revolution coming on, he entered the Continental service, was made a major-general, became an intimate with Gen. Washington, and served with distinction to the end of the war. In 1783 he was a member of the Council of Censors (St. Clair Papers, 116); delegate to Congress, 1785-87, and president of that body in 1787; appointed Governor of the Northwestern Territory in 1788. In January 1790, fixed the seat of justice for the Territory at Cincinnati, naming the place after the order of which he was president in Pennsylvania from 1783 to 1789. In 1791 suffered a severe defeat in an engagement with the Indians of the Miami and the Wabash. He resigned his commission of general in 1792, and in 1802 he was removed by President Jefferson from his governorship. Being the life-long friend of Washington, he was also an ardent Federalist. Retiring to a small log cabin on Chestnut Ridge, he spent the remainder of his days in poverty. Truly republics are ungrateful!

² See I. Dail. L., App. 1.

stitute the true and absolute proprietary of the country aforesaid, and of all other the premises ; saving always to us, our heirs and successors, the faith and allegiance of the said William Penn, his heirs and assigns, and of all other proprietaries, tenants and inhabitants, that are, or shall be, within the territories and precincts aforesaid; and saving also unto us, our heirs and successors, the sovereignty of the aforesaid country; to have and to hold, possess and enjoy the said tract of land, country, isles, inlets, and other the premises, unto the said William Penn, his heirs and assigns, forever; to be holden of us, our heirs and successors, Kings of England, as of our castle of Windsor, in the county of Berke, in free and common socage, by fealty only, for all services and not in capite, or by Knight service; yielding and paying therefor to us, our heirs and successors, two Beaver skins, to be delivered at our Castle of Windsor. on the first day of January, in every year; and also the fifth part of all gold and silver ore which shall from time to time happen to be found within the limits aforesaid, clear of all charges. And of our further grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, We have thought fit to erect, and we do hereby erect, the aforesaid country and islands into a province and seignory, and do call it Pennsylvania, and so from henceforth will have it called."

This, the Section III. of the charter, clearly indicates the absolute character of the grant to Penn, so far as his ownership and power of disposition of lands were concerned. In the vault of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia are preserved the original certificates for the payment of the last installment of two beaver-skins deliverable to the king, in accordance with the terms of the section quoted. They are dated Jan. 1, 1780, and the formalities observed and apparent upon the papers are somewhat interesting.

The form of government and the judicial system authorized by the charter and established for the province of Pennsylvania may now be briefly noticed.

The Governors were appointed by the proprietaries, by and with the advice of the king and Council. The executive department was composed of the Governor and his Council, and did not sit as an upper house, the entire legislative power being vested in a single body of representatives chosen by the people.

After 1710 the highest court was the Supreme Court, with law and equity sides, the equity jurisdiction, however, being discontinued by the act of 1767. The court consisted of four judges learned in the law, one of whom was distinguished in his commission as the chief justice, and any two of whom might hold the court. It held two sessions in bane annually in Philadelphia, and had appellate jurisdiction over all the inferior courts in criminal, and in civil cases above fifty pounds in value. The judges were required to go the circuit of the several counties twice a year, if necessary, to try issues of fact pending therein, and these circuit courts might be holden by one judge. These judges, as well as the justices of the inferior courts and of the peace, appear to have been commissioned to hold office for life, or during good behavior, which meant at the will of the Governor, by whom they were appointed.

The county Courts of Common Pleas, Courts of General Quarter Sessions, and Orphans' Courts, "for protecting the interests of minors and regulating the


affairs of decedents," were held by the justices of the peace of the county, who were not required to be learned in the law, and whose number depended entirely upon the will of the Governor. Three of the justices constituted a quorum, and the one first named in the commission became the president by long established usage. The courts were held four times in each year. The Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace appeared to be the principal county court, and in it might sit all the justices of the peace of the county, while the Court of Common Pleas and the Orphans' Court were held by the same justices, or some of them, specially commissioned therefor; but these courts seem to have been of minor importance, the Supreme Court drawing to it the chief part of the civil business. Criminal causes of a high grade, such as were triable only in the Court of Oyer and Terminer, were tried by commissioners specially appointed and authorized. The power thus to create commissioners for the trial of criminal offenses becoming objectionable, was first prohibited by the State constitution of 1790.

The lowest court was that of the local magistrate or justice of the peace, with the jurisdiction to examine into charges of criminal offenses, and in civil matters to try Causes involving less than forty shillings.

The sheriffs (and the coroners as well) were appointed by the Governor within three days after return made to him from two persons chosen by the freemen of each county, and in default of such appointment the first person on the return was entitled to the office.

The prothonotary or "Principal Clerk" and the clerk of each county were each appointed from three persons nominated by the justices of the peace, and if one of them were not commissioned within ten days, the highest on the list held the office,¹

Westmoreland County Records. —The early records of the courts of Westmoreland County, to

return from the digression, were kept by Arthur St. Clair, whose several commissions as "Prothonotary or Principal Clerk" of the Court of Common Pleas, clerk of the Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, and clerk of the Orphans' Court are dated Feb. 27, 1773, in the thirteenth year of the reign of His Majesty George III., and purport to have been granted by "Richard Penn, Esq., Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-chief of the Province of Pennsylvania and Counties of New Castle, Bent, and Sussex on the Delaware." The penmanship displayed in the keeping of these records is indicative of a high degree of care and method.

¹ The outline above given of the provincial judicial system is believed to be accurate, though in the conflicting accounts by different writers to be sure of accuracy is of some difficulty. The reader is referred to Gordon's History of Pennsylvania, 121 and 547-48; Lodge's English Colonies, 231, 232; Futhey and Cope's History of Chester County, 364, et sequitur.

William Crawford was the president judge, as stated, until the order of Council for his removal was passed in 1775.²

It has been thought best, for the sake of clearness, first to cull from the records of Westmoreland County the transactions affecting the inhabitants west of the Monongahela up to the time of the organization of our own county, then to retrace our way to the beginning of the "Boundary Controversy," occurring immediately upon the organization of Westmoreland, and not terminated until immediately preceding the creation of Washington County.

The very first act of the first court ever held by English-speaking people west of the Allegheny Mountains, to wit, the Quarter Sessions of Westmoreland County, is recorded as follows :

"At a court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace held at Robert Hanna's Esquire for the county of Westmoreland the sixth day of April in the thirteenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the third, By the Grace of God of Great Britain and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, Ac., And in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-three, Before William Crawford, Esq., and his associates Justices of the same court.

"The Court proceeded to divide the said county into the following townships by the limits and descriptions hereafter following, viz.:"

Omitting the townships which did not extend west of the Monongahela, the townships created by this order were the two following, in the language of the order:

"Pitt.—Beginning at the mouth of Kiskeminitas and running down the Allegheny River to its junction with the Monongahela, then down the Ohio to the Western Limits of the Province, thence up the Western Boundary to the line of Springhill, thence with that line to the mouth of Redstone Creek, thence down the Monongahela to the month of Youghiogheny, thence with the line of Hempfield to the mouth of Brush

Run, thence with the line of said Township to the Beginning."

* * * * * * *

"Springhill.—Beginning at the Mouth of Redstone creek and running thence a due West course to the Western Boundary of the Province, thence by the Province line to the Southern Boundary of the Province, thence east with that Hue to where it crosses the Youghiogheny, thence with the Youghiogheny to Laurel Hill, thence with the line of Tyrone to Gist's, and thence with that line to the beginning." ³

As will be seen hereafter, Washington County when stricken off from Westmoreland embraced all the territory lying between the Monongahela and the western boundary of the State, and south' of the Monongahela and Ohio at Pittsburgh. Therefore, drawing a line due west from the mouth of Redstone Creek (Brownsville), this line is the division line between the old townships of Westmoreland County. That line passed through East Bethlehem township

² "At a Council held at Philadelphia, 25th January, 1775. . . . Captain St. Clair appearing at the Board and representing that William Crawford, Esquire, President of the Court in Westmoreland County, hath lately joined with the Government of Virginia in opposing the Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania in the County, the board advised the Governor to supersede him in his office as Justice of the Peace and Common Pleas. A Supersedeas was accordingly ordered to be issued."—X. Col. Records, 228.

³ It is observed that as to Pitt and Springhill townships, embracing the territory west of the Monongahela River, Westmoreland County adopted the lines previously established by Bedford County.


centrally, through the southern ends of West Bethlehem and Amwell, and centrally through Morris, East Finley, and 'West Finley, these being the townships bordering on Greene County. All of Washington County north of that line was in Pitt township; all south of that line, as well as all of Greene County, was in Springhill township.

The first grand inquest contains the name of William Teegarden, Jr. This was either a William Teegarden who lived on the old Forbes road to Pittsburgh, or another William Teegarden who kept a ferry near the mouth of Ten-Mile Creek.

The first cause entered at this 'term of court was :

" The King v Garrett Pendergrast, Jr.” Forcible Entry. True Bill. Defendant being three times called appears not: process awarded; per cur."

It is interesting to note that the first proceeding in any court of justice west of the Alleghanies to lay out a public highway was instituted for the benefit of residents west of the Monongahela, for at this the first term of the Quarter Sessions of Westmoreland County, upon the petition of inhabitants of Springhill township, John Moore, Thomas Scott, Henry Beason, Thomas Brownfield, James McClean, and Philip Shute were appointed viewers to view and lay out a road:

"To begin at or near the Mouth of a run known by the name of Fish Pott run about two miles below the Mouth of Ten Nile Creek, on the west side of Monongahela River (it being a convenient place for a ferry, as also a good direction for a leading road to the most western parts of the Settlements), thence the nearest and best way to the Forks of Dunlap's Path and General Braddock's Road on the top of Laurel Hill."¹

At the second term of the Quarter Sessions, held July 6, 1773, the grand inquest contained inter alia the following names : James Crawford, living nearly opposite Fredericktown ; James Devore, adjoining Andrew Devore, also kept a ferry at the mouth of Pigeon Creek ; Brice Virgin, and Henry Taylor. At this term there were two bills of indictment for Riot

¹ It is singular that the stream of water entering the river "two miles below the mouth of Ten-Mile," though the distance is not quite so great, should have had the mime Fish Pot in 1773, the same name by which it is still known. The old road laid out across the river at this place was long a leading thoroughfare to the West. John S. Williams, in 2 American Pioneer, 442, describes the trip of his family from North Carolina to Marietta in 1802: " The mountain roads (if roads they could be called, for pack-horses were still on them) were of the most dangerous and difficult character. I have heard an old mountain tavern-keeper say that, although the taverns were less than two miles apart in years after we came, he has known many emigrant families that stopped a night at every tavern on the mountains. I recollect but few of our night stands distinctly, say . . . Tomlinson's (near Cumberland), Beesontown (Uniontown), Simpkins', and Merrittstown. . . . After a tedious journey we all arrived safe at Fredericktown, Washington Co., Pa., where we stopped to await the opening of the land-office at Steubenville... Made another start . . . in the afternoon and lay at Benjamin Townsend's at Fish Pot Run ; we lay also at the Blue Ball, near Washington ; at Rice's, on the Buffalo; and at Warren, on the Ohio." This party crossed at Millsboro' doubtless, although there was a ferry at the mouth of Fish Pot Run kept by James Crawford, and to this day the Crawfords reside across the river opposite. Oliver Crawford kept a ferry at the mouth of Muddy Creek.

found against Henry Vanmetre, Abraham Vanmetre, Jacob Vanmetre, Simeon Moore, Jesse Pigman, Nathan Freaks, Thomas Roach, Daniel Murdoch (Moredoch), Charles Swan, John Swan, John Swan, Jr., Thomas Swan, Thomas Hughes, James Johnson, and one Harrison, all residents of what is now Greene County.

The grand inquest of the next term, Oct. 6, 1773, contained the names of Joseph Beelor, residing on Chartiers Creek, below the mouth of the Eastern Branch, in Peters township, James Crawford, and John McDonald. At this term there was a true bill for a misdemeanor, name not given, found against Simon Girty,² and process for his arrest awarded. James Brigland pleaded guilty to an indictment for a felony, and was punished by "ten lashes well laid on" at the public whipping-post and a fine of twenty shillings. Luke Pickett suffered a similar punishment for a like offense. William Hawkins was held in £100, and Joshua Wright in £50, in a recognizance for the appearance of the former at the next term to answer to "a certain bill of indictment."³ Benjamin Kuykendall was held in £20, with William Teegarden as his surety in £10, for his appearance as a witness against Hawkins. At this time it is recorded: "John Williams is appointed constable in Pitt "township over the Monongahela River." This may have been the same John Williams who helped to build Henry Taylor's cabin, near Catfish Camp, in 1770. Record is also made at this term of the following :

"Upon the Petition of Divers Inhabitants pf the township of Pitt, in the county of Westmoreland, Humbly showing that whereas your Petitioners together with a number of other Inhabitants of the Township aforesaid labor under great difficulties and disadvantages for want of a Public Road leading from the South-West side of the Monongahela River opposite to the town of Pittsburg, by Doctor Edward Hand's Land on Chartiers to the Settlement up said creek supposed to be at or near the western Boundary of the Province of Pennsylvania: And praying the Court would nominate and appoint men to view and examine the same and if they could find it necessary & Convenient that then & in such case to lay out a Public Road as they shall think may be least to the damage of the Neighbors or parties concerned & least injurious to the Inhabitants thereabouts and make return thereof under their hands to the Court, agreeable to an Act of Assembly in such Case made and Provided. The Court appoints John Campbell, Benjamin Ronow, Phillip Ross, Christopher Miller, Jacob Bousman, and Andrew Robison to view the said road & that they or any four of them if they see cause do lay out the same as a Public Road by courses & distance the nearest and best way and make Report of their Proceedings to the next Court."

² This was the same Simon Girty, notorious in the border warfare, who, in the spring of 1778, with Alexander McKee and Matthew Elliott, deserted to the British—Indians, and in 1782 was present at the burning and torture of Col. William Crawford.

³ Both William Hawkins and Joshua Wright lived upon Peters Creek, and the latter was the great-grandfather of Joshua Wright, of Washington. Benjamin Kuykendall also lived on Peters Creek, near the Monongahela River, and was afterwards a justice in the Yohogania court. "I crossed the Monongahela at 11 o'clock to-day, and went on foot two and one-half miles to Kerkendal’s mills, where I bought four barrels of best flour at lie. Rd. per barrel, and one barrel of whiskey, thirty gallons, at 11s. 8d. per gallon, all to be landed free of charge at the river this evening. The landlord tried his skill at aching, but caught nothing except a terrible fish, if such it may be called, named an alligator."—Col. Map's Journal, Tuesday, May 60.786, p. 32.


This was the first road ever laid out by judicial proceedings in any part of what is now Washington County, and doubtless one terminus was in the neighborhood of Washington. John Campbell lived in Lower Chartiers, Jacob Bausman on the "South Side" of the river at Pittsburgh, where his descendants yet reside, and Dr. Edward Hand was surgeon's mate "in his Majesties 18th reg't of Foot" at Fort Pitt before that post was abandoned by the English forces.

At this term record was made of the oaths of Joseph Beelor and James Caveat as county commissioners.

1774 The next term of the Quarter Sessions was held the first Tuesday of January, 1774, when Andrew Pierce, Moses Brady, Morgan Morgan, David Allen, Henry Taylor, and John Kennon (doubtless John Canon) were appointed viewers " upon the petn. of divers Inhabitants of Springhill & Pitt township," to view a road " to begin at Thomas Guess's [Gist's, Fayette County,] and from thence to Paul Froman's Mill near the River Monongahela, [mouth of Mingo], and from thence to another Mill of the said Paul Froman's on Chartiers Creek."¹

At the term of the Quarter Sessions held in April, 1774, there were quite a number of cases against Baltzer Shilling, who annoyed old Henry Taylor in 1770 by marking trees, etc., as noticed in a note to a preceding page. There was also an indictment for Riot against Adam Alexander, also mentioned in the note referred to. Charges of the offenses of Riot and Forcible Entry and Detainer are quite frequent all through these records, originating no doubt in personal controversies concerning land titles. The records of this term's business in the Quarter Sessions show the following interesting road proceeding:

"Upon the Petition of a number of the Inhabitants of Tyrone and Menallin townships. setting forth that they are under difficult circumstances for want of a Public Road leading into Braddock's Road on any part of the mountain; And further, we would observe to your worships that from the natural situation of the country, we at present who live on the west side of Monongahela River, are obliged frequently to carry our corn the distance of twenty miles to the mill of Henry Beason, near Laurel Hill, and in all probability at some season& of the year will ever have to do so; And praying your worships would be pleased to grunt us a Public Road to begin on the east side of the Monongahela River, near the Old Fort, thence the nearest and best way to intersect Brad-dock's Road near the forks of Dunlap's Path and said road on the top of Laurel Hill.

"The court appoints Richard Waller, Andrew Linn, Jr., William Colvin, Thomas Crooks, Henry Hart, and Joseph Graybill, viewers, etc."

Beeson's mill, where Uniontown now is, being fed by a mountain stream, was more available in dry seasons of the year than either of Froman's mills on the " West Side." Thomas Crooks was then, or soon afterward, of near Hillsborough. Joseph Graybill, of

¹ Paul Froman immigrated from York County, Pa., to the Shenandoah valley, Pa., in 1732, and very early came thence to this country. His mill on Chartiers Creek was on the Eastern Branch, and the same with Beck's Mills in North Strabane. The tract on which it stood contained fourteen hundred acres, and was conveyed by Froman to Dorsey Pentecost, Nov. 20, 1777.

Fallowfield township, was an ancestor of the present Grables on Pigeon Creek.

Passing now to the October term, 1775, of the Quarter Sessions, among the names of the grand jurors are Joseph Brownlee, Thomas Applegate, and William Teegarden. The state of 1775. social science of the times is illustrated by a record made at this term, which is copied entire:

Elizabeth Smith.

"The King v Elizabeth Smith” Felony (true Bill): Defendant being arraigned pleads guilty and submits to the Court.

"Judgment that the said Elizabeth Smith be taken this afternoon (being the eleventh instant) between the hours of three and five, and there to receive fifteen lashes on her Bare Back well laid oil ; that she pay a fine of eighteen shillings and five pence to his Honour the Governor ; that she make restitution of the goods stolen ; that she pay the costs of prosecution and stand committed till complied with. Sheriff re-calved his fee and fine: clerks fees and attorneys fees paid. "Judgment."

But this was not the end of poor Elizabeth Smith's case. She was an indented servant, i.e., a white person sold for a term of years, perhaps for her passage-money across the ocean. This is indicated by an order made the next day upon a petition setting forth that the Elizabeth Smith so tried and punished was a servant of James Kinkaid, the petitioner, who prayed that she might be ordered to serve additional time for the period she had been confined in the county jail, and it was so ordered.

The next term of the Quarter Sessions was held on the second Tuesday of April, 1776. Observe that this was but a short time before the meeting of the Provincial Conference at Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia. There were several orders made relating to township lines, roads, and in recognizances in criminal causes, but no business of importance to us was transacted. Then there is an interregnum, and there are no records of any court held thereafter until Jan. 6, 1778, almost two years. For the last time is "The King" made the plaintiff in criminal prosecutions. A new order of things is about to be established. The people of Pennsylvania are soon to assume the sovereign power of governing themselves. This change of government and the manner in which our jurisprudence was affected by it will now be briefly sketched.

The Revolution.—A " Provincial Convention for the Province of Pennsylvania"² had been held at Philadelphia on Jan. 23, 1775, and continued by adjournments from day to day to the 28th. Similar conventions were held in other provinces and colonies. At this Philadelphia convention each of the counties except Westmoreland was represented, and resolutions were passed heartily approving the conduct and proceedings of the Continental Congress, and it was resolved that the convention would faithfully endeavor to carry into execution the measures of the Association entered into and recommended by them, that it

² III. Penna. Archives, Sec 8, 625.


was the most earnest wish and desire of the convention to see harmony restored between Great Britain and her colonies, " . . . but if the humble and loyal petition of said Congress to his most gracious Majesty should be disregarded, and the British administration, instead of redressing our grievances, should determine by force to effect a submission to the late arbitrary acts of the British Parliament, in such a situation we hold it our indispensable duty to resist such force, and at every hazard to defend the rights and liberties of America." Other resolutions were adopted designed to stimulate the production of a sufficient supply of articles necessary for subsistence, clothing, and defense ; " that from and after the first day of March next no person or persons should use in his, her, or their families, unless in cases of necessity, and on no account to sell to the butchers or kill for the market, any sheep under four years old. And where there is a necessity for using any mutton in their families, it is recommended to them to kill such as are the least profitable to keep." The manufacture of madder and other dye-stuffs and the raising of flax and hemp was also recommended. And it was also significantly

"Resolved, unanimously, That saltpetre being an article of great use and consumption, we recommend the making of it, and are further of opinion it may be done to great advantage.

"Resolved, unanimously, That the necessity we may be under for gunpowder, especially in the Indian trade, induces us to recommend the manufacturing of that article as largely as possible by such persons who are or may be owners of powder-mills in this province."

Of course this saltpetre and gunpowder were for use only in trade and innocent consumption ! The necessity for the production of every article required for consumption—nails and wire, steel, paper, glass, wool-combs and cards, copper sheets, bottoms and kettles, fulling-mills, barley, tin plates, and printing types—was strongly impressed upon the people; and it was finally resolved that the Committees of Correspondence for the city and liberties of Philadelphia should be a standing Committee of Correspondence for the several counties here represented, " and that if it should at any time hereafter appear to the Committee of Correspondence of the city and liberties that the situation of public affairs renders a provincial convention necessary, that the said Committee of Correspondence do give the earliest notice thereof to the committees of the several counties."

1776. Thus it came about that on June 18, 1776, "a number of gentlemen met at Carpenter's Hall, in Philadelphia, being deputed by the committees of several of the counties of this province, to join in a provincial conference, in consequence of a circular letter from the committee of the city and liberties of Philadelphia, inclosing the resolutions of the Continental Congress of the 15th of May last."¹ At this convention of deputies, known as "The Provincial Conference," Westmoreland County was rep-

¹ III. Penn. Archives, Sec. S, 635.

resented by Edward Cook and James Perry. The resolutions of the Continental Congress referred to recommended the total suppression of all authority under the king of Great Britain, and provided,—

"That it be recommended to the respective assemblies and conventions of the united colonies, where no government sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs has been hitherto established, to adopt such government as shall, in the opinion of the representatives of the people, beet conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular and America in general."

By special order this resolution of such great moment was read a second time, and after mature consideration, as the record states,

"Resolved, unanimously, That the said resolution of Congress of 15th of May last is fully approved by this conference.

"On motion, Resolved, unanimously, That the present government of this province is not competent to the exigencies of our affairs.

"On motion, Resolved, N. C. D.,² That it is necessary that a provincial convention be called by this conference for the express purpose of forming a new government in this province on the authority of the people only."

The conference then proceeded to determine the number of which the convention should consist, and what should be the qualifications of the electors and of the persons who might be elected. It was resolved that eight representatives be sent to the convention by the city of Philadelphia, and eight by each county of the province, and that an elector should be a free man, qualified by the laws of the province to vote for representatives in Assembly, of the age of twenty-one years, who had lived one year in the province immediately preceding the election, and had "contributed at any time before the passing of this resolve to the payment of either provincial or county taxes, or had been rated and assessed towards the same ;" and there was framed a test or oath renouncing allegiance to the British sovereign, to be administered if there unto by any one required. On the next day,—

" On motion, Resolved, unanimously, That whereupon as the county of Westmoreland hath been exempted from the payment of taxes for three years last past, and thereby many persons may be excluded from a vote at the ensuing election in consequence of the foregoing regulations, contrary to the intention thereof, therefore every person of 21 years of age, being a free man residing in said county, shall be admitted to vote, he being an associator³ and having lived one year in the province next

² Nemine Contra Dicente.

³ The appellative "Associators" had quite an early origin in Pennsylvania history.

In November, 1747, when through disagreement between the proprietary representatives and the Provincial Council the province was left defenseless, the people of the city of Philadelphia entered into a voluntary military association for the general defense of the city and the province. They armed themselves, elected their own officers, and, presenting themselves before Council, were recognized and commissions ordered for their commanders. Chester County followed with a similar association in December, and Bucks County in January. These associations died out with their occasion,—the hostilities with the French.

When the news of Concord and Lexington reached Pennsylvania, in the latter part of April, 1775, a military association was formed in Philadelphia with branches in every county, and the first act of the Council of Safety, June 30, 1775, was " to approve of the Association entered into by the good people of this Commonwealth for the defense of their lives, liberties, and properties."

A committee of Council formed Articles of Association for them, to be found in X. Col. Records, Sec. S., 308. The " Associators" organized and composed the first battalion that went into service, formed the Flying


preceding the election, and taking the test aforesaid, if thereunto required."

It was subsequently determined that any one qualified to vote for members of Assembly by the laws of the province might be elected a member of the convention ; and it was further provided that a test oath should be taken by the member-elect before taking his seat, renouncing allegiance to George the Third, King of Great Britain," and not then could the person-elect be entitled to his seat until he had subscribed the following declaration :

"I, — —, do profess faith in God, the Father, and in Jesus Christ, His eternal Son, the true God, and in the Holy Spirit, one God blessed forever more; and do acknowledge the holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."

A committee was also appointed who reported the time, place, and manner of holding the election for the members of the convention, whereby, their report being adopted, the several counties were divided into election districts, the voting-places designated, and the officers to hold the elections appointed. Westmoreland County was divided into two districts, the first embracing the people on the south side of the " Youghiogena," to vote at Spark's fort, and the second embracing the people on the north side of said river, to vote at Hannas Town.¹ The judges appointed to hold the election at Hannas Town were James Barr, John Moore, and Clement McGeary. Those appointed to serve at Spark's fort were George Wilson, John Kile, and Robert McConnel.

The time appointed for the election of members of the convention was the 8th day of July, 1776, and the election was on that day held at the places designated. It is possible that the voters as they were assembled at Spark's fort may have heard that four days before the Declaration of Independence had been passed and promulgated, for the minutes of the Council of Safety, which had taken the place and assumed the executive duties of the proprietary and his Council, show that on July 5, 1776,

"The President of the Congress this day sent the following Resolve of Congress, which is directed to be entered on the Minutes of this


" 'In Congress, 5th July, 1776:

" Resolved, That Copies of the Declaration be sent to the several Assemblies, Conventions, and Councils of Safety, and to the several Commanding Officers of the Continental Troops, that it be proclaimed in each of the United States, and at the Head of the Army.

"`By order of Congress,

"'JOHN HANCOCK, Presd't.'

Camp at Amboy in August, 1776, and the term is used constantly that year. But in the fall of 1776 the Continental line of Pennsylvania was formed, and in 1777 the Associators are succeeded by the "Militia." In other words, revolution having been inaugurated, the people rose in their own capacity in a military association, held the State until their own representatives, elected under the authority of their own organic law (the Constitution of 1778), were in their seats and had the reins, when the "Associators," as did the California Committee of Vigilance of 1849, subsided and government moved on.

¹ Spark's fort was near Burns' ford, in what is now Perry township, Fayette County. Observe how that the residents west of the Monongahela were disregarded, either as supposed to be within the power of Virginia at that time, or were treated as living south of the Youghiogheny.

"In consequence of the above Resolve, Letters were wrote to the Counties of Bucks, Chester, Northampton, Lancaster, and Berke, In-closing Copy of the said Declaration, requesting the same to be published on Monday next, at the places where the Election for Delegates are to be held." ²

The date of the meeting of the convention was also determined by the conference, to wit, July 15, 1776, and after some action recommendatory of the organization of the militia, an "Address of the Deputies from the Committees of Pennsylvania, assembled in Provincial Conference, to the People of Pennsylvania" was prepared and adopted, and a " declaration on the subject of the independence of this colony of the crown of Great Britain" was approved "with the greatest unanimity of all the members," signed at the table, and ordered to be delivered in Congress, when the Provincial Conference, on June 25, 1776, adjourned.

At the election held as provided for on July 8, 1776, for members of the Provincial Convention, James Barr, Edward Cook, John Carmichael, John McClellan, James Smith, John Moore, James Perry, .and Christopher Lavingair were returned as elected the representatives of Westmoreland County.

The convention, which was to form a new government "in this province on the authority, of the people only," met at Philadelphia at the time appointed, July 15, 1776, and from the instant of its organization assumed the whole political power of the State. It appointed delegates to Congress, and imposed upon them instructions and restrictions designed to preserve the dignity and independence of the new government, but not until Saturday; September 28th, was the great labor of forming the Constitution of 1776 terminated.³ One provision of the plan or frame of government provided by this constitution may be here quoted as worthy of preservation from oblivion :

"SEC. 36. As every freeman, to preserve his independence (if without a sufficient estate) ought to have some profession, calling, trade, or farm whereby he may honestly subsist, there can be no necessity for, nor use in establishing offices of profit, the usual effects of which are dependence and servility, unbecoming freemen, in the possessors and expect-ants; faction, contention, corruption, and disorder among the people. But if any man is called into public service, to the prejudice of his private affairs, he has a right to a reasonable compensation. And whenever an office, through increase of fees or otherwise, becomes so profitable as to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to be lessened by the Legislature.”

1777. The Revolutionary Judicial System. — The changes made in the organization of the courts of justice by the provisions of this our first Constitution will at present be designated only so far as is indicated by certain provisions of an act of the new Assembly, passed Jan: 28, 1777. It will of course be understood that by the Declaration of Independence and the adoption of a frame of

² X. Col. Records, 635.

³ See Gordon's History of Pennsylvania, 540. In this convention Benjamin Franklin was president, James Edgar was a representative of York County, Jonathan Hoge of Cumberland County, and Thomas Smith of Bedford County.


government of their own construction the people of Pennsylvania had stricken down all courts and offices established and held under the proprietary government. It was necessary therefore that these courts and offices should be re-established. The act referred to met this requirement, and portions of it, sufficient for our purpose, are as follows:

"WHEREAS, by the unconstitutional power claimed by the British King and Parliament over the American Colonies, and the cruel and oppressive measures which the said King and Parliament have pursued to establish that power, it became necessary for the Colonies to declare themselves Free and Independent States, which was accordingly done pursuant to a resolve of the Continental Congress; Whereupon all authority being in any person under the said King consequently ceased, and the laws enacted by his Representatives here became of no force or effect, although the same were for the most part suited to the circumstances of the people; And whereas, it is absolutely necessary for the well governing every State, that Laws properly adapted to the circumstances of the inhabitants be at all times in force ;

" Be it therefore enacted, and it is hereby enacted, by the Representatives of the Freemen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met, and by the authority of the same, That each and every one of the Laws or Acts of General Assembly that were in force and binding on the inhabitants of the said Province on the fourteenth day of May last, shall be in force and binding on the inhabitants of this State from and after the tenth day of February next, as fully and effectually to all intents and purpose's as if the said Laws and each of them had been made and enacted by this General Assembly; and all and every person and persons whosoever, are hereby enjoined and required to yield obedience to the said Laws, as the case may require, until the said Laws or Acta of the General Assembly respectively shall be repealed or altered, or until they expire by their own limitation ; and [to] the Common Law and such of the Statute Laws of England as have heretofore been in force in the said Province, except as is hereafter excepted.

   * * * *

" And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That Courts of Quarter Sessions and Goal Delivery, and Courts of Petty Sessions, Courts of Common Pleas, Orphans Courts, and Supreme Courts, Courts of Oyer and Terminer and General Goal Delivery, shall be held and kept in each respective County in this State at the times and places directed and appointed by the said Laws or Acts of General Assembly, and Circuit and Nisi Prins Courts, as directed in and by an Act of General Assembly of the said Province, passed the twentieth day of May One Thousand seven Hundred and Sixty Seven, entitled, `An Act to amend the Act for establishing Courts of Judicature within this Province, by the Justices and Judges that shall be hereafter elected and appointed ; the same to commence in each County on the same days of the same months respectively appointed by the said Laws for holding such Courts that shall be next after the Judges or Justices of such Courts are qualified to hold the same, and shall have, use, and exercise all the powers, authority of jurisdiction that by the aforesaid Laws, Justices and Judges of such Courts respectively heretofore have had, used and exercised, and the powers of Chancery given to the Justices by the Constitution of this State, agreeable nevertheless with this Act and such other Act or Acts of General Assembly as shall be hereafter made ; and every officer of all and every of the Courts in this State that is or shall he appointed shall have, use and exercise the same or like powers that such officer or officers of the same title, character and distinction might, could or ought to have had, used and exercised under the Charter and Laws of Pennsylvania, until displaced. And all Constables, Overseers of the Poor. Supervisors of the High Ways, and the Wardens and Street Commissioners of the City of Philadelphia, that were last appointed or elected in the said Province, are hereby authorized and strictly enjoined and required to exercise their several and respective powers, and execute, do and perform all the business and duties of their several and respective offices, until others are appointed in their stead and places.

   * * * * *

"And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the President and Council shall appoint one of the Justices in each respective County to preside in the respective Courts, and in his absence the Justices who shall attend the Court shall choose one of themselves President for the time being.

"And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every action that was in any court in the Province of Pennsylvania, at the last term the said court was held, except discontinued or Satisfied, shall be and is hereby declared to be In the same state, and on the same rule, and may be prosecuted in the same manner in the courts in each respective County, to be hereafter held and kept, as if the Authority of such Court had never ceased; and if any recognisance has been taken and not returned, it is hereby declared good and valid in Law, and shall be returned and prosecuted as the Laws direct, saving the stile; and where any person had obtained a judgment before any Justice of the Peace, for any debt or sum of money, and such judgment not discharged, the person in whose favor the judgment is may (on producing a transcript of such judgment to any Justice of the Peace in the County where the defendant dwells or can be found) demand and obtain an execution for the money mentioned in such judgment, which shall be of the same force and effect as if the judgment was obtained before the justice that granted the execution."

Westmoreland Courts Reorganized.—Under this act of Assembly were the courts of Westmoreland County reorganized. The last term under the old order of things was held, as has been seen, in April, 1776. The act before referred to was passed the 28th of January, 1777, and on June 11th¹ following, a new commission was issued appointing as justices the following persons among those returned as having been elected, to wit: Edward Cook, John Guthrey, Charles Forman, John Moore, James Marshall, Christian Truby, Philip Rogers, Joseph Huston, Robert Adams, James Bair, Hugh Martin, James McGarraugh, John Beard, Andrew Robb, and Robert Richey. The first term held, however, under the new arrangement was on Jan. 6, 1778, before " Edward 1276. Cooke, Esq., President," etc. ; no business, however, was done. Nor was there any session in April.

At July sessions a grand inquest attended, but no trials were had, though there were recognisances for future appearances, one defendant, William Downward, being bound over on a charge of " Misprison of Treason."

At October sessions, 1778, William Mitchell was .indicted and tried for misprison of treason; Francis McGinnis and James Finley were witnesses for the Commonwealth. The defendant was convicted, and

"Judgment, that the one-half of his goods and chattels are Forfeited to this Commonwealth and himself be Imprisoned during the present war." ²

¹ XI. Col. Records, 220.

² There were many Tories in this Western country during the Revolution. On March 28th of the same year when Mitchell was tried, Simon Girty, Alexander McKee, and Matthew Elliot deserted to the British-Indians, and Girty became the "notorious renegade."

Withers, in his Chronicles of Border Warfare, 167, writing of the period 1777-78, says, "There was then, unfortunately for the repose and tranquillity of many neighborhoods, a considerable number of those misguided and deluded wretches, who, disaffected to the cause of the colonies, were willing to advance the interest of Britain by the sacrifice of every social relation, and the abandonment of every consideration save that of loyalty to the King. . . . A conspiracy for the murder of the Whigs and for accepting the terms offered by the Governor of Canada to those who would renounce their allegiance to the United States and repair to Detroit by the relenting of one individual was prevented being carried into effect. . . . Scenes of licentiousness and fury followed upon the discovery of the plot. . . . The head only of this fiendish league lost his life, but many depredations were committed on the property of its members. . . . A court for the trial of the conspirators was held at Redstone Fort, and many of them were arraigned at its bar. But as their object had been defeated by its discovery, and as no further danger


At this term John McGrew and Joseph Brouster were held by recognizance on a like charge of misprision of treason, and Joseph Hill was tried for assault and battery,. and fined one hundred dollars and costs.

 1779, Nothing of moment occurred at the sessions of January and April, 1779. At July sessions,

the grand inquest contained inter alia the 1779. names of Daniel Carmichael, John Reed,

John Carmichael, John Vanmetre, and Thomas Scott, names with which we will meet again. Joseph McGarrah, Esq., presided at this term, Edward Cook, the usual president, being himself a defendant in a criminal prosecution. It appears that one Joseph Jones was a reprobate like Andrew Link in the early courts of Washington County, always a defendant in some charge or other. He is now a prosecutor of the president judge in the latter's own court. An act of Assembly had been passed prohibiting the distillation of whiskey or other spirits from malt wheat, rye, or barley, or other grain, flour, etc., so that the army might not be deficient in subsistence. The following record, which a lawyer will read between the lines, will hence explain itself:

"On motion of Michael Huffnagle, Esq., whether the court will order David Sample, Esq., attorney for the state in this court, to prefer a Bill of Indictment against Edward Cook, Esq., for the distilling of whiskey contrary to the Act of Assembly, and whether Mr. Sample is under the Jurisdiction of this Court in ordering him so to do,—the said Mr. Sample in reply says, he is under the Jurisdiction of this court but refuses to prefer

was apprehended from them, they were released, after having been required to take the oath of allegiance to the United States and to bear with the injuries which had been done their property. Those who were suspected for the murder of the chief conspirator were likewise arrainged for that offense, but were acquitted."

At the October sessions, 1779, of the Virginia Legislature, that State then claiming jurisdiction over this part of Pennsylvania, passed an act which is quoted from 10 Honing, 195: "Whereas divers evil disposed persons on the frontiers of this Commonwealth had broke out into an open insurrection and conspiracy, and actually levied war against the commonwealth, and it is represented to the General Assembly that William Campbell, Walter Crockett, and other liege subjects of the commonwealth, aided by detachments of the militia and volunteers from the county of Washington and other parts of the frontiers, did by timely and effectual exertions suppress and defeat such conspiracy, and whereas the necessary measures taken for that purpose may not be strictly warranted by law although justifiable from the immediate urgency and imminence of the danger, be it therefore declared and enacted, that the said William Campbell, Walter Crockett, and all other persons whatsoever concerned in suppressing the said conspiracy and insurrection, or in advising, issuing, or executing any order or measures taken for that purpose, stand indemnified and clearly exonerated of and from all pains, penalties, prosecutions, actions, suits, and damages on account thereof, and that if any indictment, prosecution, action, or suit shall be laid or brought against them, or any of them, for any act or thing done therein, the defendant or defendants may plead in bar, or the general issue, and give this act in evidence."

These three facts—the trials in the Westmoreland County court for misprision of treason, the conspirators brought to bar at Fort Redstone (Brownsville), with the killing of their leader and the Virginia act for the indemnification of the persons named in it—evidently bear an intimate relation to each other ; but we have hitherto been unable to discover data sufficient to inform us as to the details of the treasonable conspiracy and who was its leader who lost his life. The court referred to as having been held at Redstone must have been a sitting of magistrates on a preliminary hearing. No court for jury trials was ever held at that place.

- 11 -

a bill for these reasons, that it did appear to him that the prosecution was founded in spite, and he submits to the Court whether they will order him to prefer a Bill. The Court examining the complaint of Joseph Jones made to Charles Foreman, Esq., the _____ day of _____ aforesaid,

on which the motion is founded, and finding that the said Joseph Jones hath not said in his oath that the said Edward Cook, Esq., bad or did distill whiskey or other spirits from Malt Wheat, Rye, Barley, or from other grain or from any meal or flour, or that the said Edward Cook, Esq., had used or mixed or caused, or procured to be used or mixed any of the same enumerated articles contrary to the Act of Assembly aforesaid, and the Court also calling for the said Jones and examining him on his oath, and he, the said Jones, answering on his oath aforesaid that he cannot say that the said Edward Cook, Esq., used any of the articles above enumerated in order for the making or distilling whiskey or other spirits; for which defect in the complaint aforesaid the Court will not order the Indictment aforesaid to be preferred."

At this term of court an indictment for Forcible Entry and Detainer was found and process awarded against George McCormick, James Wood, Dorsey Pentecost, Benjamin Vanatre (Vanata), John Crow, Michael Springer, and Jonathan Johnston. There being no place west of the Monongahela for the administration of justice, contests as to land titles seem to have sometimes resulted in breaches of the peace. All these defendants were from what is now Washington County.

1780 At January sessions, 1780, held January 4th, "The constables being called and none attending, the court remit the fines on account of the severity of the weather." No business interesting to the , present residents of Washington County was transacted at this or any subsequent term until, perhaps, the January sessions, 1781, when

"On motion the Court do hereby erect that part of West Moreland County Included within the following Boundaries into a township; that is to say, Beginning at the west side of the Monongahela river, at the mouth of Peters creek, thence up the said creek to the head thereof, thence with a straight line to the head of Saw Mill creek, thence down Saw Mill creek, thence up the Ohio River to the mouth of the Monongahela, and thence up this last river to the place of Beginning; and do hereby name the same Wharton."

It will be observed that the whole of this new township lay west of the Monongahela River, in what is now Washington and Allegheny Counties. When Washington County was soon afterward erected it was obliterated.

January term, 1781, was the last session of the Court of Quarter sessions of the Peace for Westmoreland County prior to the erection of Washington County, but at April sessions, 1781. 1781, at which time our courts had not been organized, the Westmoreland County court continued an order for the view of a road from " Washington's Mill to Capt. Van Swearingen's ferry on the Monongahela River and thence to Catfish Camp," and appointed Hezekiah McGrudin, Peter Reasoner, William Morgan, Jacob Vanmetre, Joseph Morehead, and Alexander Morehead viewers. Gen. Washington's mill was at the present Perryopolis, in Fayette County, and Van Swearengin, who afterward became the first sheriff of Washington County, was then just


opposite Greenfield, at which point he maintained a ferry.

A reference to the early records of the Courts of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County would not disclose matters of public interest to our citizens. There can be but little importance attached to the ordinary civil causes of a court of justice after so long a time has elapsed, although for illustrations of the character of a people there can be but few better resources than to their courts of criminal jurisprudence. For this purpose have the records of the Quarter 'Sessions of Westmoreland' County been so fully abstracted. However, there is one record in the Common Pleas which may perhaps be of interest by way of showing not only the habits then occasionally indulged in, but also the promptitude with which the court whose dignity was insulted took notice of the matter of complaint. The following record is made up at January term, 1774:

" It appearing that F— D—, one of the attorneys of this court, the duties of his office not regarding, bath of late at divers times and places within the Jurisdiction of this court been publicly and notoriously guilty of the shameful vice of Drunkenness, at which times and places aforesaid he did publish several malicious passages highly reflecting on several magistrates of this county, and other mischiefs then and there did unbecoming the character and duty & office of an attorney of the court, It is ordered and considered by the court that the said F— D— for such his shameful misbehavior be suspended, and he Is hereby suspended and precluded from further using the office, duty & business of au attorney of this court."

It is a singular fact that in the records of Westmoreland County courts, either in the Quarter Sessions or in the Common Pleas, there is to be found but one transaction which can be connected with the Boundary Controversy. The records of the Virginia courts, hereafter to be examined, are full of causes relating to that contention. The single record referred to is the following, found at No. 76, July term, 1775:

“Robert Hanna, Esq., v John Connolly

Capias Case C. C. C. & C.. October,

Ended says Plff.; Plff. for Defdt's

App. accepted fees, Clerks fees


The defendant in this action for damages was the Dr. John Connolly who has ever been notorious as the chief agent of Lord Dunmore in the exercise of his Virginia jurisdiction upon the Monongahela. Robert Hanna, the proprietor of Hanna's Town, the seat of justice for Westmoreland County until after Washington County was erected, was one of the county trustees or commissioners and also a justice, and was soon brought into contact with Lord Dunmore's officials. The special subject matter of the action will doubtless hereafter be observed.

Omitting further references to the records of these old Hanna's Town courts, the reader has now been carried in our judicial history to the month of January, 1781. At this time the western boundary line of the State has been established, though not yet actually marked, and it is found that west of the Monongahela River there is room for another new county of magnificent proportions, soon afterward to be erected. But, as has already been disclosed, from about 1774 to August, 1780, two governments were in collision, at times in bitter controversy, in an exercise of jurisdiction, by judicial as well as other civil and military officials, over the same territory, embracing Washington County as originally erected.

The reader is now asked to retrace his steps to the period immediately preceding the erection of Westmoreland County, in order that a view may be had of this contest, long known as the " Boundary Controversy."




The Boundary Controversy—The Virginia Title—The Penn Title—Ma-son and Dixon's Line—Beginning of Boundary Contention—Dr. John Connolly—Controversy opened—British abandon Fort Pitt, 1772.

The Boundary Controversy.—To write the history of the contention called the " Boundary Controversy," the conflict of jurisdiction between Pennsylvania and Virginia over the territory west of the Allegheny Mountains, is an undertaking arduous, not from lack of original material, but from the immense mass of documentary details, full of interest and importance. A volume could be composed with more ease than a chapter. The writer upon the subject is constantly embarrassed with the riches which lie at his hand. His worry is not to find the information, but to select from that before him. Access to this richness of detail, however, is denied to the general reader.

This contest arose over the lands in which the homes of our own ancestors were first established in this western country. It divided a people who were harassed by Indian incursions, and though during the whole of it necessarily subjected to a common danger from a relentless and savage foe, soon were engaged with the additional burden of a war for independence and liberty ; a civil contest, accompanied with great bitterness, continuing at the same time with an Indian war and a struggle, at times hopeless and depressing, with the tyrannous ministry of the mother-country. And the participants were our own early settlers, then engaged in conquering a virgin soil from the forest to fertility. Emigrants over the mountains from three governments—Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia—met together in the valleys of the Monongahela and Ohio, and in the hill country adjacent thereto. Different nationalities, the English,


Scotch, Scotch-Irish, Irish, Germans, and French, each were represented, and being without .government at first, when they came to be organized for governmental protection, and that too in the midst of constant warfare with a savage foe, and of a war for independence of the mother-country, what wonder that bitterness should ensue and hostilities originate not to be ended for almost a generation of men ? It will be seen how men became the extreme of partisans, either for Pennsylvania or for Virginia, and that had it not been for a common danger from a common foe which prevented too wide a separation, the establishment of civil government with the protection of courts of justice and the administration of the laws would have been without doubt attended with much bloodshed.

Of the early settlers of Washington County as originally erected it has already appeared that a large majority of them were from Virginia and Maryland, and it will be seen that many of them became the most earnest adherents of the Virginia usurpation; yet, though dissatisfied for a time, some of them, the same persons afterward became of the most honorable of our people, and have left behind them descendants who have always been of our best citizens. The fair-minded reader will therefore make due allowance for partisan prejudice when he meets in the correspondence of early days with such terms as "Banditti,' "Mobs," etc., frequently occurring therein; for opprobrious epithets used in political excitements of the present day lose their force and become simply amusing after the heat of the struggle has passed away.

Though the first settlers raised their roof-trees west of the Monongahela as early as 1767, yet not until 1781 did Virginia cease to exercise an active jurisdiction by her courts and judicial officers. Not until that date, or near it, did the settler know whether he belonged to Virginia or to the land of William Penn. And, indeed, in 1774 the proprietary government of Pennsylvania, pending the attempted adjustment of the controversy, proposed to Virginia a boundary line which would have left all of Washington County in her present limits, except a small portion in the neighborhood of West Brownsville, in the Virginia Pan Handle. It is not difficult to conjecture what would have been our fate had this proposition been accepted.

What was the origin of this Virginia usurpation, for usurpation it was? How did it happen that Virginia had any of her territory upon our western border? How did she come to claim jurisdiction over the great Northwestern Territory north and west of the Ohio River, the mother of magnificent States of the Union? An attempt will be made to answer these questions with as much brevity and clearness as possible, and the reader will at once be led into the Boundary Controversy.

1583 - The Virginia Title.—The limit to the westward of the province of Pennsylvania was of course definitely known when the charter was granted, although the line itself was not established and marked for a whole century afterwards. To know, then, upon what the claims of the colony of Virginia were based, examination must be made of the royal grants in which she was concerned. The first charter or patent was by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Walter Raleigh in, and it had neither name nor bounds. 1583. Upon Raleigh's return the name Virginia was given to the whole country. All to the southward of the Chesapeake, as low as the Gulf of Mexico, was called South Virginia, and all to the northward North Virginia. But the settlers under this patent, partly from misconduct, the opposition of the Indians, and other calamities, abandoned their efforts, and the patent became extinct.¹

In 1602, James I. succeeded Elizabeth, and in 1606 issued a new patent incorporating two companies, called the South Virginia Company and the North Virginia Company, afterwards 1606. commonly called respectively the London Company and the Plymouth Company. The South Virginia, or London Company, was not to go below 34°, nor the Virginia, or Plymouth Company, above 45°, but when they made their choice each was to be limited by a square of one hundred miles backward from the sea. The London Company, as it will now be called, settled at (1609) Cape Henry, and hence the one hundred miles square warranted by that patent could not have extended to the eastern base of the Blue Ridge. But in the London Company received a new patent' with the boundaries of their grant enlarged in the following terms:

"All those lands, countries, and territories situate, lying and being in that part of America called Virginia. from the point of land called Cape or Point Comfort, all along the sea-coast to the northward two hundred miles, and from the said Point or Cape Comfort all along the seacoast to the southward two hundred miles; and all that space and circuit, of lands lying from the sea-coast of the precinct aforesaid up into the land throughout; from sea to sea, west and northwest; and also the islands lying within one hundred miles along the coast of both seas of the precinct aforesaid." ²

The terms of this grant are full of ambiguities, the chief of which is in the words " up into the land throughout, from sea to sea, west and northwest," as containing directions for the northern and southern boundaries. Shall the west line be drawn from a point two hundred miles north of Point Comfort, and the northwest line be drawn from a point two hundred miles south of Point Comfort? If so, then the London Company was limited to a triangle, the western point of which might reach, perhaps, to the Monongahela River, but at a point above and south of Morgantown, extending to no territory adjoining

¹ Paine's Public Good, 8; quoting Oldmixon's History of Virginia.

² The Laws of the United States respecting the Public Lands (Washington, 1828), p. 81.


our western boundary, as indicated by the following diagram :

But the interpretation of the ambiguous clause always claimed by Virginia to be the true one was, that the west line should be drawn from the southern end of the four-hundred-mile coast-line, and the northwest line from the northern end of the same, thus :

One will see that, if the latter interpretation were correct, the northwest line would run through the heart of Pennsylvania, passing east of Lake Erie; while the southern boundary running due west, the two would never meet, and Virginia would have owned the greater part of the whole continent. In considering this astounding result, however, in the view of this interpretation, it must be remembered that when the charter or patent to the London Company was granted it was supposed that the South Sea (Pacific Ocean) was much nearer to the Point Comfort coastline than it really is; for not long before this Sir Francis Drake, from a mountain in the Isthmus of Darien,¹ had seen both the South Sea (Pacific) and the Atlantic, and in 1608, when the London Company were soliciting their patent, an expedition was organized to find a passage to the South Sea by sailing up the James River. And Capt. John Smith was once commissioned to seek a new route to China by ascending the Chickahominy.² Without discussing further the propriety of either interpretation of the antiquated ambiguities of this ancient patent, let it be said that, as will perhaps appear hereafter, Virginia always while yet a colony and when she had become a State, referred chiefly to this charter of 1609 as authorizing her jurisdiction, not only over the Monongahela and Ohio Valleys, but also as giving to her an ownership of the entire Northwest Territory. This jurisdiction over the Northwest Territory she refused to cede to the United States, though her refusal endangered the confederation, until in 1781, when, no longer ale to resist the influence of other States, especially that of Maryland, she finally gave way so far as to abandon her claims over lands north of the Ohio River, with a condition, however, that the United States would guarantee her right to the territory south and east of the Ohio. This guarantee the Congress of the United States refused, and in 1784 the condition was withdrawn and the cession made absolute.³ The reader who will examine fully the history of the cession made by Virginia of her jurisdiction over the Northwest Territory will be struck with this fact, that no sister State or government, nor the Congress of the confederation, ever at any time recognized her right to such jurisdiction. Only for the sake of perfecting the Union, such as it then was, was there any respect paid at all to her pretensions.

(1624), This absence of respectful recognition was doubtless owing to another matter of fact in the colonial history of Virginia, to which reference may be made as rendering unnecessary any discussion of the ambiguous terms of the charter or patent of 1609. That fact was that in 1624

prior to the grant of Maryland to Lord Baltimore, as well as prior to the grant of Pennsylvania to William Penn, the charter to the London Company was dissolved in the English courts by a writ of quo war-ranto,4 and from a proprietary colony, somewhat like

¹ Paine's Public Good, 14.

² Maryland's Influence in founding a National Commonwealth, 8; Stith's History of Virginia, Sabine's Reprint, 77; Paine's Public Good, 18.

³ For a full and satisfactory discussion of the subject here referred to the reader will examine " Maryland's Influence in founding a National Commonwealth, a paper read before the Maryland Historical Society, by Herbert B. Adams, P.D., Baltimore, 1877 ;" also Paine's Public Good.

4 To Trinity Term, King's Bench, 1624; Chalmer's Annals, p. 62,


that of William Penn, Virginia from that time became a crown colony. On March 22, 1622, the Indians had made a preconcerted attack on the white settlers scattered through distant villages on both sides of James River; and massacred three hundred and forty-seven men, women, and children.¹ "Some time after this massacre," says Oldmixon, as quoted by Thomas Paine,² "several gentlemen in England procured grants of land from the company, and others came over on their private accounts to make settlements; among the former was one Captain Martin, who was named to be one of the Council. This man raised so many differences among them that new distractions followed, which the Indians observing took heart, and once more fell upon the settlers on the borders, destroying without pitying either age, sex, or condition. These and other calamities were chiefly imputed to the mismanagement of the proprietors, whose losses had so discouraged most of their best members that they sold their shares, and Charles I., on his accession to the throne, dissolved the company, and took the colony into his own immediate direction. He appointed the Governor and Council himself, ordered all patents and process to issue in his own name, and reserved a quit rent of two shillings sterling for every hundred acres."

Thus Virginia became a crown or royal colony, and ever after until the Revolution so remained. And the distinction between a colony and a province, such as was Pennsylvania, is well known. Whatever rights are secured to the proprietor of a province cannot be infringed or altered by the crown without the consent of the proprietor, nor abrogated unless by judgment of law founded on some act of commission working a forfeiture or dissolution. But a royal colony is a mere creature of the royal will ; its boundaries, all its machinery of government, may be modified, altered, or annulled at the royal pleasure and discretion. ³

(1763). Now, merely adverting to the fact that, in case of a colonial government, possession and settlement alone could give title against a like colony (though not against a province such as Pennsylvania), about the last act of the English king affecting the limits imposed upon Virginia was the royal proclamation of Oct. 10, 1763. It commences by reciting that by the late treaty with France the crown bad received valuable and extensive acquisitions of territory in America ; that letters patent had been issued for the establishment within the countries ceded to the crown of " four distinct and separate governments, styled and called by the names of Quebec, East Florida, West Florida, and Grenada." It then marks out the boundaries of these governments, after which it proceeds to annex certain new districts of country to the province of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Georgia; but the country between the

¹ Appleton's Cyclop., xvi. p. 382.

² Public Good, p. 19.

³ Johnson v. McIntosh, 8 Wheat., 543 ; I. Story's Com., 143.

Alleghenies and the Mississippi is not included in any of these. Without annexing the territories lying upon the Monongahela and Ohio, the proclamation contains the following provisions, which in effect confine Virginia beyond the Allegheny Mountains :

" And whereas it is just and reasonable, and essential to our interest and the security of our colonies, that the several nations or tribes of Indians, with whom we are connected and who live under our protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such parts of our dominions and territories, as, not having been ceded to, or purchased by us, are reserved to them or any of them as their hunting-grounds ; we do therefore, with the advice of our privy council, declare it to be our royal will and pleasure that no governor or commander-in-chief in any of our colonies of Quebec, East Florida, or West Florida, do presume upon any pretence whatever, to grant warrants of survey, or pass any patents for lands beyond the bounds of their respective governments, as described in their commissions. As also that no governor or commander-in-chief of our colonies or plantations in America, do presume, for the present, and until our further pleasure be known, to grant warrants of survey, or pass patents for any lands beyond the heads or sources of any of the rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean from the west and northwest, or upon any land whatever, which not having been ceded to or purchased by us, as aforesaid, are reserved unto the said Indians or any of them."

Undoubtedly this, a royal decree, limited Virginia to the ridges of the Alleghenies. True, its force was " for the present and until our further pleasure be known," yet no subsequent decree removed the limitation. True, by the treaty of Fort Stanwix, in November, 1768, the lands west of the Alleghenies were purchased from the Indians, and true, also, that subsequent to that treaty Lord Dunmore granted warrants and passed patents for lands west of those mountains ; but it is also true that for these unauthorized official acts the Virginia Governor was reproved by Lord Dartmouth, the English Secretary of State.4 Virginia, thus limited, so remained until the colonies became American States. Her occupation of lands upon the waters of the Monongahela and the Ohio was therefore an usurpation.5

It is admitted that Pennsylvania, being a proprietary province, could not have been, and hence was probably not intended to be, affected in the right to make settlements upon the western waters by the proclamation referred to. Though she could not have been deprived summarily of the right, her policy had constantly been not to permit settlements on lands not purchased from the Indians, and when that disability was removed by the treaty of Fort Stanwix, she

4 Public Good. 24.

5 At December term, 1845, of the General Court of Virginia, was heard the case of the Commonwealth of Virginia v. Peter M. Garner et al, for an alleged abduction of slaves.

The defendants had met the slaves at the water's edge on the Ohio side of the Ohio River, and were aiding them from their boat, when they were seized by Virginians in ambush upon the bank. The place of the commission of the offense was laid to be in the State of Virginia, that State claiming that all that river to the top of the northwest bank was within its jurisdiction; and that question was about the only one before the court. Hon. Samuel F. Vinton appeared for the defendants, having been appointed by tho government of Ohio, and in an able argument, which was printed and is preserved, the whole subject discussed in these pages was exhaustively examined. The final decree of the court was that the offense complained of was not committed within the jurisdiction of the State of Virginia.


immediately extended her active sovereignty to the Ohio. On Feb. 26, 1769, she publicly announced the opening of her land-office for the sale of lands in the new purchase, tend on the day of its opening, April 3, 1769, as has been seen, warrants of survey were issued for lands lying in Washington County. But not until 1774 did Virginia presume to pass like orders with regard to lands in the Monongahela valley.

(1681) The Penn Title.—The charter granted by Charles II. to William Penn for his province of Pennsylvania was dated March 4, 1681. Section I., in its provisions in respect of the boundaries of the grant, is as follows:

"All that tract or part of land in America, with the Islands therein contained, as the same is bounded on the east by the Delaware river, from twelve miles distance northwards of New Castle town unto the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude, if the said river doth extend so far northward; but if the said river shall not extend so far northward, then by the said river so far as it doth extend ; and from the head of the same river the eastern bounds are to be determined by a meridian line. to be drawn from the head of the said river unto the said three and fortieth degree. The said land to extend westward five degrees in longitude to be computed from the said eastern bounds; and the said lands to be bounded on the north by the beginning of the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude, and on the south by a circle drawn at twelve miles distance from New Castle northward and westward, unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of northern latitude, and then by a straight line westward to the limits of longitude above mentioned." ¹

(1632) It seems to be made plain by the language quoted from the charter that Pennsylvania was in her limits a province of three degrees of latitude and five degrees of longitude, extending from the fortieth degree, i.e., line 39°, to the beginning of the forty-third degree, i.e., line 42°; and in the absence of an interference with any prior grant, doubtless no other position would ever have been entertained. But in 1632, forty-nine years before the date of Penn's charter, Charles I. had granted a province to Lord Baltimore, which was named Maryland, and of which the bounds were :

"All that part of the Peninsula or Chersonese lying in the parts of America between the ocean on the east and the bay of Chesapeake on the west; divided from the residue thereof by a right line drawn from the promontory or headland called Watkln's Point, situated on the bay aforesaid, near the river Wighco on the west, unto the main ocean on the east; and between that boundary on the south, unto that part of the bay of Delaware on the north, which lyeth under the fortieth degree of north latitude from the equinoctial, where New England is terminated; and all that tract of land within the metes underwritten (that is to say) passing from the said bay, called Delaware Bay, in a right line by the degree aforesaid, unto the true meridian of the first fountain of the river Potowmack, thence verging towards the south, unto the further bank of the said river, and following the same on the west and south, unto a certain place called Cinquack, situate near the mouth of the said river, where it disembogues into the aforesaid bay of Chesapeake, and thence by the shortest line unto the aforesaid promontory or place called Watkin's Point."²

It does no violence to a fair construction of this charter to interpret the clause "which lyeth under the fortieth degree of north latitude from the equi-

¹ Quoted from I. Dail L. App. 1; I. Proud's History of Pennsylvania, 172.

² Quoted from Johnston's Hist try of Cecil County, Md., 14.

noctial" as establishing the point whence the due west line forming the northern boundary of the grant was to be drawn, upon the line 39°, i.e., under or south of the fortieth degree, a degree of latitude being a portion of space lying between two parallels. The first degree of north latitude begins at the equator, and ends at the line 1°. So the fortieth degree begins at line 39°, and ends at line 40°. A point under the fortieth degree of latitude, "where New England is terminated," surely would not be a point in that degree. Therefore Penn's charter may properly have carried him down to parallel 39°, where he would have met Lord Baltimore's grant. Had that parallel been actually made the line between the two provinces, Baltimore would have been a Pennsylvania city, and our southern boundary would have nearly reached to the District of Columbia.³

But it was destined that our southern boundary should be neither at 39° as claimed by Penn, nor at 40° as claimed by Lord Baltimore. Of the fortieth degree, divided into two, Pennsylvania got the smaller portion.

(1767). Mason and Dixon's Line.—It is not proposed to write of the controversy which arose with Maryland almost as soon as the colonists of William Penn, the proprietor, arrived, although the details of that con: test, its strifes, its captures and reprisals, the war waged upon the Susquehanna, and perhaps above all, the scientific triumph for that day of the running of the line itself, comprise a most interesting part of Pennsylvania history.4 Suffice it to say that not until Aug. 4,1763, did the proprietors of Pennsylvania and Maryland, being together in London, agree with Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, " two mathematicians or surveyors," to run and mark the boundary line between the two provinces. Mason and Dixon arrived at Philadelphia on Nov. 15, 1763, and proceeded at once with their task, but not until 1765 had they completed their work upon the circle and the tangent and got upon the parallel. The completion of that line, henceforth to be known as Mason and Dixon's line, to a point thereon at a crossing of Dunkard Creek, on the southern boundary of Washington County as originally erected, is graphically described by Mr. Latrobe ns follows:

" In 1767 the surveyors began operations on the parallel of latitude late. A negotiation with the Six Nations was necessary,5 which Sir William Johnson bad promised to conduct, and this was not concluded before

³The writer is aware that Mr. Veech, in his Monongahela of Old, 219, and in his reprint, Mason and Dixon's Line, 18, holds a different opinion, and speaks of the "absurdity of this construction" which would carry Penn's grant to parallel 39°. The most that will be admitted as to his view is that, when the controversy between Penn and Lord Baltimore arose, it was a fair case for a compromise, as the lawyers would say.

4 The reader is referred particularly to The Monongahela of Old, ch. viii.; Mason and Dixon's Line, by the same author, Hon. James Vasa; and History of Mason and Dixon's Line, by Hon. J. H. B. Latrobe.

5 Because the lands they were about to piss upon had not yet been purchased from the Indians.


May, so that it was not until the 8th of June that the surveyors reached their halting-place of the preceding year, on the summit of the Little Allegheny. On the 14th of June they had advanced as far as the summit of the Great Allegheny, where they were joined by an escort of fourteen Indiana, with an interpreter, deputed by the Chiefs of the Six Nations to accompany them. And so the Indian becomes their protector against the Indians as they mark the boundary of the sovereignties that before long are to obliterate the very memory of their aboriginal possessors. And the escort seems to have had some vague apprehensions in regard to the results of all this gazing into the heavens and measuring upon the earth, and to have become restless and dissatisfied, and on the 28th of August the surveyors note that 'Mr. John Green, one of the chiefs of the Mohawk nation, and his nephew leave them, in order to return to their own country.' The roving Indiana of the wilderness, regardless of the escort, begin also to give the party of white men uneasiness; and on the 29th of September, twenty-six of the assistants quit the work for fear of the Shawnees and Delawares. Mason and Dixon have now but fifteen axemen left with them; but, nothing disheartened, they send back to Fort Cumberland for aid, and push forward with the line. At length they reach a point two hundred and forty-four miles from the river Delaware, and within thirty-six miles of the whole distance to be run. And here in the bottom of a valley, on the borders of a stream marked Dunkard Creek on their map, they come to an Indian war-path, winding its way through the forest. And here their Indian escort tell them that it is the will of the Six Nations that the surveys shall be stayed. There is no alternative but obedience, and retracing their steps they return to Philadelphia, and reporting all these facts to the commissioners under the deed of 1760, receive an honorable discharge on the 26th of December, 1767.”¹

The line thus run and marked was 39° 43' 26" north latitude. Extending as it did westward beyond the meridian of the first fountain of the Potomac, which meridian formed the western limit of Mall,-land, as to that extension it was ex parte, and, of course, could not affect the rights of Virginia. Why the surveyors did not stop at the meridian referred to is a mystery, "for there," says Mr. Veech, "their functions terminated. But they pass it by (unheeded, because unknown) resolved to reach the utmost limit of Penn's five degrees of longitude from the Delaware, for so they were instructed." And why were Mason and Dixon stopped in their line at the second crossing of Dunkard Creek ? Because by that point passed the Warrior Branch of the old Catawba or Cherokee trail, along which traveled the war parties of the Northern and Southern Indians, and across it the Indian escort would at that time allow not even an imaginary barrier to be drawn.

Thus, as late as the fall of 1768, the southwestern corner of the province of Pennsylvania had not been marked, and her western boundary, whether an irregular line or a meridian, was as yet unknown. The boundary of a tract of land, even of small dimensions, is of the wildest uncertainty until it has been run out by courses and distances and marked upon the ground. One can easily see what results would be brought about by this gap in the boundaries between the province of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

¹ On the eastern half of the line the surveyors planted at the end of every fifth mile a stone graven with the arms of the Penns on the one side and of the Baltimore family on the other, marking the intermediate miles with smaller stones, having a P. on one side and an M. on the other. The stones with the arms upon them were all sent from England. The writer stood beside one of them in June, 1881; one hundred and fourteen years had not obliterated the inscriptions. For want of wheel transportation over the mountains a different and lees permanent mode of marking was adopted.

(1748) - Beginning of the Boundary Contention.—In 1748, Thomas Lee, of the King's Council in Virginia, formed the design of effecting settlements on the wild lands west of the Alleghanies through. the agency of a corporation called the Ohio Company. Lawrence Washington and Augustine Washington, brothers of George Washington, were interested in the scheme. A grant was obtained from the king for five hundred thousand acres of land, to be taken chiefly on the south side of the Ohio, between the Monongahela and Kanawha Rivers. Two hundred thousand acres were to be selected immediately, and to be held for ten years free from quit-rents or taxes, on condition that the company should seat one hundred families on the lands within seven years, and build a fort and maintain a garrison sufficient to protect the settlements.

The object of the company was not only to form settlements, but also to carry on upon a large scale a trade with the Indians, which hitherto had been mostly in the hands of the Pennsylvanians. In 1749 a cargo of goods suited to that trade arrived from London, another to follow the next spring, the whole amounting in value to four thousand pounds sterling. In 1751, Christopher Gist was sent out as the agent to explore the lands, and in 1752 he attended a treaty with the Indians, with whom the French were then tampering.

This treaty was held at Logstown. Col. Joshua Fry and two other commissioners represented the colony of Virginia.

Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, became one of the London Company's proprietors, and in 1753 he sent George Washington, then but a youth, as a messenger to the French commandant at Venango to a certain the purpose of the threatened encroachment. Then followed in 1754 the attempted erection of the fort at the " Forks of the Ohio," in pursuance of its recommendation in Washington's journal as the most eligible place, its capture by the French, and the erection of Fort Du Quesne in its stead, and the inauguration of the French and Indian war. All this was brought about without the agency of Pennsylvania.² How this trespass, committed by the colonies of Virginia upon her western limits, called the attention of Pennsylvania to the necessity of a settlement of her western boundary, will presently appear.

(1749). - Let us now go back to the year 1749. Remember that this was but about five years subsequent to the time when Peter Chartier,³ from a Pennsylvania Indian trader, went over to the

² For an account of the Ohio Company see Sparks' Writings of Washington. Washington's Journal of his tour upon the Ohio in 1763 is published in full in I. Olden Time, 12.

³ One Chartier in 1717 received a warrant for live hundred acres where "he had seated himself on the Susquehanna River, above Conestoga Creek, including within the survey the improvement then made by him, for which be agreed, on behalf of his eon, Peter Chartier, in whose name he desired the survey to be made, to pay for the same."—Rupp's


French. On Nov. 22, 1749,¹ Thomas Lee (heretofore mentioned), president of the Virginia Council, wrote to Governor Hamilton, of Pennsylvania, announcing the formation of the London Company, the purpose to build a fort for the protection of trade with the Indians, in order to retain them from the French and "engage them in affection to his Majestie's subjects," and stating that the Pennsylvania traders were prevailing with the Ohio Indians to believe that the fort was to be a bridle for them, and that the roads which the company were to make were to let in the Catawbas upon them to destroy them, etc., whereby " the carrying the King's Grant into execution is at present impracticable." The letter closed with a request that measures be taken " to put a stop to these mischievous Practices." Another letter from Mr. Lee followed, dated Dec. 20, 1749, wherein he states that he had found it necessary " to write to the Lords of the Treasury, desiring their Lordships to obtain the King's Order for running the dividing Line betwixt this Colony and Yours, else many difficulties will arise upon seating the Large Grants to the Westward of the Mountains." Governor Hamilton, on Jan. 2, 1749, replied in a letter from which is copied:

"As you have mentioned the large grant his Majesty has lately been pleased to make to some gentlemen in Virginia of Lands on the Branches of the Ohio, I am induced to desire your opinion whether it may not be of use that the Western Bounds of this Province be run by Commissioners to be appointed by both Governments in order to assure Ourselves that none of the Lands contained in that Grant are within the Limits of this Province. If you should join with me in Sentiment that the work is necessary to be done I shall at all times be ready to appoint Commissioners,² etc."

(1753) - Again on May 6, 1753, Governor Hamilton wrote to Robert Dinwiddie, who had become Governor of Virginia, acquainting him of hostilities by Ottawa Indians upon the Allegheny, that information had been received of a threatened invasion by a body of French and Indians, and proceeded:

"I should be well pleased to know whether it be intended by Your Colony to erect any kind of Fort on the Lands granted to the Ohio Company, and my reason for desiring this Information is that I have received Directions from the Proprietors of Pennsylvania to enter into any reasonable measures to assist You in any design of that Sort, only taking Your Acknowledgment that this settlement shall not prejudice their Right to that Country, and further that I may assure The Settlers they shall enjoy the lands they bona fide settle on the common Quit Rent, etc."³

Lancaster County, 120, 121. Peter Chartier was licensed as an Indian trader by the Lancaster court Nov. 3, 1730.—Ibid., 253. In 1739 there was surveyed to him a tract of six hundred acres in Paxton Manor, Lancaster, embracing land afterward the site of New Cumberland. A few years after this survey he settled on or near the Allegheny River, at what was called Old Town or Chartiers Old Town, about forty miles above Pittsburgh. In 1744 he accepted a military commission under the French, and prevailed upon some of the Shawanese Indians of Old Town to move to the French settlements on the Mississippi.—Rupp's Cumber. land, 436. He gave his name to the creek flowing northward through one of the most beautiful valleys of Washington County.

¹ V. Col. Records, 423.

² Ibid., 423-24.

³ Ibid., 629. The instructions from the proprietaries to Governor Hamilton are printed in VI. Col. Records, 4.

To this letter no reply is at hand from Governor Dinwiddie, but on Nov. 24, 1753, the latter wrote that he had "sent a person of Distinction to the Commander of the French Forces on the Ohio to know his Reasons for this unjustifiable Step in invading our Lands." He also said, " We have several workmen gone out to build a Fort at the Forks of the Monongialo with the approbation and desire of the Indians." This " person of distinction" was George Washington.5

It has appeared that Governor Hamilton had promised co-operation with Governor Dinwiddie in the expulsion of the French, who had already established themselves upon the upper waters of the Allegheny, but the Assembly, by whom the money was to be supplied, refused it. This body, the representatives of the people, was then in a controversy with the Governor and Council, who represented the proprietors, with respect to the taxation of the unsold lands of the latter, their manors, etc., insisting that their private estate should bear its share of the burden with the property of the people. Neither side would yield, and it followed, which is now stated once for all, that in the French and Indian war Pennsylvania contributed little if anything in men or money save only the supplies and transportation sold and hired by the Germans of the middle and older counties during the period of Braddock's march to his defeat. An excuse was made, in good faith perhaps too, of conscientious scruples, and at the time now under consideration a doubt was also expressed on the part of the Assembly whether the lands on the Ohio were really within the province at all or not. This suggestion brought about 'on the part of the Governor and Council an examination as carefully made as could then be done. An ascertainment of the distance to the "Forks of the Ohio" by the usual route across the mountains was obtained ; a Mr. West was examined, who said "that Col. Joshua Fry, one of the Virginia commissioners (at the treaty at Logs-town referred to), who had the Reputation of an excellent Mathematician, with a Quadrant of eighteen Inches Radius, took an Observation of the Sun on the 16th of June, 1752, at a place about a Mile North of Shannopin's Town," and ascertained the latitude of that place to be 40° 29'.6

The Governor then communicated to the Assembly, March 2, 1754 :

" By these it would have appeared to you that Logstown, the Place where the French propose to have their Head-Quarters, is not at the Distance of Five Degrees of Longitude from the River Delaware, and not to the Southward of Fifteen Statute Miles South of this City, 1754. and that the Course of the Ohio front that Place to Weningo [Venango], which the French have taken Possession of, and from whence they have driven away our Traders, is to the North-East, and consequently nearer to us." 7

5 Ibid., 712.

6 Shannopin's Town was at or near where Lawrenceville now is. Logstown was supposed to be about one mile north of Shannopin's Town.

7 V. Col. Records, 751, 753.


On March 13, 1754, Governor Hamilton, having made the examinations stated, wrote to Governor Dinwiddie :

"The Invasions lately made by the French on Parte of his Majesty's Dominions having engaged me to inquire very particularly into the situation of their Forts, and likewise into the Bounds and Extent of this Province to the Westward. I have from thence the greatest Reason to believe not only the French Forte, but also the Forks of Mohongialo (where You propose to erect one and to grant away Two hundred Thousand Acres of Land to such as shall engage in the Intended Expedition to Ohio), are really within the limits of Pennsylvania. In duty to my Constituents therefore, I cannot but remind You of what I had the Honor to write you some time ago upon this subject." ¹

Dinwiddie had previously issued a proclamation of the tenor stated in the foregoing letter. On March 21, 1754, his reply to Governor Hamilton is written, in which are catalogued what had been done by way of men, means, arms, etc., for the expedition, but there is perfect silence as to the chief matter of interest in Governor Hamilton's communication. But in the next letter, of the same date, he says,—

"Your private letter of the Thirteenth Currant I have duly read and am much mislead by our Surveyors if the Forks of the Mohongialo be within the Limits of Your Proprietor's Grant. I have for some time wrote home to have the line run, to have the boundaries properly known that I may be able to keep Magistrates on the Ohio (if in this Government) to keep the Traders and others in good order, and I presume soon there will be Commissioners appointed for that service.

"In the mean time, that no Hindrance may be given to our intended Expedition, I think it is highly reasonable if these Lands are in your Proprietor's Grant that the Settlers thereon should pay the Quit Rents to Mr. Penn, and not to his Majesty, and therefore as much as lies in my power I agree thereto, after the time granted them by my Proclamation to be clear of the Quit Rents ceases ; but surely I am from all Hands &allured that Logs Town is far to the west of Mr. Penn's Grant." ²

Attention is called to these letters to and from Governor Dinwiddie, in view of what is to appear hereafter, when many years are elapsed. About the time they were written the fort at the Forks of the " Mohongialo" was being erected, but on April 17, 1754, Ensign Ward was compelled to surrender his incomplete fortification which was to protect the Ohio Company's settlers and the trade with the Indians, to M. Contrecoeur, "who fell down from Weningo with a Fleet of Three Hundred and Sixty Battoes and Canoes, with upwards of One Thousand Men and Eighteen Pieces of Artillery, which they planted against the Fort ;" so wrote "Your Honours most obedient and very humble Servant, G. Washington," in a letter to Governor Hamilton, received on the 3d of May.³ After this calamity Governor Dinwiddie was not so sure as to his jurisdiction over Logstown. The Maryland Assembly had not been much more liberal than that of Pennsylvania, and on April 27, 1754 (perhaps, however, before 'he had heard of Ensign Ward's surrender), in a letter to Governor Hamilton, he complains: 4

“I cannot help observing that Two Proprietary Governments should distinguish themselves on this exigency of our affairs, in not contributing their assistance agreeable to his Majestic's commands, and more so from your Province when it is in doubt if the Land we are going to possess is not in your Grant."

¹ VI. Col. Records, 3. 

² Ibid., 8.

³ Ibid., 28.

4 Ibid., 32.

This was the last official correspondence upon the subject for about twenty years, and now the first acts of the government of Virginia, in which jurisdiction over the Monongahela and Ohio valleys was claimed, have been here disclosed. Hitherto and throughout, the controversy has been courteous and peaceable. When it is again renewed it partakes of the very bitterness of partisan strife. But following Ensign Ward's surrender, the establishment of Fort Du Quesne at the confluence of the Ohio and the Allegheny, the first battles of young Washington in the territory now of Fayette County, and Braddock's defeat, was a long period of relentless and bloody Indian warfare, during which there was no opportunity for a conflict of civil jurisdiction west of the Alleghany Mountains.

(1770) - Dr. John Connolly.—From 1764 to 1774, however, there was peace with the tribes, the pioneers being disturbed only at times by the occasional depredations of savages intent upon plunder more than moved by the havoc of war. Col. George Washington, then unemployed in military affairs, turned his attention to the acquisition of lands west of the mountains, with Capt. William Crawford to aid him in their selection. In October, 1770, he went upon a journey by way of Capt. Crawford's settlement on the Youghioghena River, and the latter accompanied him down the Ohio to the Kanawha for the purpose of examining lands in which he was interested at that place. On the 17th of that month, with Dr. Craik, 5 who had been his companion in arms at the battles of the Great Meadows and of the Monongahela, Capt. Crawford,.and others, he arrived act Fort Pitt. " We lodged," he says in his journal 6 in what is called the town, distant about three hundred yards from the fort, at one Semple's, 7 who keeps a very good house of public entertainment. The houses, which are built of logs and ranged in streets, are on the Monongahela, and I suppose may be about twenty in number, and inhabited by Indian traders." On the 21st of November, Washington on his return left the Ohio at the Mingo town, just below where Steubenville now is, and came across the country over the lands he soon afterwards owned in Mount Pleasant township to Fort Pitt again. " 22d. Stayed at Pittsburgh all day," his journal continues; "invited the officers and some other men to dinner with me at Semple's, among whom was Dr. Connolly, nephew to Col. Croghan, a very sensible and intelligent man, who had traveled over a good deal of this western

5 The same Dr. Craik in whose company he came to Washington County in 1784 to meet with the settlers, the Reeds and others, upon his lands in what is now Mount Pleasant and Cecil townships. For his journal on this occasion see the history of Mount Pleasant township.

6 Published in many places, but see I. Olden Time, 418.

7 The house of Samuel Semple, this landlord. is said to have been built by Col. George Morgan, the grandfather of D. T. Morgan, Esq., of Washington, and was the first shingle-roof house in Pittsburgh; I. Olden Time, 418; Craig's History of Pittsburgh,,107.


country both by land and water." This Dr. Connolly, now introduced to the reader by no less a personage than George Washington, is soon to play an important part in the civil history of the country west of the mountains. Though born in Lancaster County, therefore in interest and relationship a Pennsylvanian, he seems early to have become an adventurer upon the waters of the lower Ohio, and at last appeared at Fort Pitt, as stated. In a subsequent page will be given a sketch of him from the pen of one who knew him well. He remained, as will be seen, at Fort Pitt until 1775, during which period he was probably the most noted man of the western border,

Controversy Opened.—Upon the erection of Bedford County, March 9, 1771, Fort Pitt still being a post garrisoned by the king's soldiers, the residents in the Monongahela valley were called upon to contribute their shares of the taxes necessary 'to maintain the county government, whereupon, the mass of them having come from Maryland and Virginia, and being doubtful in the absence of an established western boundary under which government they dwelt, resistance to the collection of these taxes followed of course. Indicating this condition of feeling and establishing the fact that the very first active opposition to the Pennsylvania jurisdiction of which we have any account came from the settlers in the Monongahela valley, and that, giving Dunmore and Connolly their just dues, the Virginia usurpation of 1774 was not a sudden inspiration, but, on the contrary, was suggested by the attitude, if not the petitions, of our early settlers themselves, contemporary letters written at the scene of conflict will now be produced.¹

(1771) - One George Wilson, Esq., a justice of the Bedford County court, residing at the mouth of Georges Creek, now Fayette County, near New Geneva, then in Springhill township of Bedford County, wrote the following letter to Arthur St. Clair, then also a justice of the same court, and as well the prothonotary of the Common Pleas, clerk of the Orphans' Court, recorder of deeds, and register of wills of the same county ; ²



"I am sorry that the first Letter I ever undertook to write you should contain a Detail of a Grievance so

¹ See foot-note to page 176, post.

² George Wilson, known generally as Col. Wilson, had come from old Augusta County, Va., Into Pennsylvania in 1768 or 1769. Notwithstanding the place of his immigration, he was always loyal to Pennsylvania in the "intestin Broyls" which are to be narrated. In 1775, as will hereafter appear, he was arrested by the Virginia authorities for aiding the "capture" of Dr. Connolly. lie died as the lieutenant-colonel of the Eighth Pennsylvania Regiment in the war of the Revolution at Quibbletown, N. J., in February, 1777. See X. Penn. Arch., 2d S. 648. He was the grandfather of Lawrence L. Minor, of Waynesburg, Greene Co., and the great-grandfather of Hon. W. G. Hawkins, now judge of the Orphans' Court of Allegheny County. Is not his character set out unintentionally in the letter quoted?

disagreeable to me; Wars of any Cind are not agreeable to any Person Poseted of ye proper feelings of Humanity, But more Especially intestin Broyls. I no sooner Returned Home from Court than I Found papers containing the Resolves, as they Called them, of ye inhabitants to ye Westward of ye Laurel hills, were handing fast about amongst ye people, in which amongst ye rest Was one that the Were Resolved to oppose Every of Pens Laws as they Called them, Except Felonious actions, at ye Risque of Life, & under the panelty of fiftey pounds, to be Recovered or Leveyed By themselves off ye Estates of ye failure. The first of them I found hardey anugh to offer it in publick, I emediately ordered into Custotey, on which a large number Ware assembled as Was seposed to Resque the Prisoner. I indavoured, By all ye Reason I was Capable of, to convince them of the ill Consequences that would of Consequence attend such a Rebellion, & Hapily Gained on the people to Consent to relinquish their Resolves & to Burn the Paper they signed—When their Forman saw that the Arms of his Centrie, that as hee said Hee had thrown himself into would not Resque him By force, bee catched up his Rifle, Which Was Well Loaded, jumped out of Dors & swore if any man Cam nigh him he Would put what Was in his throo them ; the Person that Had him in Custody Called for assistance in ye Kings name, and in pirtickelaur Commanded my sett. I told him I was a Subject & was not fit to Comand if not willing to obey, on which I watched his eye untill I saw a chance Sprang in on him & Seized the Rifle by ye Muzzle and held him, So as he Could not Shoot me, untill more help Gott in to my assistance, on which I Disarmed him & Brake his Rifle to peses. I Res'd a Sore Bruse on one of my arms By a punch of ye Gun in ye Strugle—Then put him under a Strong Guard, Told them the Laws of their Contrie was stronger then the Hardist Ruffin amongst them. I found it necesery on their Complyance & altering their Resolves,³ and his promising to Give himself no more trouble in the affair, as hee found that the people Ware not as hardey as hee Expected them to be, to Relece him on his promise of Good Behavior.

" I am affraid Sum Who Have Been to much Countenanced By their King & ye province of Pensallvania are Grate accessoreys to those factions, & God Knows where they may Eind. I have, in my Little time in Life, taken the oath of Alegence to His Majestie seven times, & allways did it with ye Consent of my Whole Heart & am Determined in my proper place to Seport the Contests there of to ye outmost of my power. As I look on it as my Duty to Let those things be known to Government & my ac-

³ " I understand by Capt. John Harden, the bearer of this, that there is an agreement entered into by a number of the inhabitants of Monongahela and Redstone. They have entered into a bond or article of agreement to join and keep off all officers of the law, under a penalty of My pounds, to be forfeited by the party refusing to join against all officers whatsoever."—Letter from Wm. Crawford to James Tilghman, Aug. 9, 1771. IV. Pa. Arch., 424.


quaintance at Philadelphia is none; I Expect you will Communicat those things to them that the Wisdom of Government may provide Remedies in time, as there are numbers' in the Lower parts of ower Settlements still increasing ye faction.

"It gives mee Grate Pleasure that my neighbors are Determined not to Joyn in the faction, & I Hope the Difient Majestrits in this side ye Mountains will use their influence to Discorage it.

"I understand Grate thrates are made against mee in partickolaur, if possible to intimidate mee With fear, & allso against the Sherifs & Constables, & all Ministers of Justice, But I hope the Laws, ye Bulworks of ower nation will be Seported in Spight of those Low Lifed trifling Raskells. Give my Complements to Mr. George Wood, Mr. Doherty & Mr. Frazor, and Except of myne to your self."¹

 On September 24th, Arthur St. Clair, writing from Bedford to Joseph Shippen, Jr., the secretary of the Provincial Council, says:²

"I am sorry the papers I now enclose will contradict the favorable account I have given of our country ; indeed, I am apprehensive there will be a good deal of trouble in our frontier.

"A ridiculous story that Mr. Cresap3 has spread with much industry that this Province did not extend beyond the Allegheny mountains, but that all to the west of it was the King's Land, and together with Mr. Croghan's claims and surveys 4 has put numbers in a doubtful situation,

¹ I. St, Clair Papers, 257.

² Ibid., 260.

³ Michael Cresap here mentioned was the son of Thomas Cresap, who lived at Old Town, on the Potomac, south of Cumberland, and who, in the boundary controversy between Pennsylvania and Maryland in earlier years, was famous as a bold partisan of the latter province. As early probably as 1770, Michael Cresap became a trader at Redstone Old Fort, and in the spring of 1774, while with a party of land jobbers on the Ohio looking after lands, became involved in the killing of the Indians, followed by Dunmore's war. On his way home after the skirmish at Grave Creek he stopped a while with William Huston, then living at Catfish Camp; he was at Catfish Camp later in the summer with a body of militia. On the breaking out of the Revolution he led his company of militia into the Continental service at Boston, but soon after, on Oct.18, 1775, died in New York City at the early age of thirty-three years. He was the Col. Cresap charged by Logan with the murder of his kindred, but the authenticity of that celebrated speech has for many years been seriously questioned.

4 George Croghan (pronounced Crohon) is said to have been a native of Ireland. He first settled upon the Susquehanna and engaged in the Indian trade. He built a fort at what is now Shirleysburg, Huntingdon Co.; was at first captain in the provincial service, but subsequently became deputy superintendent of Indian affairs under Sir William Johnson, and established himself near Lawrenceville, above Pittsburgh, where he afterward lived and died. On Aug. 2, 1749, Croghan had obtained a deed executed by Iohonorissa, Scarrooyaddy, and Coesowantinecea, chiefs of the Six Nations, conveying to him in fee "a certain tract or parcel of land situate lying and being on the South side of the Monongahela River, Beginning at the mouth of a Run nearly opposite to Turtle creek, and then down the said Monongahela River to its Junction with the River Ohio, Computed to be Ten Miles; then Running down the Eastern Bank or side of the said River to where Raccoon creek empties itself into the said River; Thence up the said Creek ten miles, and from thence on a direct line to the Place of beginning ; Containing by Estimation One hundred thousand acres, be the same more or lees." On the 4th of November 1768, as Croghan recited in his grants out of this land to purchasers from him, this deed was confirmed by the Six Nations "unto his most sacred Majesty George the Third by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, & his heirs and successors, for the Use benefit and behoof of the said George Croghan, . . . as by the said Deed Poie Recorded in the Office for recording of Deeds in the City of Philadelphia, in Book 1, Volume the fifth, Page 239, &., may

and will probably make it very difficult to carry the laws into execution. . . . You will see by Col. Wilson's letter that he has been active in suppressing a commotion in his neighborhood, and I hope you will be so good as to represent it to the Council in its proper light."

 (1772). - In a letter dated at Fort Pitt, June 4, 1772, George Croghan wrote to Arthur St. Clair ,5 inclosing him a copy of a letter from " Col. Cresap to the Inhabitance" at Redstone, in which an argument is made that "the Western bounds of Pennsylvania Could Not Come Any Distance on this Side ye Hills," and "I may venture to say you will be of opinion that if any objections be made to the Laws and Taxes it will be Intirely owing to ye meshurs Taken by Pennsylvania in not ascertaining the true limits of thire Durediction, and publishing it to the people." On July 18th of the same month, St. Clair wrote to Mr. Shippen from Bedford : 6 " A day or two ago a petition in the name of the people living to the westward of Laurel Hill; signed by two hundred and twenty persons, was presented to our court. It charged the Government and the officers of the court with great oppression and injustice, and prayed that directions might be given to the sheriffs to serve no more process in that country, as they apprehended it was not in Pennsylvania." Alarm was expressed at the consequences impending. It was stated that "Col. Cresap"7 appeared openly as a prime mover in the matter, and Mr. Croghan was strongly suspected of giving it much encouragement privately. The letter proceeds,—

"The petition was presented by a Mr. Brent, a gentleman from Maryland, who practices in our county. He offered nothing in support of it, but the uncertainty where Pennsylvania ends, and the hardships it was on the people to live under authority that was perhaps usurped. He

more fully and at large appear." In 1771 Croghan was running the lines of his tract, and claimed also to have another one-hundred-thousand-acre tract to lie south of the foregoing. He was then also negotiating with Col. Washington, through Capt. William Crawford, for the sale of certain parcels (see the Washington and Crawford Letters,16, 20, etc.). Having run his lines, in 1772 and afterward he made a number of conveyances, of which the following are recorded in the deed-book of the old Augusta County Court: to Bernard Gratz, of Philadelphia, 10,129 a., 2 r., 80 p., on the West Branch of Raccoon Creek; to same, 14,013 acres on the western side of Chartiers Creek; to same, 31,485 ½ acres on the waters of Robinson's Run and Raccoon Creek; to Joseph Simons, of Lancaster, 10,580 acres on Raccoon Creek; to Edward Ward, of Fort Pitt, 3863 acres on the south bank of the Ohio; to Jacob Bailsman, of Fort Pitt (in 1770), 308 acres on the west side of Chartiers Creek ; to Benjamin Tate, of Fort Pitt, 384 acres on the east side of Chartiers Creek; to Thomas Lawrence, of Philadelphia, 18,580 acres on the southwest side of the Ohio,—all of which tracts nearly are described by courses and distances and adjoinders. It is said that our old surveyors were often annoyed by striking a marked tree on one of " Geo. Groghan's lines."

Croghan's position in the boundary controversy was a doubtful one. He was a Pennsylvanian by sympathy, though in interest he was a Virginian, for the apparent reason that he thought that if his "claims" fell within the limits of Pennsylvania his title was invalid as against that province, a result which actually followed when the line was run. All of his immense grant, covering so much of northern Washington County as originally erected, was wiped out of existence.

5 I. St. Clair Papers, 262.

6 Ibid., 265.

7 The reader of the controversy as to the genuineness of the Logan speech will recollect the point made against it, that the Cresap named as "Col. Cresap" was not a colonel, but a captain. Here is seen the fact that Cresap was called colonel in 1772, two years before the speech was delivered.


was answered by Mr. Wilson, and I assure you the Proprietaries and the people are very much obliged to him. In a very handsome speech of about an hour, he opened the Constitution of the Province, compared it with that of the neighboring colonies, and pointed out where it excelled them. . . . I think it was lucky it was spoken so publicly, as many people from the doubtful part of the country were present and seemed so pleased with the conduct of the court in rejecting the petition."

Soon afterwards, but without date, another letter WAS written by Capt. St. Clair to Mr. Shippen,¹ in which the good effect of Mr. Wilson's speech was again referred to:

"However, there is still a number of people, abetted chiefly by Mr. Croghan, that refuse to submit to the jurisdiction of this Province, and ,very lately the sheriff has been very ill treated by a number of them ; about twelve waylaid him and come upon him and one of his deputies stark naked, and threatened to put them both to immediate death, but after much abuse they consented to let them go at that time, but swore in the most dreadful manner, that if ever they returned to attempt to serve process, they would sacrifice them or follow them to their own houses and put them to the most cruel death. The sheriff knew several of them, particularly Abraham TeaGarden and William Tea-Garden the younger, who are the ringleaders of the gang of villains, John Death, Andrew Gudgell, and Michael Cack ; and they were all well armed with guns, tomahawk, pistols, and clubs; and the sheriff is of opinion that only for a pocket pistol which he produced he would certainly have met with extreme ill usage if he had escaped with his life.

"I have said these people are chiefly abetted by Mr. Croghan, and I think I have reason to say so; for no longer ago than Friday last, the collector and the constable, whom he had called to his assistance to levy his (Mr. Croghan's) taxes, were drove off by his people, and that Mr. Croghan himself threatened to put any or all of them to death if they attempted to touch any of his effects, for that he was not within the Province by twenty miles."

If Croghan were assessed with his 100,000-acres tract on the south side, described in the note to a preceding page, his interest would lead him to protest vigorously against the payment of the provincial taxes; but to show that the opposition to the jurisdiction was not wholly attributable to a dislike of all governmental restraint and burden, there is a letter from Robert Lettis Hooper, Jr., to William Franklin, the Governor of New Jersey, dated at Fort Pitt, Sept. 15, 1772:

" SIR,—A few days ago I was at Redstone, when I had an opportunity of knowing the sentiments of the People of that Part of the Country with Respect to the Western Boundary of Pennsylvania, and find a great Number of them are determined to pay no respect to the Institution of the Court of Bedford. They believe the Western Boundary of Pennsylvania will not extend so for as Redstone Settlement, and say it is an imposition to oblige them to pay taxes for Building Court-Houses, &c., in Bedford County when there is the greatest probability of their being obliged to contribute to publick Uses in the New Colony.²

"These sentiments do not proceed from Licentiousness in the People, nor from a desire to screen themselves from Law as some would represent, but from believing themselves out of Pennsylvania and being burthened with exhorbitant Taxes and Mileage, which they are unwilling to pay till it is absolutely determined whether they are in Pennsylvania or not." ³

There is not at hand any documentary evidence that the notice received by the Provincial Council resulted in any immediate action on the part of the government.

¹. St. Clair Papers, 267.

² By the "New Colony" in this letter is to be understood a reference to a proposed grant by the king and Council, known at the time as Walpole's grant, afterward as Vandalia, to constitute a new colony to be settled back of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

³ From Ellis' History of Fayette County, 115.

Why cannot now be stated, unless that the outbreaks of which information bad been given were regarded simply as to be expected in the early period of the establishment of a new county organization over a settlement of pioneers. But Fort Pitt is now to cease as a garrisoned post, and events are to ripen for more trouble upon the western border.

Fort Pitt Abandoned by the British.—Fort Pitt, erected by Gen. Stanwix in 1759, at a cost of £60,000 sterling, was occupied by the British forces thenceforward continuously until the 10th of October, 1772, on which date by order of Gen. Gage, then commander-in-chief in North America, Maj. Charles Edmonstone, in command at Fort Pitt, sold to Alexander Ross and William Thompson " all the pickets, bricks, stones, timber, and iron which are now in the building or walls of the said fort" for fifty pounds, New York currency,4 and soon afterwards withdrew. corporal and a guard were left in possession for a time, when, as has appeared by the affidavit printed in ,a note to a previous page, Edward Ward took possession and retained it for some time.5

In the same year in which Fort Pitt was abandoned there arrived a new Governor over the colony of Virginia in the person of John Murray, the fourth Earl of Dunmore, one of the Peers of Scotland. He had been Governor of New York, and on the death of Botetourt was sent as his successor to Virginia. Early in the next year, 1773, he made a visit to Fort Pitt, and stopped on his way at the house of William Crawford, on the Youghiogheny. It 1773. bad been the intention of Washington to accompany Lord Dunmore on his trip over the mountains, and the former had made all the necessary arrangements to do so, but was prevented by the death of Miss Custis, his step-daughter.6 At Fort Pitt Lord Dunmore met Dr. John Connolly, heretofore introduced to us by Col. Washington, who had dined with him at Semple's in 1770.

There is no evidence as to what was the real purpose of this visit of the Virginia Governor, but from the fact that soon afterwards began an active outbreak of the boundary controversy, and in the next year occurred the Indian war known as Dunmore's war, of both of which matters Dr. Connolly was an

4 Equivalent, at eight shillings to the dollar, to one hundred and twenty-five dollars. For the facts concerning this sale see II. Olden Time, 94, 95.

5 There is an unaccountable discrepancy in the accounts of this matter. The official records of the proceedings of the Virginia convention, Jan, 6, 1776, show the fact of the sale Oct. 10, 1772, of the material of the fort to Ross and Thompson, and that a corporal and a few men were left in charge. Edward Ward's affidavit (1 Calendar, Va. State Papers, 278) states that in 1771 the fort was evacuated, and he took possession and kept it till 1774, when it' was seized by Connolly. It must be that Ward was in possession as the agent of Ross and Thompson, the former of whom was " agent" for the contractors for victualing his Majesty's forces in North America.

6 See letter, Washington to Dunmore, April 13,1773.; Washington and Crawford Correspondence, 27; letter, Washington to Crawford, Sept. 254 1773, Ibid., 29.


indefatigable promoter, there is no doubt that it was "to sound the inclinations of the inhabitants as well as the Indians."¹ Most impartial writers have expressed the opinion, after the examination of all the facts, that Lord Dunmore had early information of transactions presaging the rupture with the mother-country, and that in the controversy instituted over the boundary question, as well as in his management of the Indian war of 1774, he was impelled in both by a wish to put the two governments into antagonism with each other. It is most probable that in 1773, when Lord Dunmore met Dr. Connolly at Fort Pitt, which was about the middle of the summer, he selected him as his agent to extend the jurisdiction of Virginia over the Monongahela and Ohio Valleys. It will be remembered also, that on Feb. 26, 1773, Westmoreland County had been erected, and the seat of justice was at Hannas Town, not far from the present Greensburg. In the formation of a new county, with all the attendant jealousies and diversities of interest, when new burdens were imposed upon a people little able to bear them, it was a suitable time successfully to introduce a rival government to receive the adherence of the disaffected.




The Boundary Controversy, Continued—Connolly's Assumption of Government—Governor Penn and Lord Dunmore—Connolly at Hennastown—Arrest of Westmoreland County Justices—Commissioners to Lord Dunmore—The Peace Policy Pursued—Counter Proclamations and Subsequent Outrages—The Augusta County Court Opened—The Revolution—Connolly's Power Ended—Address of Delegates in Congress.

Connolly's Assumption of Government.—On Jan. 1, 1774, the following advertisement was posted at Pittsburgh and throughout the vicinity :²

(1774)." WHEREAS, his Excellency John, the Earl of Dunmore, Governor in chief and Captain General of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, and Vice Admiral of the same, has been pleased to nominate and appoint me Captain, Commandant of the Militia of Pittsburgh

and its Dependencies, with instructions to assure his Majesty's Subjects settled on the Western Waters, that having the greatest Regard to their Prosperity and Interest, and convinced from their repeated Memorials of the grievances of which they complain, that he proposes moving to the House of Burgesses the Necessity of erecting a New County, to include Pittsburgh, for the redress of your Complaints, and to take every other Step that may attend to afford you that justice for which you Solicit. In order to facilitate this desirable circumstance, I hereby require and command all persons in the Dependency of Pittsburgh to assemble themselves there as a Militia on the 25th Instant, at which time I shall communicate other Matters for the promotion of public Utility. Given under my Hand, this let day of January, 1774.


¹ See note with John Ormsby's statement in a subsequent page.

² X. Col. Records, 141.

On the 11th of January, Æneas Mackay,³ one of the justices of Westmoreland County, wrote to Arthur St. Clair :4

"DEAR SIR,—Here inclosed you will find a copy of Doctor Connolly's advertisement, put up at different parts of this village, the 8th Instant, several copies of which were dispersed through the country at the same time. This imprudent piece will I am much afraid be the means of creating great confusion and disturbance in this county, unless proper steps will be taken to check it in time.

"The Doctor informs us that Lord Dunmore has made application to General Haldiman for a sergeant and twelve men, to be sent immediately to this place, in order to support his authority.

"The captain has already appointed six or seven magistrates, among whom are Major Smallman, John Campbell, and John Gibson; the rest I have not heard their names yet. There is no doubt but all the disaffected and vagabonds that before invaded law and justice with so much art, will now flock in numbers to the captain's standard, if not prevented in time, the consequences of which we have just cause to dread. I think your presence is absolutely necessary at this time.

" P S  Since I wrote the above, Mr. Espy 5 a happened in company with the new captain, to whom Espy said he thought the next court for Westmoreland would be held at Pittsburgh; 6 to which the captain replied in a rage, damn hint if lie would not oppose it; from which and many other circumstances of the like kind, it appears how determined he will be to carry his designs into execution. It's thought here that 'tis all Colonel Croghan’s intrigues."

Upon the receipt of this letter, Arthur St. Clair (who was the prothonotary or " chief clerk") on January 12th sent his own clerk to the Provincial Council, with a letter inclosing the high-sounding advertisement of Capt. Connolly, and stated that what had occurred to him was that previous to the day appointed for the meeting of the militia, he should demand such security of Connolly for his good behavior as he would not be able to procure, and in consequence have him committed, and that he had written to Mr. Wilson for his " council on this thought." 7 The emergency requiring it, Arthur St. Clair, in his capacity of justice, before Governor Penn's reply to his letter was received, issued a warrant for Dr. Connolly's arrest, an account of which, as well as of the occurrences at Pittsburgh on the day of the militia meeting, is contained in his letter to Governor Penn, dated at Ligonier, the place of his residence, on Feb. 2, 1774 : 8

“I am honored with your letter of the 20th of January, which reached me the 28th, and am happy to find the method pursued at Pittsburgh on the 25th did not materially differ from that you had been pleased to direct.

³ Afterward the colonel of the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment in the Revolution, of which regiment seven companies were from Westmoreland (then including Allegheny, Washington, Fayette, and Greene) and one from Bedford. Col. Mackay died at Quibbletown, N. J., Feb. 17, 1777. For sketch and roster of regiment see X. Pennsylvania Archives, Sec. S., 641.

4 I. St. Clair Papers, 271.

5 A lawyer of Bedford, practicing also at Hannastown. At the second term of the Washington County court, he was admitted there to practice.

6 For some time there was a controversy whether the county-seat of Westmoreland should continue at Hennas Town or be fixed at Pittsburgh. Col. George Wilson was in favor of the latter place; Robert Hanna and Joseph Irwin, the other trustees, outvoted him. See his letter, IV. Pennsylvania Archives, 466; and the letter of Arthur St. Clair, Ibid., 471.

7. St. Clair Papers, 273.

8 IV. Penna. Archives, 476; see the same letter with valuable notes in I. St. Clair Papers, 279.


"Dr. Connolly wee arrested previous to the meeting, by my orders, on his avowing himself the author of the advertisement requiring the people to meet as a militia, and committed on refusing to find sureties for his good behavior till next court.

"I was in hopes the sending him out of the way [i.e., to jail] would have put an end to it altogether; I was mistaken. About eighty persona in arms assembled themselves, chiefly from Mr. Croghan's neighborhood, and, after parading through the town and making a kind of feu de joie, proceeded to the Fort, where a cask of rum was produced on the parade and the head knocked out. This was a very effectual way of recruiting. As a scene of drunkenness and confusion was likely to ensue, I got the magistrates (who attended in consequence of the letter I had sent them) together, and read the inclosed papers;¹ which we had concocted that morning, and at the conclusion, when they were required to disperse, they replied they had been invited there but came with peaceable intentions, and would go home again without molesting any one; on which we left them. However, towards night their peaceable disposition forsook them, and I should probably have felt their resentment, had I not got intimation of their design. I thought it most prudent to keep out of their way. . .

"Mr. Connolly has most certainly a commission from Lord Dunmore expressly for Pittsburgh and its dependencies; and his subalterns are John Stephenson, a brother of Mr. Crawford,² our senior magistrate, William Harrison, a son-in-law of his, and Dorsey Pentecost,³ who was lately in the commission of the peace here. Mr. Pentecost has, I hear, been down to Mr. Connolly's since his confinement, and taken the necessary oaths to qualify him for his military office, and is to assemble the people at Redstone, and take possession of Fort Burd.4 I have written to the justices 5 in that part of the country to watch his motions. Mr. McKee is said to be appointed a justice by Lord Dunmore, but I would fain hope without his consent; at any rate he behaved very well on the late occasion, and, as he was doubted, I made a point of having him there under pretense of his being an Indian Agent, but in fact, if he was a friend or abettor of Connolly's measures. . . ." 6

¹ This paper, printed in IV. Penn. Archives, 478; I. St. Clair Papers, 280; I. Olden Time, 473, is too long to be copied. It was a temperate but dignified and forcible presentation of the propriety of a peaceable obedience to the laws of Pennsylvania. One paragraph, however, was: "The Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania has been regularly extended to Pittsburgh, and exercised there for a number of years, as the records of Cumberland, Bedford, and Westmoreland Counties testify ; and you yourselves have acknowledged it, by applying for your lands in that Province. Whether that extension has been legally made or not, can be determined by the Crown alone; but must be submitted to till it is determined. And it must be evident to you that Lord Dunmore, as Governor of Virginia, can have no more right to determine this matter, than one of us, for this plain reason ; the charters of Pennsylvania and Virginia, both flowed originally from the Crown; on that footing they are perfectly independent of each other; but they are both parties in this dispute, and consequently neither can be judge."

² That is, Wm. Crawford, the presiding justice of the courts; he had one brother, Valentine Crawford, and five half-brothers, one of whom was John Stephenson.

³ Dorsey Pentecost was then living in the present Rostraver township, Westmoreland County; he did not remove to the East Branch of Chartiers until a later date. His deed to Samuel and Robert Purviance for his mansion tract, "Green Way," on the Youghiogheny, is dated May 16, 1777, but the sale and his removal might have been earlier. The letter in the text, however, clearly indicates that his removal had not yet taken place.

Pentecost was a Virginia adherent from the start; though he had been an official of Bedford County, he was omitted in all the appointments for Westmoreland County.

4 “Redstone," of course, was the present Brownsville, Fayette Co. In 1759, Col. James Burd had erected there a fort of some strength, called Fort Burd. There were there then the distinct and well-preserved traces of works made by the Mound-Builders, supposed to have been an old Indian fort, but the Indians here when the settlers came never built such fortifications. This old fort, so called, gave the name "Redstone Old Fort," used almost entirely by the early people.

5 Van Swearingen, a justice, then lived across the river, about opposite Greenfield, Washington Co., and Thomas Scott, also a justice, lived on Dunlap's Creek, near Brownsville. The former became the first sheriff, and the latter the Bret prothonotary and clerk of Washington County.

6 This manoeuvre as to Alexander McKee did not amount to much. He was a native of Pennsylvania, and trader among the Indium. In

Governor Penn and Lord Dunmore.—In the mean time Governor Penn, who had awakened to the necessity of executive action, on Jan. 31, 1774,7 had written to Lord Dunmore stating that he had lately received the advertisement set up by Connolly at Pittsburgh and vicinity, and expressed his surprise at the step so sudden and unexpected, and so very alarming to the inhabitants of the western part of the province, who had taken up and improved and hitherto peaceably enjoyed their lands under grants from the proprietaries of Pennsylvania. Affecting to disbelieve that Lord Dunmore would countenance measures injurious to the rights of the proprietaries, and having a tendency to create disturbances within the province, he proceeded,—

"The western extent of the Province of Pennsylvania, by the, Royal Grant, is five degrees of longitude from the river Delaware, which is its eastern boundary. In the year 1768 [in 1767] an east and west line was run from Delaware, at the mouth of Christiana creek, to the crossing of Dunkard creek, a branch of the Monongahela by Messieurs. Dixon and Mason, two surveyors of distinction, who were sent over from England to run the division line between Maryland and Pennsylvania. These artists fixed the latitude and extent of that line with the utmost exactness and precision, to the satisfaction of the commissioners on both sides. From the 233d mile-stone on this line a north line hath been since carefully run and measured to the Ohio, and from thence up to Fort Pitt; the several courses of the river having been takein with all possible care.8 From the line of Dixon and Mason to a known point in the south flue of the City of Philadelphia, the true course and distance bath been discovered by actual survey, as also from the point aforesaid to that part of the river Delaware which is in the same latitude as Fort Pitt; and from these several data, the most exact calculations have been made by Dr. Smith, Provost of our College, Mr. Rittenhouse, and our Surveyor General, in order to ascertain the difference of longitude between Delaware and Pittsburgh, who all agree that the latter is near six miles eastward of the western extent of the Province."

Governor Penn inclosed a map made to illustrate the subject. Should his lordship, however, contrary to expectation, still entertain any doubt respecting this matter, it was hoped he would at least think it reasonable, for avoiding those mischiefs which must nat-

1772 he became a deputy Indian agent. He soon after this letter began to act openly with the partisans of Lord Dunmore, although he had been a justice of Bedford County and was then a justice for Westmoreland County. He became au official of the Virginia courts when organised in the Monongahela Valley, and in the spring of 1778, with Simon Girty, Matthew Elliot, and other renegades, went over to the Indians, who were then allied with the British. He had a fine body of lands at the month of Chartiers Creek. Inn the " Record Book of Surveys made in Yohogenia County, A.D. 1780, by William Crawford, Surveyor," is found an entry that on June 15, 1780, Benjamin Johnston "produced a warrant for 500 acres of land, dated 201h May 1780, No. 4925, which he locates & enters on lands whereon Alexander McKee lived at the mouth of Shirtee or Chartiers creek, the said McKee having left the same & gone to the Common Enemy of America, which was located by Dorsey Pentecost, but no warrant being left in the office, the entry became invalid or void." Virginia had ceased then to be a royal colony.

7 K. Col. Records, 149 ; I. St. Clair Papers, 277.

8 In running this due north line to the Ohio, and thence up the river to Fort Pitt, St. Clair had taken a prominent part. It was done by him in connection with Moses McLean in 1771 (I. St. Clair Papers, 9), doubtless to fix some kind of a western boundary to Bedford County. Perhaps the object was merely to find the distance of Fort Pitt due west from the Delaware River, to ascertain if it were within the five degrees of longitude. In this view the willingness in 1774 to adopt the meandering line for the western boundary is clearly indicated, in which case almost all of the present Washington County would have been left with the Pan Handle.


urally arise in case of clashing and disputed jurisdictions, to defer the appointment of officers and the exercise of government in that. neighborhood, and suffer the people to remain in the quiet and undisputed possession of the lands they held under Pennsylvania till some temporary line of jurisdiction could be agreed on by his majesty in Council, before whom a petition from the proprietaries of Pennsylvania for the settlement of their western as well as other boundaries was then pending. On Feb. 23, 1774, Joseph Spear, a trader residing at Pittsburgh, also a Westmoreland justice, wrote to Arthur St. Clair from that place :¹

"I am just now informed that the Virginians up the Monongahela have had two or three musters lately ; one at Red Stone Old Fort, and one yesterday at Paul Froman's,² on the other aide of the Monongahela; and am also told they had a meeting at Mr. Pentecost's own house; in consequence of which Mr. Pentecost wrote to Mr. Swearingen to act no longer there as a Pennsylvania magistrate at his peril. I therefore think it would be advisable to endeavor to have a stop put to these proceedings, if possible, as it creates the greatest disturbance, and very much retards the execution of our civil process.

"P.S.—This news has just come to hand; otherwise I would have written you more fully. Dr. Connolly is just now going over the run³ to Redstone, I know not what for."

How Dr. Connolly, who had lately been committed to jail by St. Clair, came to be at liberty, and what was the purpose of his trip to Redstone, is made apparent by the letter of Æneas Mackay to Governor Penn of April 4, 1774, which gives a history of affairs since Connolly's release.4 It is stated that Connolly, having been in confinement for but a few days, prevailed upon the sheriff; John Proctor, to permit him to visit Pittsburgh, pledging his honor to return before the next court in April ; that he stayed a few days at Pittsburgh, and then, instead of returning to jail as lie had promised, he went up to Redstone settlement, where, with the assistance of his friends in that quarter, he assembled about twenty men, who guarded him " from there to or near the frontier of Virginia ;" that he returned from Virginia to Pitts-

¹ IIV. Pennsylvania Arch., 481; I. St. Clair Papers, 284.

² This was Paul Froman, who lived on the East Branch of Chartiers Creek, at the present Beck's Mills, or Linden, in North Strabane township.

³ This may have been "river" in the original. In 1769, James Hendricks, a deputy surveyor for Cumberland County, wrote to James Tilghman, the secretary of the land-office, under date of September 6th: "I received yours of 28th ult., where you desire I would give my opinion how far the Western Boundary of this Province would reach. As I have never been at the line where it crosseth the Monongahela, I can't pretend to judge, only from the opinion of the people living out there, and as most of them are prejudiced, I can't give any weight to what they say. But as I am very particular in taking the Courses of the Monongahela, I shall be able in the fall to give it you with some exactness; in the meantime, I am inclined to believe that Chartiers Creek must be in the Province, as its junction with the Ohio is but (scarce) four miles from Fort Pitt, about North West, and on going to Redstone, you cross it severe times, and I tall well assured the mouth of Redstone is several degrees to the Westward of South from Fort Pitt." This would indicate that travelers from Fort Pitt to Redstone came across the river over upon the (herders and up the same probably some distance before turning towards the Redstone.

4 IV. Penn. Archives, 484.

burgh on March 28th, and since then " our village is become the scene of Anarchy and Confusion;" that:

" On the 30 of March a party from the Chartee settlement joined the Doctor at this place. On bearing of that circumstance, Sheriff Proctor and the justices, Smith, McFarland, and myself, Repaired to the Fort in order to discover the Doctor's intention, and if we found them anywise tumultuously disposed to Read the Riot Act. There we found about twenty odd Men, some with, and some without arms, and the Doctor before them with two letters in his band, both of which he said he bad just received from Lord Dunmore, with orders to make them (the militia) acquainted with the Contents, and this he immediately did, by reading these Papers to them. In the first of these letters his Lordship greatly applauded the Doctor's Conduct when Taken by the Sheriff for not giving Bail, and Commanded him to Persevere in the prosecution of the plan be began upon, maintaining the possession of Fort Pitt & Its dependencies, and to put the militia & other Virginia Laws in force, concluding with a promise of being powerfully supported by his Lordship.

"The other letter the Doctor &Flared to be a Duplicate of his Lordship's answer to Governor Penn's Letter Relating to the militia muster, when first set on foot at this place last January."

This letter, which is too long to quote entire, then proceeds to state that, after reading the papers, Connolly called the sheriff and his justices to a " barrack-room," and delivered to them a lecture upon the propriety of obedience and acquiescence, and said that " he had not intended to take any step contrary to the Established Rules of law at that place till after the court, which would sit in a few days, when he was determined to deliver himself up, and a Bide by the judg't of the same ;" that the next morning Sheriff Proctor served a writ upon William Christy, one of Dr. Connolly's militia lieutenants, on notice of which Connolly caused the sheriff to be arrested upon a king's warrant, and held him in custody for some time, " and ever since that time there are parties of armed men in Constant persute of our Deputy sheriff & Constables, by which means it's impossible for us to do any business. The doctor is now in actual possession of the Fort, with a Body Guard of Militia, about him, Invested, as we are told, with both Civil and military power, to put the Virginia Law in Force in these parts," etc. The letter is closed with the re. mark, "The Indians are greatly alarmed at seeing parties of armed men patrolling through our stree Daily, not knowing but there is hostility intended against them and their country." It was not long, indeed, until an Indian war followed, owing its origin to Connolly and his superior, Lord Dunmore.

Lord Dunmore's reply to Governor Penn's communication, written on January 31st, was delayed until the 3d of March.5 A copy of his reply, as has been seen, was in Connolly's hands on March 30th, almost as soon as it reached Governor Penn. Doubtless Connolly had been with Dunmore when it was written :

" WILLIAMSBURGH, 3 March, 1774.

" SIR,—I have been favored with your letter of the 31st January,1774, and duplicate of the same, the occasion of which having been the appointment of certain officers by me in a remote district of the county of Augusta,6 in this Colony, which includes Pittsburgh, which having been

5 X. Col. Records, 156; I. St. Clair Papers, 285.

6 This is the first mention we have of the country upon the Monongahela and the Ohio forming a part of Augusta County, Va. That county


done, as is always my rule, with the advice of his Majesty's Council [of Virginia], I could not till I had an opportunity of laying your letter before them return you an answer, and it is not till now that I am enabled to do so."

The letter then proceeded to suggest that though the calculations relied upon in the plan sent by Governor Penn might be correct, yet that, Virginia not having been a party to them, she was not bound. The transactions of the French and Indian war were cited with respect to the right of that colony to this country. "And it seems to me that the step which I have taken ought not to have been either unexpected or surprising, as you are pleased to say it was to you, when it was well known that formal declarations were made by the Assembly of Pennsylvania that Pittsburgh was not within the jurisdiction of that government at the time that requisitions were made to them for the defense of that place, the burden of which on that account fell on this government." Dunmore then proceeded to avow authority from him to Dr. Connolly for all the latter had done, and insisted upon the most ample reparation for the insult to the authority of his "Majesty's government of Virginia" in his arrest, and " no less can possibly be admitted than the dismission of the clerk (St. Clair) of Westmoreland County, who had the audacity, without any authority, to commit a magistrate in the legal discharge of his trust, unless he (St. Clair) can prevail, by proper submission, on Mr. Connolly to demand his pardon of me."

To this communication Governor Penn replied on March 31,1774,¹ with an evident degree of impatience that his suggestions for delay in establishing the Virginia jurisdiction until the line could be fixed, either by commissioners to be selected or by steps to be taken upon an order of the king in Council, should have been so rudely disregarded. But, after a little, the communication enters upon a discussion of the proceedings of the Provincial Council and the Assembly in relation to the building of the forts upon the Ohio, beginning with 1752, and extending till 1754, giving an accurate review of all the facts, and

had been erected in 1738. Frederick County was erected at the same time, and these two counties embraced all of Virginia west of the Blue Ridge, the range of mountains nearest the coast. Frederick lay south of the western part of Maryland, while Augusta stretched out as far as the settlements proceeded beyond the Alleghenies. The county-seat of Augusta County was Staunton, in the Shenandoah Valley. That part of Augusta lying, as claimed, west of the Allegheny Mountains was afterwards known as West Augusta, or the District of West Augusta. In the year 1775, by the convention assembled to devise a plan for resisting the oppressions of the mother-country, among other proceedings it was determined that "The landholders of the district of West Augusta shall be considered as a distinct county, and have the liberty of sending two delegates to represent them in general convention." Kercheval, in his "History of the Valley of Virginia," 236, says, " This is the first account which the author has been able to find in our ancient statutes in relation to West Augusta as a separate district or county. In fact, it does not appear that we ever had a county legally established by this name. It is presumable that it acquired the name by general usage, from its remote and western locality from the seat of justice." More as to this hereafter..

¹ X. Col. Records, 158 ; I. St. Clair Papers, 287.

quoting the letter of Governor Dinwiddie of March 21,1754, in which it was said in this the last communication at that time between-the two governments upon the subject: " Your private letter of the 18, current, I have duly received, and am much misled by our Surveyors if the forks of Monongahela be within the limits of your Proprietaries' Grant. I have for some time wrote home to have the line ran, that I may be able to appoint Magistrates on the Ohio (if in this government) to keep the traders and others in good order, and I presume soon there will be Commissioners appointed for that purpose. In the mean time, that no hindrance may be given to our intended expedition, it is highly reasonable, if their lands are in your Proprietaries' grant, that the settlers should pay the quit-rent to Mr. Penn, and not to his Majesty; and therefore, as much as lies in my power, I agree thereto, after the time granted by my proclamation, to be clear of quit-rents, ceases." Thus successfully meeting the averment that there were any transactions of the provincial government which estopped her from asserting her jurisdiction upon the Ohio, Governor Penn then explains away the position in which he was placed by the Provincial Assembly when they refused to grant supplies to aid in the war referred to. This he does by stating that "unfortunately at this time there was no very good understanding between the Government and the Assembly, and when Mr. Hamilton [then Governor] laid Mr. Dinwiddie's requisition before them, they declined complying with it, and urged for reasons that by the Royal orders to the several Governors they were not to act as principals out of their own Governments; that they (the Assembly) would not presume to determine upon the limits of the Province; and that by papers and evidences sent down to them, and referred to by the Governor, the limits of the Province had not been clearly ascertained to their satisfaction." He then states that at this date, 1754, only the temporary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland had been established, and that only one hundred and forty-four miles from the Delaware. Mason and Dixon's line had not been surveyed and marked. The position of the French forts within the limits of the province had been ascertained by. Mr. Hamilton from information from Indian traders, founded on computed distances and mountainous and crooked roads, with which the Assembly was not satisfied. "But if their declarations had been ever so formal or positive, I cannot conceive how any proceedings of theirs would affect the State of the Province, controul the jurisdiction, or prejudice the rights of the Proprietaries." The Governor then served a notice upon Lord Dunmore :

"And to prevent the setting up of claims and making conclusions of right by the Government of Virginia, from the circumstances of settlement on the one side, and non-claim on the other, I must take this opportunity of notifying to your Lordship that the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania do claim, by their said petition [then pending before the king], as part of their Province of Pennsylvania, all the lands lying west of a


south line to be drawn from Dixon's and Mason's Line, as it is commonly called, at the westernmost part of the Province of Maryland to the beginning of the fortieth degree of north latitude, to the extent of five degrees of longitude from the, river Delaware ; and I must request your Lordship will neither grant lands nor exercise the government of Virginia within those limits, till his Majesty's pleasure may be known.... Mr. St. Clair is a gentleman who for a long time had the honor of serving his Majesty in the regulars with reputation, and in every station of life has preserved the character of a very good worthy man ; and though perhaps I should not, without first expostulating with you on the subject, have directed him to take that step [the arrest of Connolly], yet you must excuse my not complying with your Lordship's requisition of stripping him, on this occasion, of his offices and livelihood, which you will allow me to think not only unreasonable but somewhat dictatorial...”

This was the last correspondence between the two Governors for some time upon that subject.

Connolly at Hannas Town.—Dr. Connolly was left on the 30th of March, the day before the last preceding letter was written, in full possession of old Fort Pitt, surrounded by his body-guard of militia, but intending, as lie stated to Æneas Mackay, to report as he had engaged to do to the court of Westmoreland County, to be holden the next week, and to submit himself to its order. He did so report, but in a manner entirely unexpected. His proceedings are fully related in a letter written to Governor Penn on April 8th by Capt. William Crawford, the presiding justice of the Westmoreland court, and carried to Philadelphia by Col. George Wilson:¹

"SIR,—As some very extraordinary occurrences have lately happened in this country it is necessary to write an account of them to you. That which I now give is at the request and with the approbation of the magistrates that are present attending the court. A few weeks ago Mr. Connolly went to Staunton (Va.), and was sworn in as a justice of the peace for Augusta County, in which it is pretended that the country around Pittsburgh is included. He had before this brought from Williamsburg commissions of the peace for several gentlemen in this part of the province, but none of them I believe have been accepted of. A number of new militia officers have been lately appointed by Lord Dunmore. Several musters of the militia have been held, and much confusion has been occasioned by them. I am informed that the militia is composed of men without character and without fortune, and who would be equally averse to the regular administration of justice under the colony of Virginia as they are to that under the province of Pennsylvania. The disturbances which they have produced at Pittsburgh have been particularly alarming to the inhabitants. Mr. Connolly is constantly surrounded with a body of armed men. He boasts of the countenance of the Governor of Virginia, and forcibly obstructs the execution of legal process, whether from the court or single magistrates. A deputy sheriff has come from Augusta County, and I am told he has write in his hands against Captain St. Clair and the sheriff for the arrest and confinement of Mr. Connolly. The sheriff was last week arrested at Pittsburgh for serving a writ on one of the inhabitants there, but was after some time discharged. On Monday last one of Connolly's people grossly insulted Mr. Mackay, and was confined by him in order to be sent to jail. The rest of the party hearing it immediately came to Mr. Mackay's house, and proceeded to the most violent outrages. Mrs. Mackay wan wounded in the arm with a cutlass. The magistrates and those who came to their assistance were treated with much abuse, and the prisoner was rescued.

¹ X. Col. Records, 165; I. St. Clair Papers, 291. The writer of this letter was Capt. William Crawford, then residing at Stewart's Crossings (at Connellsville, Fayette Co.). He soon afterwards engaged in Dunmore's war, first as a captain, then as a major, and then became an active Virginia partisan. In the next winter he was superseded in his commission as a justice for Westmoreland County. The leader of the expedition against the India mi in 1782, he was burned at the stake at Sandusky on June 11th of that year.

 - 12 -

" Some days before the meeting of the court a report was spread that the militia officers at the head of their several companies would come to Mr. Hanna's, use the court ill, and interrupt the administration of justice. On Wednesday while the court was adjourned they came to the court-house [at Hannastown, Westmoreland Co.], and paraded before it. Sentinels were placed at the door, and Mr. Connolly went into the house. One of the magistrates was hindered by the militia from going into it till permission was first obtained from their commander. Mr. Connolly sent a message to the magistrates informing them that he wanted to communicate something to them, and would wait on them for that purpose. They received him in a private room. He read to them the inclosed paper, together with a copy of a letter to you which Lord Dunmore had transmitted to him, inclosed in a letter to himself, which was written in the same angry and undignified style. The magistrates gave the inclosed answer to what he read, and he soon afterwards departed with his men. Their number was about one hundred and eighty or two hundred. On their return to Pittsburgh some of them seized Mr. Elliott, of the Bullock Pens, and threatened to put him in the stocks for something which they deemed an affront offered to their commander. Since their return a certain Edward Thompson and a young man who keeps store for Mr. Spear have been arrested by them, and Mr. Connolly, who in person seized tire young man, would not allow him time even to lock up the store. In other parts of the country, particularly those adjoining the river Monongahela, the magistrates have been frequently insulted in the most indecent and violent manner, and are apprehensive that unless they are speedily and vigorously supported by Government it will become both fruitless and dangerous for them to proceed to the execution of their offices. They presume not to point out the measures proper for settling the present disturbances, but beg leave to recommend the fixing of a temporary line with the utmost expedition as one step which in all probability will contribute very much towards producing that effect. For further particulars concerning the situation of the country I refer you to Colonel Wilson, who is kind enough to go on the present occasion to Philadelphia.

" I am, sir, your very humble servant." ²

The following letter was also sent along, written by Thomas Smith,' who had witnessed the occurrences:


"SIR,—The present transactions at this place are so very extraordinary, that I am persuaded you will be very much surprised at the relation of them, if anything that Is absurd and unwarrantable which originates from Lord Dunmore can surprise you. I think I am warranted in this observation by his Lordship's letter to his honor, duplicate of which, together with a letter at the same time to Connolly, we have bad just read to us.

"After Connolly was committed to jail in the manner you have been informed, the sheriff let him at large on his word of honor to return at the court. He did return, indeed, in such a manner as might have been expected from his preceding conduct. We heard, when we came up to this court, that he was mustering a large party in order to prevent the court from sitting. We thought that there could not be any foundation for such a report, but at the same time we thought it prudent to order the Sheriff to raise as many men as he could collect, to prevent us from being insulted by a lawless net of men acting under the color of authority. The time was so short that but few were collected on our side, and those few were ill armed, so that we found ourselves in a very disagreeable situation when we received certain intelligence that Connolly was coming down with two hundred armed men. When we found they were at hand the magistrates thought It prudent to adjourn the court, as it was near the time. They soon after came down to the number of one hundred and fifty or one hundred and eighty, with colors flying, and their Captains, &c., had their swords drawn. The first thing they did was to place sentinels at the court-house door, and then Connolly sent a message that he would wait on the Magistrates and communicate the reasons of his appearance. ,The bench and bar were then assembled in Mr. Hanna's house, where we sent him word we would hear him. He and Pentecost soon came down, and he read the paper which will be sent down to his Honor the Governor, with the bearer of this, and then he read a duplicate of Lord Dunmore to our Governor together with the letter mentioned before.

"The Court told him they would soon return an answer to what he

² See deposition of George Wilson, IV. Penn. Archive*, p. 492.

³ IV. Penn. Archives, 618.


had said. (They did not think it prudent to do it without consulting together and taking the opinion of the bar.) We soon agreed on the terms of the answer, and the gentleman who had the principal hand in forming it, has done it in such a manner as I am persuaded will procure him the thanks of the government. It contains firmness and moderation, and, as far as I am

''capable of judging, it was not possible to form one more free from exceptions in our present situation. One in any other form might have been the occasion of altercations, which might have produced undue concessions, or been attended with the most fatal consequences ; for I have reason to believe that the greatest part of them were wishing for some colorable reason to quarrel. The bench proposed to deliver the answer in the court-house. However, in that particular they counted without their host, for they were refused admittance and Connolly waited for them at the court-house door, where Mr. Wilson, at the request of the Court, delivered it, and after exchanging copies they departed more peaceably than might have been expected. However, the consequences of such proceedings are too apparent to need be enumerated; the administration of justice must be entirely ate stand, and, indeed, I cannot help thinking that this mob has collected for that purpose, as I am well assured that amongst all those who assembled there was not one single man of any property ; on the contrary, the greatest part of them were such as are obliged to bide themselves from their creditors, or such as are under the necessity of taking shelter in this part of the country to escape the punishment of their crimes. It seems Lord Dunmore gave Connolly blank commissions, trusting to his own prudence to fill them up by inserting the names of proper persons. Connolly, in order to be consistent with himself, bestowed one of these commissions on one *******, an old fellow who has several times been committed for felony. I don't, indeed, know that he has been convicted, because he has always broke the jail. Once I think he was committed to Lancaster jail and escaped. His character is so well known,'that those who are the strongest advocates for the present disturbances are ashamed of his being appointed one of their Captains.

" The people in this part of the country who would wish to enjoy the benefits of society, and

would submit to any form of government, are in the most disagreeable situation imaginable; their property, their liberty, and their lives are at the mercy of a lawless desperate banditti I In such a situation they look for and have the utmost reason to expect, the protection of that government under which they have settled. What is the most proper method to be taken it would be presumption in me to suggest. There are but two ways; the one to agree on a temporary line of jurisdiction until the matter can be finally settled; the other, to establish a sufficient garrison at Fort Pitt to withstand the rabble, who act under Lord Dunmore's commission. It would have been a happy thing for this part of the country, if this last measure had met with success when it was first recommended to the Legislature; and, indeed, sensible people in this part of the country, who are well affected to this government, cannot help drawing conclusions from the opposition which that measure met with, which I am persuaded could never be the motives of those who may have made the opposition to it.

"The conduct of Lord Dunmore is really the most extraordinary, in the light in which the people of this part of the county are obliged to view it, that can be imagined. To establish the jurisdiction of a different province over the people who have purchased, and settled, and lived for a considerable space of time, peaceably under this; to establish this jurisdiction by a military force, is such au absurd measure, that I believe it will be difficult to suppose any in his senses would have adopted It.

"I hope you will excuse this incoherent scrawl, when I inform you that it is written in a small room amidst the clamor and confusion of a number of people. Excuse the imperfections.

" I am, sir, your most humble servant,



¹ Thomas Smith, the writer of this letter, was the brother of Dr. William Smith, the provost of the College of Philadelphia, now the University of Pennsylvania. They were natives of Scotland. Thomas was early a settler at Bedford, and became a celebrated lawyer. In 1775 he was appointed colonel of militia, and the next year was a member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention. In 178C was a member of the Continental Congress. From 1790 to 1794 he was president judge of the Mifflin, Huntingdon, Bedford, and Franklin County district, and was justice of the Supreme Court from 1794 to 1809, when he died.

He practiced at the bar of Westmoreland at the date of the text. In the account of the burning of Hannastown by the Indians on July 13,

With the foregoing letters was Connolly's address to the Westmoreland County magistrates, as follows:

" GENTLEMEN : I am come here to be the occasion of no Disturbances, but to prevent them. As I am countenanced by Government, whatever you may say or conceive, some of the justices of this Bench are the cause of this Appearance and not me. I have done this to prevent my. self from being illegally taken to Philadelphia. My orders from the Government of Virginia not being explicit, but claiming the Country about Pittsburgh, I have raised the Militia to support the Civil Authority of that Colony vested in me.

"I have come here to free myself from a Promise made to Captain Proctor, but have not conceived myself amenable to this Court, by any Authority from Pennsylvania, upon which Account I cannot apprehend that you have any right to remain here as justices of the Peace constituting a Court under that Province ; but in order to prevent confusion, I agree that you may continue to act in that capacity, in all such Matters as may be submitted to your determination by the acquiescence of the People, until I may have instructions to the contrary from Virginia, or until His Majesty's Pleasure shall be further known on this subject."

The answer of the magistrates to this act of military domination was as follows :

"The jurisdiction of the Court and officers of the County of Westmoreland rests on the legislative Authority of the Province of Pennsylvania, confirmed by His Majesty in Council. That jurisdiction has been regularly exercised, and the Court and Officers will continue to exercise it in the same regular manner. It is far from their intention to occasion or foment Disturbances, and they apprehend that no such intentions can with Propriety be inferred from any part of their conduct; on the Contrary, they wish and will do all they can to preserve the public Tranquility. In order to contribute to this very salutary Purpose, they give Information that every step will be taken on the part of the Province of Pennsylvania to accommodate any differences that have arisen between it and the Colony of Virginia, by fixing a temporary line betwixt theme.”²

Westmoreland County Justices Arrested.—But the capture of the Westmoreland County court-house and the impertinent interference with the justices by Dr. Connolly and his body-guard of militia were not enough. The same day of the date of William Craw-ford's letter the court rose, had Æneas Mackay, Devereux Smith, and Andrew McFarlane, three of the justices residing at Pittsburgh, returned to their homes at that place. On the next day, April 9, 1774, all three were arrested upon the order of Dr. Connolly. Andrew McFarlane gave the particulars in a letter to Governor Penn, written just before being carried away, in which he said,—

" When Justice Mackay, Smith, and I returned from attending the Court last evening, we were informed that Dr. Connolly was determined to Issue Kings Warrants for us. which was served on the above-named Gentlemen and myself this day by Mr. Connolly's Sheriff, and an infamous Constable who took me prisoner by the Sholder and Told me I must go to the Fort to Capt. Connolly to receive my sentence which I was Obliged to Do. The Crime which we are Charged with is for the answer we gave Dr. Connolly, in writing, by the Concurrence of the Court at Westmoreland, a Copy of which was enclosed to your Honor, per favor of Colo. Wilson. Connolly insisted much that we should give Bail for our appearance at Staunton ³ Court, in Virginia, which the other gentlemen

1782, published in the Greemburgh Argue in 1836, written by Judge Coulter, it is said, "Thomas Smith, Fag., afterwards one of the judges of the Supreme Bench, brought quarterly from the east, the most abstruse learning of the profession to puzzle the backwoods lawyers." He was admitted to the bar of Washington County at its second term, and was the attorney of Gen. Washington in his ejectment suit for his lands in Mount Pleasant township.

² This address and the reply are in X. Col. Records, 167-68.

³ Down the Shenandoah Valley, the county-seat of Augusta County, Va.


and myself refused,¹ so that we are to go to jail this Day, where we intend to remain until your Honor's Pleasure is known, which we make no Doubt will be in a abort Time. They have taken two other Prisoners, one of which is Clark to Joseph Spear, Esquire, at this place, for assisting the under Sheriff of Westmoreland, to take one of their Virginia Captains. I ern Taken at a very' great Inconveniency as my Business is suffering much on account of my absence. Bul I am willing to suffer a great Deal more rather than Bring a Disgrace on the Commission which

I bear under your Honor. I understand we are to be Guarded by a great Number of Militia to Staunton Goal, where we are to be kept in Close Confinement."²

The three justices refusing to acknowledge the usurped jurisdiction were led under guard towards the valley of Virginia. After they had traveled one day together, Mackay obtained leave to proceed to Williamsburg, " in order to lay Connolly and his Militia's conduct before my Lord Dunmore," while Smith and McFarlane proceeded with the officer to the Staunton jail. Arriving at Williamsburg, Mackay laid his story before Dunmore, who heard him to the end, and then told him "that Connolly was authorized by him as Governor of Virginia to prosecute the claim of that Colony to Pittsburgh and its Dependencies, and as to taking of prisoners, he Connolly only imitated the Pennsylvania officers in Respect to Connolly's imprisonment by them." However, Dunmore permitted the justices to return home, which they did at once.³

Commissioners to Lord Dunmore.—In the mean time information of the interruption of the court at Hannas Town, communicated by the letters of William Crawford and of Thomas Smith, with information also of the arrest of the justices, Mackay, Smith, and McFarlane, was received by Governor Penn at Philadelphia on April 19th, and on the 21st, the communications being laid before the Council, it was at once resolved to appoint commissioners " to go as soon as possible to Williamsburgh, in order to represent to the Government of Virginia the ill Consequences which may happen to the Persons and Properties of his Majesties Subjects, if an immediate stop be not put to the Disorders and violent proceedings which have been begun and are now carrying on, under the Authority of that Government,4 &c." James Tilghman and Andrew Allen, members of the

¹ To avoid a recognition of the authority of the Virginia magistrates at Pittsburgh. The jail to which they were sent was at Staunton.

² IV. Pa. Archives, 488. See X. Col. Records, 176. On the 25th of April, 1774, the deposition of Ephraim Hunter, deputy sheriff of Westmoreland County, taken before the mayor of Philadelphia, stated that on the 10th of April, on his return from court, he stopped at the house of William Elliot, living about seven miles from Pittsburgh, to refresh himself and horse; that suddenly five or six men appeared, armed with rifles, which they presented and required him to surrender; that he knew them immediately to be a party of militia raised by Dr. Connolly, and refused; that he ran into the house and there he saw Æneas Mackay, Devereux Smith, and Andrew McFarlane, Esquires, magistrates, etc., in custody of a certain Franca Brown, who calls himself deputy sheriff of Augusta County, in Virginia, and a guard over them; that the next day he saw the magistrates twelve miles from Pittsburg, on their way to Virginia, who wished to send letters by him, but were not permitted.

³ See letters, IV Pennsylvania Archives, 494, 511, 515, 516.

4 X. Colonial Records, 170.

Governor's Council, men distinguished in their day (the former the father of William Tilghman, the eminent chief justice of Pennsylvania), were appointed the commissioners with written instructions, first, to prevail upon Lord Dunmore to unite with the proprietaries of Pennsylvania in a petition to the king to appoint commissioners to run and mark the boundary line, the expense to be equally borne by the two colonies; second, whether he should so agree or not, they were to use every possible argument to induce him to agree to a temporary line until the permanent boundary could be established ; but the commissioners were not to accede to any temporary line which would give to Virginia jurisdiction over any lands lying to the eastward of the Monongahela.5

The commissioners arrived at Williamsburg on the 19th of May, 1774, and on the 21st had an oral conference with Lord Dunmore, in which the latter expressed his willingness to join in a petition to the king to appoint commissioners to settle the boundary, but stated that Virginia would not bear any part of the expense. He suggested that the communications should be in writing, which method was adopted, and the different propositions and discussions are preserved.6

For the reason that, as will be seen, the mission was entirely unsuccessful, let it suffice to state that on the part of Pennsylvania the commissioners proposed as a temporary boundary that Mason and Dixon's line be extended to the distance of five degrees of longitude from the river Delaware, and the courses of that river having been ascertained north from said line, that from the end of the said five degrees a line or lines drawn to the Ohio, as nearly as may be at the distance of five degrees of longitude in every part from a corresponding part of the Delaware River in the same latitude, this to be taken as the line of temporary jurisdiction until the true western line was established.7

In reply to this suggestion, Lord Dunmore would not accept a line of jurisdiction "of such an inconvenient and difficult to be ascertained shape," and contended that by a proper construction of William Penn's charter the western boundary was to be a meridian at five degrees of longitude from the Delaware run south from the parallel of forty-two degrees latitude, imagining that the course of that river was to the northeast continuously to that parallel, and hence that such a meridian would fall east of Pittsburgh, in which he was much mistaken.

The Pennsylvania commissioners then, rejecting the suggestion of Lord Dunmore, made another proposi-

5 Ibid., 175.

6 Ibid., 182, et seq.

7 Is it not probable that in this first proposition made by the commissioners, one at least of whom was an eminent lawyer, all was asked for that was supposed to belong to Pennsylvania? If so, it would indicate that the proprietaries would have been content with a boundary corresponding with the meanderings of the Delaware, which would have left almost all of the present Washington County in the Pan Handle.


tion in the interest of harmony and peace: "And for that valuable purpose we shall be willing to recede so far from our Charter Bounds as to make the River Monongahela; from the Line of Dixon and Mason downward, the Western Boundary of Jurisdiction, which would at once settle our present Disputes without the great Trouble and Expense of running Lines, or the inconveniences of keeping the jurisdiction in suspense. This, We assure your Lordship, is the farthest we can go in Point of Concession, &c."

The sur-rejoinder of Lord Dunmore, determined as he was from the start not to abandon his usurpation, 'was made an easy matter for him after the communication with the clause last quoted was received. He becomes cross and proceeds : " And what were your proposals to reconcile these difficulties? Why, in your first you propose that every Thing in dispute shall be given to Pennsylvania, and in your second that Virginia shall be content without having any Thing given up to it; at least I conclude from both the Proposals, but that no real intention is meant to avoid the great and reciprocal Inconveniences of a doubtful Boundary, &c. . . . and your Resolution with respect to Fort Pitt, (the jurisdiction over which Place I must tell you at all Events, will not be relinquished by the Government without his Majesty's Order,) puts an entire stop to further Treaty, &c."¹

¹ Since the foregoing was written, the following proceedings have been found, confirmatory of the suspicion expressed on a previous page, that the Virginia usurpation was not upon the mere motion of Lord Dunmore, but was petitioned for by the inhabitants of the Monongahela valley themselves :

"On the 13th of May, 1774, his Excellency the Governor ordered the following petition, with several Papers relative to the imprisonment of Mr. John Connolly by the officers of Pennsylvania, while he was acting as a Magistrate under the authority of this Government, to be laid before the House of Burgesses :

"'To his Excellency John, Earl of Dunmore, his Majesty's Lieutenant and Governor General of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia and Vice Admiral of the same, and the Honorable the Council and House of Burgesses:

"'The Petition of the Inhabitants settled on the Waters of the Ohio showeth:

"' That the major part of your petitioners have formerly lived in his Majesty's Colony of Virginia, and preferring the mild, easy, and equitable Government thereof, to the expensive administration of justice in Pennsylvania, which, being a limited and Proprietary Government, bath extended an unlimited, and (as we think) illegal jurisdiction over his Majesty's subjects, settled many miles west of their bounds, which is oppressive to the poor and burthen some to all, particularly in trying titles to land, and in recovery of small debts, wherein their officers' fees are so disproportioned that they seem rather calculated for enriching individuals than the public good ; their practicing attornies being left at liberty to exact such fees as they may choose, in all land trials, and will not plead against their jurisdiction, however far west it may be extended. Officers of Government being generally at the disposal of the Proprietaries' Governor, who will neither appoint nor continue any but those who adhere strictly to their master's interest, however contrary to the good of the settlers, his Majesty's subjects; add to this., a heavy Provincial tax, which they likewise exact, a great part thereof being swallowed up by the officers who lay and collect the same, to the great grievance of the subject.

"'From the aforesaid several grievances, and the farther ill-provided defence of the country in cases of emergency, we humbly conceive our lives and properties in imminent danger, from our contiguity to the faithless and barbarous natives, whose treaties, alliance, and sincerity, are never to be relied on, as well as a hearty conviction that the present Government is usurped.

Nothing remained for the commissioners but to return to Philadelphia.

The Peace Policy Directed.—And so there was to be no amicable settlement of the boundary controversy. This side the great sea there was no superior power with jurisdiction to determine the dispute upon the application of either party. The adherents to either side, if there were any who were not fond of strife, must have contemplated the prospect of the acquisition of peaceful homes in the new West with a degree of hopelessness. The negotiations terminated on the 27th of May, 1774.

On the 22d of April, the next day after the appointment of the commissioners, the failure of whose negotiations has just been narrated, Governor Penn wrote to William Crawford and his associates, justices of Westmoreland County: ²


"The present alarming Situation of our Affairs in Westmoreland County, occasioned by the very unaccountable Conduct of the Government of Virginia, requires the utmost Attention of this Government, and therefore I intend, with all possible Expedition, to send Commissioners to expostulate with my Lord Dunmore upon the Behavior of those he has thought proper to invest with such power as bath greatly disturbed the peace et that Country. As the Government of Virginia bath the power of raising militia, and there is not any such in this Province, it will be in vain to contend with them, in the way of Force; the Magistrates, therefore, tit the same time that they continue with steadiness to exercise the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania with respect to the distributions of Justice and the punishment of Vice, must be cautious of entering into any such contests with the Officers of my Lord Dunmore, as may tend to widen the present unhappy Breach; and therefore, as Things are at present circumstanced, I would not advise the Magistracy of Westmoreland county to proceed by way of criminal prosecution against them for exercising the Government of Virginia."

This letter of instructions gives the key to the absence of retaliatory measures on the part of the Westmoreland County authorities. The records of the courts of that county show but a single case, and that of a civil action at a later date, wherein any of the Virginia partisans were defendants, while the records of the Virginia courts, soon to be noticed, are full of such cases,—criminal proceedings against others acting under Pennsylvania authority. These instructions also account for the long continuance and outrageous character of the Connolly domination. The doctor was suffered to proceed unpunished.

Thus was the power of Lord Dunmore established in the valley of the Monongahela. Fort Pitt was rebaptized by Connolly under the name of Fort Dunmore,³ which, henceforward until the Revolution had well advanced, was its Virginia name. Connolly's en-

"' We humbly entreat your Lordship and Council, and the Honorable House of Burgesses, to make such provision for us, in our present distressed situation, as to you shall seem meet; and your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, dc.'

"Signed by 687 Inhabitants"

—See II. Amer. Archives, 4th &r., 276.

² X. Col. Records, 171.

³ St. Clair to Penn, June 16,1774; I. St.Clair Papers, 808 ; IV. Penn. Arch., 519.


ergies had full play. His conduct was, if possible, of a more outrageous character than it had been.

On June 25, 1774, the adherents of Pennsylvania residing at Pittsburgh addressed a long memorial to Governor Penn, in which additional ill treatment on the part of Dr. Connolly was set forth, and, after several specific acts of a violent character, it was stated,—

"That your Memorialists are of the opinion that Mr. Connolly has taken all the pains in his power to foment the disturbance between us and the Indians, for several reasons; particularly when a number of the Traders arrived here lately from the Shawanese Towns, escorted by three Shawanese Chiefs, who were sent to the care of Col. Croghan, 'till a handsome present was made for them by the Traders for their fidelity, Dr. Connolly ordered out forty-one of his militia to take them at all events, and to send them to his Guard-House; which hellish plot being discovered, Mr. Butler and some other Friends conveyed the Indians and their presents over the River just as the Guard surrounded Mr. Croghan's House, for which Mr. Butler has been severely threatened."¹

Accompanying the memorial from which this extract is made is a document of " Remarks on Dr. Connolly's proceedings," closing a long schedule of his misdeeds with the sentence: "These are but a few of the many Distresses we labor under, and without Protection and Speedy Redress, we cannot long support ourselves under such Grievous Persecution & Tyranny."

Dunmore's War.—To intensify the troubles of the pioneers of this time, hostilities broke out on the part of the Indians, as intimated in the memorial cited. Early in the spring occurred the massacre of Logan's party at Baker's, opposite the mouth of Yellow Creek, and the attack on others at Grave Creek, in which Cresap's men were engaged.² Then Logan broke loose with his party of revenge, ravaged the Upper Monongahela, and sent his war parties into the Ten-Mile region. A panic followed, which drove the settlers living west of the Monongahela across into the neighboring and more densely populated regions, some of them not stopping this side of the mountains. The Yellow Creek massacre occurred on Saturday, April 30, 1774; on May 7th, Valentine Crawford, brother of William, residing in what is now Fayette County, wrote to George Washington :³ "This alarm has caused the people to move from over the Monongahela, off Chartiers and Raccoon, as fast as ever you saw them in the year 1756 or 1757 down in Frederick County, Va. There were more than one thousand people crossed the Monongahela in one day at three ferries that are not one mile apart." Arthur St. Clair writes Governor Penn, June 12th,4 "A fresh report of Indians being seen near Hanna's Town, and another party on Braddock's Road, set the people a going again yesterday. I immediately took horse and rode up to inquire, and found it, if not totally groundless,

¹ IV. Penn. Archives, 526.

² Cresap's party on the way home stopped at William Huston's at Catfish Camp, with one of then, wounded.

³ Washington-Crawford Letters, 87.

4 IV. Penn. Archives, 514 ; I. St. Clair Papers, 307.

at least very improbable ; but it was impossible to persuade the people so, and I am certain I did not meet less than one hundred families, and I think two thousand head of cattle, in twenty miles' riding."

The war, of the terrors of which these scenes formed a part, and which was called Dunmore's war, was not ended until the treaty at Camp Charlotte, in now Pick-away County, Ohio, in October. Dunmore himself was with that part of the army which came across the mountains and, descended the river by way of Pittsburgh,5 and himself arranged the terms of the treaty under circumstances which hitherto have been unaccountable except upon the supposition that for reasons known to him he designed to preserve the Indians in the interest of the British government. The war had been entirely with the Virginians, or "Long Knives," as the Indians called them. No incursions had been made upon soil admittedly of Pennsylvania. And to show a well-settled belief always entertained that Dunmore's war and Dunmore's usurpation of jurisdiction in the West were each parts of one plan by which to set two American governments by the ears, a quotation is made from Jacobs' "Life of Michael Cresap," p. 63 :6

"And we have seen from the preceding pages how effectually he (Dunmore) played his part among the inhabitants of the western cola-try. I was present myself when a Pennsylvania Magistrate of the name of Scott [Thomas Scott, see post.] was taken into custody and brought before Dunmore at Redstone Old Fort; he was severely threatened and dismissed, perhaps on bail, but I do not recollect now. Another Pennsylvania Magistrate was sent to Staunton Jail. And I have already shown in the preceding pages that there was a sufficient preparation of material for this war in the predisposition and hostile attitude of our affairs with the Indians; that it was consequently no difficult matter with a Virginia Governor to direct this incipient state of things to any point most conducive to the grand end he had in view, namely, weakening our national strength in some of its beet and most efficient parts."

It must be remembered in this connection that the ill feeling towards the mother-country had reached that state that conventions of representative men were being held in all the colonies. The meeting of the provincial deputies chosen by the several counties in Pennsylvania began in Philadelphia on July 15, 1774, and the condition of affairs leading to such conventions could not have been unknown to Lord Dunmore.

Counter Proclamations.—While at Pittsburgh, on his way down the river with the division of his army under his own command, Lord Dunmore issued a proclamation,7 dated at Fort Dunmore, Sept. 17, 1774:


" Whereas, the rapid settlement made on the west side of the Allegheny Mountains by his Majesty's subjects within the course of these few years has become an object of real concern to his Majesty's interest

5 I. St. Clair Papers, 345.

6 John Jeremiah Jacobs was the clerk of Michael Cresap when the latter did business as a trader, with his headquarters at Redstone. Cramp. on the breaking out of the war, marched to Boston with a brave set of fellows intent upon liberty, and soon died a Revolutionary patriot. Jacobs, the author and former clerk, married Cresap's widow, and wrote his work to vindicate his old chief's memory against Jefferson's use of tk. so-called Logan speech," Who le there to mourn for Logan? “etc.—

7 I. Olden Time, 506.


in this quarter; And whereas the Province of Pennsylvania have unduly laid claim to a very valuable and extensive quantity of his Majesty's territory, and the executive part of that government, in consequence thereof, has most arbitrarily and unwarrantably proceeded to abuse the laudable advancements in this part of his Majesty's dominions by many oppressive and illegal methods in the discharge of this imaginary authority; And whereas the ancient claim laid to this country by the colony of Virginia, founded in reason, upon pre-occupancy and the general acquiescence of all persona, together with the instructions I have lately received from his Majesty's servants, ordering me to take this country under my administration, and as the evident injustice manifestly offered to his Majesty by the immediate strides taken by the proprietors of Pennsylvania in prosecution of their wild claim to this country demand RD immediate remedy, I do hereby in his Majesty's name require and command all his Majesty's subjects west of the Laurel Hill to pay a due respect to this my proclamation, strictly prohibiting the execution Of any act of authority on behalf of the province of Pennsylvania at their peril in this country; but, on the contrary, that a due regard and entire obedience to the laws of his Majesty's colony of Virginia under my administration be observed, to the end that regularity may ensue, and a just regard to the interest of his Majesty in this quarter, as well as to the subjects in general, may be the consequence. Given under my hand and seal at Fort Dunmore, Sept. 17, 1774.


“By his Excellency's command.

" God save the King."

Counter to this Governor Penn issued his proclamation on Oct. 12, 1774 :¹


" Whereas, I have received information that his Excellency, the Earl of Dunmore, governor general in and over his Majesty's colony of Virginia, bath lately issued a very extraordinary proclamation, setting forth [here is recited the substance of Governor Dunmore's proclamation of the 17th of September]; And whereas, although the western limits of the province of Pennsylvania have not been settled by any authority from the Crown, yet it has been sufficiently demonstrated by lines accurately run by the most skillful artists that not only a great tract of country west of the Laurel Hill, but Fort Pitt also are comprehended within the charter bounds of this province, a great part of which country has been actually settled, and is now held under grants from the proprietaries of Pennsylvania, and the jurisdiction of this government has been peaceably exercised in that quarter of the country till the late strange claim set up by the Earl of Dunmore in behalf of his Majesty's colony of Virginia, founded, as his Lordship is above pleased to say, in reason, pre-occupancy, and the general acquiescence of all persons;' . . . In justice, therefore, to the proprietaries of the province of Pennsylvania, who are only desirous to secure their own undoubted property from the encroachment of others, I have thought fit, with the advice of the council, to issue this, my proclamation, hereby requiring all persons west of Laurel Hill to retain their settlements as aforesaid made under this province, and to pay due obedience to the laws of this government; and all magistrates and other officers who hold commissions or offices under this government, to proceed as usual in the administration of justice, without paying the least regard to the said recited proclamation, until his Majesty's pleasure shall be known in the premises, at the same time strictly charging and enjoining the said inhabitants and magistrates to use their utmost endeavors to preserve peace and good order. Given under my hand and the great seal of the said province, at Philadelphia, the twelfth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-four, and in the fourteenth year of the reign of our sovereign Lord George the Third, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, and so forth.

"By his Honor's command.


"EDWARD SHIPPIN, JR., Secretary.

"God save the King."

Thus the contest had advanced another step, to a war by proclamations.

The Indian war having closed by the treaty in October, Lord Dunmore returned to Virginia, again

¹ IV. Penn. Archives, 580; I. Olden Time, 508.

stopping, however, at Pittsburgh, when he was once more brought into personal communication with his Virginia adherents. He then proceeded to Redstone (Brownsville), at which place he had Thomas Scott brought before him for the offense of acting as a Pennsylvania magistrate. The scene which occurred is well given in the language of a letter by St. Clair to Governor Penn, dated Dec. 4, 1774:²

"SIR,—The war betwixt the Indians and Virginians is at last over.. .. But our troubles here are not yet over. The magistrates appointed by Lord Dunmore in this Country seem determined to enforce the jurisdiction of Virginia, and have begun with arresting one of your Honour's Officers.

"The 12th of November Mr. Connolly sent a warrant for Mr. Scott to appear before him, or the next justice, to answer for a number of Offenses committed by him under a pretended Authority from Pennsylvania. The Warrant Mr. Scott did not Chase to pay any regard to, and the same Evening a number of armed men came to his House to take him by Force to Fort Burd. There he found Lord Dunmore, Mr. Campbell, and Mr. Pentecost, ready to sit in judgment upon him. Much passed amongst them, but the event was that he was obliged to enter into Recognisance, with two Sureties, to appear at the next Court, to be held at Pittsburgh, for the county of Augusta, on the 20th day of December, If the Court should happen to be held there that Day, or at any further Day when the Court should be held there, to answer for having acted as a Magistrate of Pennsylvania, contrary to Lord Dunmore's Proclamation, or be committed to Goal. He chose the recognizance, the Circumstances of his Family and Health rendering the other very Inconvenient. . . .

"I account it a fortunate Circumstance that they began with Mr. Scott, who, with a great deal of firmness, possesses a good share of natural Understanding. In the course of an Examination, which continued near two Hours, he told Lord Dunmore that he had only one short answer to all his Questions, which might save his Lordships a good deal of Trouble; `that he acted under Commission from your Honour and la Obedience to your Proclamation' His Lordship was pleased to reply, that you lad no right to give any such Commission or Authority to hale such Proclamation. Mr. Scott told him that was a Matter of which be was not a proper Judge, and would abide by the Consequences. . . ."³

The reader will observe in this letter the first reference to the intended establishment of a court of justice for Augusta County, Virginia, at Pittsburgh, or Fort Dunmore, as the Virginians called it. It seems to have been arranged that the first term should be held at that place on Dec. 20, 1774, for on December 18th, St. Clair writes to Governor Penn :4 " The Court it is said will certainly be held at Pittsburgh on the 20th. I am personally threatened, but I promised Mr. Scott to be there at the time to give him some countenance at least, if I cannot give him assistance at his trial."

The Pennsylvania magistrates having been instructed to maintain the jurisdiction of their province, regardless of Dunmore's proclamation of Sept. 17, 1774, but with information that Pennsylvania was not in condition to contest that fact by military force, the Westmoreland County justices endeavored to execute the laws as was required of them, but, as has been seen, with trials and tribulation. Their difficulties will further appear from the following among other papers laid before the Provincial Council :5

² IV. Penn. Archives, 586; I. St. Clair Papers, 347.

³ This is the interview mentioned by John J. Jacobs, who was present See ante, p. 177.

4 Iv. Penn. Archives, 589; I. St. Clair Papers, 351.

5 X. Col. Records, 227.


"Westmoreland, ss:

"Before us, Robert Hanna and Arthur St. Clair, Esquires, two of his Majesty's Justices for Westmoreland County, personally appeared Samuel Whiteside, keeper of the Goal of the said County, and being duly sworn according to Law, deposeth and saith : that on this instant, the twenty-fourth of December, a number of armed Men came to the Goal of said County, and ordered him to open the Prison Doors, and turn out a certain William Thomas, then in his custody on sundry executions; that he believes a certain William Christy and Simon Girty, who seemed to be Officers from their Dress, were at the Head of their Party ; That he, this Deponent, refused to deliver his Prisoner, or open the Door where he was confined, that they then talked of throwing down the House, when a certain Major Connolly came up, enquired who resisted the releasement of the Prisoners, threatened to tie and carry off him, this Deponent; ordered the party to fire their Pieces against the House, and strip off the Roof, on which he, this Deponent, being afraid of ill Consequences, both to his Person and Property, did open the door to allow the Prisoner to speak to the Party, and one of them rushed in, seized him, and dragged him out, and also turned out a certain William Dawson, who was likewise in his custody on Execution, and that it was Connolly himself who laid hands on Thomas and dragged him out; and further saith not.


“Sworn to and subscribed, etc."

"WHEREAS, I am well informed that certain Persons, by written Instructions, directed to different people throughout this Country, break open doors, Cupboards, &c., and do commit certain other sets of Violence in order to extort money from the Inhabitants, under the Appellation of Taxes; These are, therefore, to acquaint all His Majesty's Subjects, that as there can be no Authority legally invested in any Persons for such acts at this Juncture, that such Attempts to abuse public Liberty are unwarrantable, and that all Persons have an undoubted natural as well as lawful Right to repel such Violences; and all his Majesty's Subjects are hereby required to apprehend any Person, whatever, who may attempt a seizure of their Effects in Consequences of such imaginary Authority, to be dealt with as the Law directs.

"Given under my Hand, at Fort Dunmore, this 30th Day of December, 1774.


(1775). The Augusta County Court.—The Augusta County court had not been opened at Fort Dunmore on December 20th, as had been determined, but on the 12th of December, 1774, a writ had been issued by Lord Dunmore, tested in the name of his Majesty, adjourning the county court of Augusta County from Staunton to Fort Dunmore, accompanied with a new commission of the peace, embracing, with the old justices of the parent county, the names of such of the adherents in the Monongahela valley as were regarded as proper persons for Virginia magistrates.¹ Their first term of court was held at Fort Dunmore on Feb. 21, 1775, at which time George Croghan, John Campbell, John Connolly, Thomas Smallman, Dorsey Pentecost, John Gibson, George Vallandigham, and William Goe appeared, took the qualifying oaths, and occupied their seats as justices. And see the policy observed even here. Croghan, during the Dunmore war, had become quite a Pennsylvanian; he is now made the presiding justice, and this brought him back among the Virginia partisans. And from this date there were not only two different sets of magistrates, with their subordinate officers, assessors, and commissioners, over the same people

in the Monongahela Valley,

¹ For the record of this writ, and the new commission of the peace, see the records of the Augusta County Court, hereafter.

but within a few miles of each other had been established two different courts, regularly (or irregularly) administering justice under the laws of two different governments !

On the very next day after the first sitting of the Fort Dunmore court, on Feb. 22, 1775, Robert Hanna and James Caveat, justices, were both arrested for the performance of their duties as Pennsylvania magistrates and confined at Pittsburgh, where they remained for about three months, vainly endeavoring to obtain a release.² After fruitless efforts to obtain relief from the Governor and Council, then probably employed with affairs of a most auspicious nature, the sheriff of Westmoreland County aided by a posse of an effective strength proceeded to the place of their incarceration the latter part of June, and set them at large, carrying Dr. Connolly along with them. Just when they were released does not appear, but to July term, 1775, of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County there is found an action of Capias in Case indicating an arrest for damages, brought by Robert Hanna, Esq., v. John Connolly. The writ is returned, C. C., that defendant is arrested. This cause, the only one in the records of Westmoreland County having a reference to the Virginia controversy, is marked, " October, ended, says Plff.," which is probably explained by a letter from Valentine Crawford to George Washington, dated June 24, 1775,³ from which is extracted as follows :

" We have chosen committees out here, and are raising an independent company, regulating matters the best we can; but an unhappy confusion happened the other day. The Pennsylvanians came to Fort Pitt with the Sheriff and about twenty men, and took Major Connolly about midnight, and carried him as far as Ligonier, the very night before we were to have the talk with the Indians. . . . On Major Connolly being taken, the people of Chartiers came in a company and seized three of the Pennsylvania magistrates, who were concerned in taking off Connolly, —George Wilson, Joseph Spear, and Deverenx Smith. They were sent in an old leaky boat down to Fort Fincastle 4 under guard. Our court, however, bad no hand in this. It was done by a mob or set of' Connolly's friends on Chartiers Creek. The members of our committee wrote a very spirited letter to the gentlemen of the Pennsylvania committee,5 demanding Connolly back. All signed it and sent it with an express. On its receipt they immediately sent Major Connolly back."

The Revolution.—In the foregoing letter there are references to a new condition of things. A crisis in the affairs of the colonies had been reached. The 19th of April, Lexington and Concord had become famous as the places where the first struggles for independence were made, and it is now to be seen what effect the new order was to have upon the boundary controversy. The astounding news had scarcely reached the Monongahela River when, on the same day, the 16th day of May, 1775, meetings of citizens were held both at Hanna's Town and Pittsburgh, at which separate meetings the two committees—the Virginia and

² IV. Penn. Archives, 625; and see L St. Clair Papers, 351, 353, 365.

³ Washington-Crawford Letters, 102.

4 A title in honor of Lord Dunmore; at the present Wheeling. By "our court" Crawford means the Fort Dunmore court.

5 These committees were Committees of 'Safety formed to further the Revolution just begun, and even in this were they divided.


the Pennsylvania committees—referred to by Valentine Crawford were constituted. Extracts from the record of the proceedings of these two meetings are now given :


"At a meeting of the inhabitants of that part of Augusta county that Bea em the west side of Laurel Hill, at Pittsburgh, the 16th day of May, 1775, the following gentlemen wore chosen a committee for the said district, viz.: George Croghan, John Campbell, Edward Ward, Thomas Smallman, John Cannon, John McCullough, William Goe, George Vallandigham, John Gibson, Dorsey Pentecost, Edward Cook, William Crawford, Devereux Smith, John Anderson, David Rodgers, Jacob Vanmetre, Henry Enoch, James Ennis, George Wilson, William Vance, David Shepherd, William Elliot, Richmond Willis, Samuel Semple, John Ormsby, Richard McMahon, John Neville, and ,john Swearingen.¹

" The foregoing gentlemen met in committee and . . .

"Resolved, unanimously, That this committee have the highest sense of the spirited behavior of their brethren in New England, and do most cordially approve of their opposing the invaders of American rights and privileges to the utmost extreme, and that each member of this committee, respectively, will animate and encourage their neighborhood to follow the brave example.

"The imminent danger that threatens America in general, from ministerial and parliamentary denunciations of our ruin, and is now carrying into execution by open acts of unprovoked hostilities in our sister colony of Massachusetts, as well as the danger to he apprehended to this colony in particular from a domestic enemy, said to be prompted by the wicked minions of power to execute our ruin, added to the menaces of an Indian war, likewise said to be in contemplation, thereby think to engage our attention, and divert it from that still more interesting object of liberty and freedom, that deeply and with so much Justice path called forth the attention of all America; for the prevention of all or any of these impending evils, &."²

Measures were taken to collect from the people, in a manner the most agreeable to them, so much money as would be sufficient to purchase half a pound of gunpowder and one pound of lead, flints, and cartridge-paper from every tithable person in the county, which sum was fixed at two shillings and sixpence for each tithable. The resolutions, only a small portion of which are given above, are full of energy and directness :


"At a general meeting of the inhabitants of the county of Westmoreland, held at Hanna's Town the 16th day of May, 1775, for taking into consideration the very alarming situation of the country, occasioned by the dispute with Great Britain :

"Resolved, unanimously, That the Parliament of Great Britain, by several late acts, have declared the inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay to be in rebellion, and the ministry, by endeavoring to enforce those acts, have attempted to reduce the said inhabitants to a more wretched state of slavery than ever before existed in any State or country, not content with violating the constitutional and chartered rights of humanity, exposing their lives to the licentious soldiery, and depriving them of the very means of subsistence.

" Resolved, unanimously, That there is no reason to doubt but the same system of tyranny and oppression will (should it meet with success in Massachusetts Bay) be extended to other parts of America; it is therefore become the indispensable duty of every American, of every man who has any public virtue or love for his country, or any bowels for posterity, by every means which God has put in his power to resist and oppose the execution of it; that for us we will be ready to oppose it with our lives and fortunes. And the Letter to enable us to accomplish it, we will im-

¹ Quite a number of these committeemen were sound Pennsylvanians. Devereux Smith, George Wilson, William Elliott, John Ormsby, and John Swearingen are known to have been, and probably others were. John Swearingen was the father of Van Swearingen, and lived on the Monongahela, below Georges Creek.

² Craig's History of Pittsburgh, 128.

mediately form ourselves into a military body, to consist of companies to be made up out of the several townships under the following association, which is declared to be the Association of Westmoreland County."

Then follow the Articles of Association, which provided that the people should form themselves into a regiment or regiments and choose officers to command them, in such proportions as should be thought necessary, and they ended with " No licensed murder! no famine introduced by law !"

End of Dr. Connolly's Power.—The spirit of the Revolution being abroad, the Monongahela valley is soon rid of Dr. John Connolly. His royal chief, Lord Dunmore, had early become alarmed and removed his family on board the " Fowey," a British man-of-war in the Chesapeake, having previously taken away the powder from the magazine in Williamsburg. Patrick Henry, afterwards the illustrious, at the head of a body of armed volunteers, forced him to surrender the powder, and soon afterwards the news of Lexington having come, the last British Governor of Virginia, on the 8th day of June, 1775, follows his family to their refuge, and hereafter is the enemy of his late subjects.³ As to Connolly himself; it has already been seen from the letter of Valentine Crawford that be had been arrested and carried to Ligonier, where, on the application of the Revolutionary Committee at Pittsburgh, he had been released. Arthur St. Clair wrote to Joseph Shippen, Jr., July 12, 1775 : 4 " Whilst Connolly was at my house endeavoring to procure bail, I treated him with a good deal of civility, by which, with the help of a cheerful glass, I got at some of his designs. He is immediately to go to England with White Eyes and some other Delaware chiefs, to solicit for them a confirmation of the country which they now live in, a great part of which is within the bounds of this Province, and Lord Dunmore is to back it with all his interest." But St. Clair's wine was not quite so successful in uncovering Connolly's intentions.

Immediately upon his release, Dr. Connolly proceeded from Pittsburgh to Lord Dunmore, who sent him to Gen. Gage, commanding the British forces at Boston. He left Boston on the 14th or 15th September, and reached Lord Dunmore about the middle of October with instructions from Gen. Gage to Dunmore, who granted him a commission of lieutenant-colonel of a regiment to be raised in the "back parts" and Canada,- with power to nominate his subordinate officers. On Nov. 22, 1775, when the new lieutenant-colonel was on his way to Detroit, where he was to meet his commission and instructions as an officer of the British' troops to operate against his late fellow-citizens, he was captured at Hagerstown, in Maryland, and amongst the papers found in his possession was the following in his own handwriting,

³ A History of Virginia, by J. W. Campbell (1813), 154

4 IV. Penn. Archives, 637; I. St. Clair Papers, 358.


evidently a copy of the proposals he bad laid before Gen. Gage in the previous September:¹

"Proposals for Raising an Army to the westward, &c., And for effectually Obstructing a communication between the Southern and Northern Governments.²

"As I have, by directions from his Excellency, Lord Dunmore, prepared the Ohio Indians to act in concert with me against his Majesty's Enemies in that quarter, and have also dispatched intelligence to the different Officers of the militia on the frontiers of Augusta County, in Virginia, giving them Lord Dunmore's assurances that such of them as shall hereafter evince their loyalty to his Majesty, by putting themselves under my command, when I should appear amongst them with proper Authority for that purpose, of a confirmation of title to their lands, and the quantity of three hundred acres to all who should take up Arms in support of the Constitution, when the Present Rebellion is subsided; I will undertake to penetrate through Virginia, and Join his Excellency, Lord Dunmore, at Alexandria, early next spring, on the following conditions and authority. . . [Here followed the several provisions of the plan of his campaign, the supplies, etc., required.] . . . If your Excellency judges it expedient for the good of the service to furnish me with the Authority & other requisites I have mentioned, I shall embrace the earliest opportunity of setting off for Canada, and I shall immediately dispatch Lord Dunmore's armed Schooner, (which now awaits my Command,) with an account of what your Excellency has done, and that I shall be ready, if practicable, to Join his Lordship by the 20th of April, at Alexandria, where the troops under my command may fortify themselves under Cover of the Men of War on that station. . . ."

This paper, found concealed carefully in Connolly's saddle at the time of his arrest, is without date, but is there any further doubt as to the secret purpose of Dunmore and Connolly, by their usurpations within our borders, to handicap the efforts of the colonies in the struggle for independence? But Connolly took none of the leaders of his Virginia forces into the British camp with him. Samuel Semple, his father-in-law; George Croghan, his uncle; Dorsey Pentecost, the chief of his co-workers, were joining in the Revolutionary arrangements of the Augusta County committee, perhaps at the very time lie was preparing the Ohio Indians to act in concert with him against his relatives and friends.³

³ For the papers relating to the arrest of Dr. Connolly, the Proposals and his subsequent fate, see IV, Pennsylvania Archives, 681, 682, 654, 695; II. Olden Time, 93, 104, 112, 348. He was turned over to Congress and held until the winter of 1780-81, when he was exchanged. In the summer of 1782, he with one Johnson was at the head of a body of British and Indians at Lake Jadaque (as Chautauqua was then called) threatening an attack upon Fort Pitt, but being deterred by a report of the abundant preparation made, a body of his Indians made the raid on Hanna's Town on July 13th. After the Revolution was over and the treaty of peace made with England, Connolly seems to have settled in Canada, and in 1788 Ire is found at Louisville, intriguing with the people of Kentucky, who were said to have made overtures to Lord Dorchester to be taken under the protection of the British government. (II. St. Clair Paper& 98, 101.) Kentucky was then still within the State of Virginia. (See also concerning him Jacobs' Life of Cresap, 57, 60.)

² As this paper is long only portions can be given; the whole is in IV. Penn. Archives, 654.

³ Craig's History of Pittsburgh, 134.

As we are now done with the celebrated Dr. Connolly in the text (and has this illustrious individual received too much consideration?), that the reader may know more about his personal history, the following, found on an interleaf of a 'History of the Civil War in America,' In the handwriting of Jim Ormsby, one of the Augusta County Committee, is added:

"The above Dr. Connolly was born and bred near Wright's Ferry, in Pennsylvania. His father was a jobber among the farmers on the Susquehanna, who found the secret of pleasing an orderly Quaker widow of the name of Ewing, and the jobber was a professed papist. This match,

It might have been supposed that once the colonies of Virginia and Pennsylvania were united in a common cause of such magnitude as now was pending, the territorial controversy between them would have ceased. Not so. However, it will now be necessary to avoid details and go to generals, showing how that contest continuing the attention of the Colonial Congress as well as the common friends of both peoples became actively involved.

Address of Delegates in Congress.—On July 25, 1775, the date when Connolly reached Lord Dunmore from Gen. Gage at Boston, an address was sent to our people from the delegates from Pennsylvania and Virginia in the Continental Congress. As this paper has been preserved in but few, if in more than one, of the publications in which it is referred to, it is here copied entire :


"Friends and Countrymen: It gives us much concern to find that disturbances have arisen and still continue among you, concerning the boundaries of our colonies. In the character in which we now address you, it is unnecessary to inquire into the origin of these unhappy disputes, and it would be improper for us to express our approbation or

as might be expected, proved very disagreeable, so that he left nothing to commemorate his memory but the villanous doctor. This fellow had traversed the Illinois country till he could subsist there no longer, so that he appeared at Pittsburgh a few years before the commencement of the Revolution. Here he was introduced to Lord Dunmore, who traveled through the western country to sound the inclination of the inhabitants as well as the Indians. Connolly, like a hungry wolf, closed with Dunmore a bargain that he would secure a considerable interest among the white inhabitants and the Indians on the frontier. In consequence of this agreement my lord made him a deed of gift of 2000 acres of land at the Falls of the Ohio, and 2000 more to Mr. John Campbell, late of Kentucky, both of which grants are now owned by the heirs of Col. Campbell Connolly immediately set himself to work In disseminating his hellish insinuations among the people. He employed an adjutant to drill the militia, and had the audacity to engage artificers to repair the old fort, and in every respect acted the part of a tyrant. He sent runners among the Indians far and near, with large promises of soon supplying them with goods and money. Having thus far paved the way for his atrocious designs, he met Lord Dunmore at Alexandria, where they concerted the infernal scheme of massacring all those on the frontiers who would not join in their work. Matters thus progressed and Lord Dunmore sent Connolly to General Clinton at New York [this should be General Gage, at Boston,—ED.], who approved the scheme, appointed Connolly a lieutenant-colonel and commander of two or three regiments of whites and Indians, with authority to draw on the paymaster-general for cash. Upon this exaltation, the great and mighty Connolly set out for Baltimore, where he joined the persons who were taken (captured) along with him, and who were no doubt as sanguinary villains as himself. A report was whispered among the minute-men at Hagerstown, etc., of Connolly's schemes, so that they had a sharp lookout for him, and happily succeeded in arresting him and his comrades, and all the commissions for the new regiments, with the general plan of their operations, were found upon him, upon which he was committed to prison. This news, you may be sure, was joyfully received on the frontier and especially at Pittsburgh, where the writer of these lines resided with his family.

"When Lord Dunmore arrived in Pittsburgh (In 1773 or 1774) he lodged at my house, and often closeted me, as he said, for information respecting the disposition of the inhabitants. He threw out some dark insinuations as to my usefulness, in case I would be concerned, but as he found I kept aloof he divulged his plans to Connolly, and I suppose to Campbell, else why give him the aforesaid grant of land which he enjoys and is very valuable? . . . Connolly and Arnold, both of whom merited a halter, are now on half-pay on the British establishment." From II. Olden Time, 93.


censure on either side; but as representatives of two of the colonies united among many others for the defence of the liberties of America, we think it our duty to remove, as far as lies in our power, every obstacle that may prevent her sons from co operating as vigorously as they would wish to do toward the attainment of this great and important end. Influenced solely by this motive, our joint and earnest request to you is that all animosities which have heretofore subsisted among you as inhabitants of distinct colonies way now give place to generous and concurring efforts for the preservation of everything that can make our common country dear to us.

" We are fully persuaded that you, as well as we, wish to-see your differences terminate in this happy issue. For this desirable use we recommend it to you, that all bodies of armed men kept up under either province be dismissed, that all those on either side who are in confinement or under bail for taking a part in the contest be discharged, and that until the dispute be decided every person be permitted to retain his possessions unmolested.

“By observing these directions the public tranquillity will be secured without injury to the titles on either side; the period, we flatter ourselves, will soon arrive when this unfortunate dispute, which has produced much mischief, and, as far as we can learn, no good, will be peaceably and constitutionally determined.

" We are your friends and countrymen.










" PHILADELPHIA, July 25, 1775."¹

There were no armed men maintained by the Pennsylvania authorities on their side, nor, so far as known, were there any Virginians held in confinement after Connolly had been liberated; whereas the Virginians had a regularly organized militia, and at the date of this communication held George Wilson, Joseph Spear, and Devereux Smith in confinement at Fort Fincastle, "exposed to every species of insult and abuse," unless they were released when Connolly was discharged.² Hence the expression as to " either province" and " either side" were doubtless used to avoid making disagreeable distinctions.³




The Boundary Controversy continued—Proceedings of the Virginia Legislature--Division of the District of West Augusta into Three Counties: Ohio, Yohogania, and Monongalia—Council of War at Cat fish Camp—Petition for a new State—Oath of Allegiance to Virginia —Virginia Land Laws—The Baltimore Agreement as to the Boundary Line—Virginia Surveys— Pennsylvania Indignant—Final Ratification of Boundary Agreement.

Virginia Legislative Proceedings.—Henceforward, though deeds of violence between the contending parties were neither so frequent nor of so grave a character, yet there was no disposition on the

¹ This paper is copied from Jacobs' " Life of Michael Cresap," 62, the only place where it is known to be printed. The author says, " As I consider this proclamation an important document, and nowhere recorded, I give it to the reader verbatim in toto."

2 See St. Clair to Joseph Shippen, Jr., I. St. Clair Papers, 358.

 ³ I. Olden Time, 445.

( 1775). part of Virginia, now about to become an independent sovereignty, to surrender her foothold in the valleys of the Monongahela and Ohio. Lord Dunmore's power having ceased, her "Convention of Delegates for the Counties and Corporations in Virginia" was held at Richmond, July 17, 1775. On the 7th of August that convention resolved " that Capt. John Neville be directed to march with his command of one hundred men and take possession of Fort Pitt, and that said company be in the pay of the colony from the time of their marching."4

Chapter 1. of the General Ordinances passed by this convention was for raising a force for the defense of the colony. Two complete regiments of ten hundred and twenty men each were to be raised. Exclusive of these regiments there were to be two companies, of which that of Capt. Neville was to be one, and another of one hundred and twenty five men to be raised in West Augusta. By the same ordinance the colony was divided into sixteen districts, "and the inhabitants of West Augusta are to compose one entire District.”5

Chapter IV.6 regulated the election of delegates and committee-men in the several counties, and its. Section 10 provided that the freeholders of every county and corporation within this colony, "and the landholders in the district of West Augusta, as hereafter described, shall have the liberty and privilege of electing annually twenty-one of the must discreet, fit, and able men, being freeholders, to act as a committee for carrying into execution the association and such other measures as the Continental Congress or General Convention of the colony may direct."

The next Virginia Convention, that for December, 1775, was held first at Richmond, and afterwards by adjournment to Williamsburg, heretofore the State capital.7 And at Williamsburg (the royal government having ceased to have sway there) was held the convention of May, 1776, at which the Declaration of Rights8 and the new Constitution was adopted.9

(1776). Chapter V. of the ordinances of the convention of May, 1776, was " An ordinance 10 to enable the present magistrates and officers to continue the administration of justice, and for settling the general mode of proceedings in criminal and other cases till the same can be more amply provided for." Section 4 provided:

4 This Capt. Neville, prior to 1774, had made large entries and per-chases under Virginia rights of lands on Chartiers Creek, and was about to remove thither from near Winchester, Va., when the Revolution broke out. He was the Gen. Neville whose residence was burned in the Whiskey Insurrection. This residence was on the right bank of Chartiers Creek, near Woodville, and opposite the present Allegheny County Poor-farm.

Capt. Neville in said to have taken no part in the jurisdictional contest, his presence at Pittsburgh with his command having reference to the protection of the frontiers from the Indians and their preservation from British approach. (I. Olden Time, 445.)

5 9 Hening's Statutes, 13, 14. In this ordinahce we have the first recognition in the Virginia laws of the district of West Augusta, the jurisdiction of the Fort Dunmore court, as will appear. It is seen that West Augusta as a civil division was never created by law, but simply recognized by this and later ordinances.

6 9 Hening, 53. 7 Ibid., 75. 8, Ibid., 109. 9 Ibid.,112. 10 Ibid., 126.


"And whereas courts in the District of West Augusta have hitherto been held by writs of adjournment, which writs cannot now he obtained, Be it therefore ordained, That the Justices residing in the said District, on taking the same oath aforesaid, shall have the power and authority to hold a court within the said District, on the third Tuesday of every month, at such place as they may appoint, and shall exercise their office both in court and without, in the same manner as the justices of the several counties are by this ordinance empowered to do."

The reader of the extracts from the records of the Westmoreland County courts will remember that after the April term of 1776 the courts of that county held no sessions until in January, 1778. But the Virginia courts, at Pittsburgh (the name of Fort Dunmore having been abandoned), continued regularly, and, as will hereafter be seen from the records themselves, when the ordinance quoted reached the valley of Monongahela, the justices determined that by its provisions their jurisdiction became independent of that of old Augusta County, and they were entitled to a clerk and other officers of their own appointment,¹ and enabled to remove the seat of justice from Pittsburgh to Augusta Town, just over the ridge west from the present Washington.

The Continental Congress at an early period perceived the importance of securing the friendship of the Indians, at least so far as to prevent their acting in concert with their enemies,² and on July 4, 1776, appointed commissioners to hold treaties with them. The commissioners for the Middle Department were Jasper Yeates and John Montgomery from Pennsylvania, and Dr. Thomas Walker and John Harvie from Virginia. These gentlemen met at Fort Pitt soon after their appointment, but were not able to assemble the tribes until in October. While at this place the commissioners doubtless observed the evils arising out of the disputed jurisdiction, probably they had some instructions in the premises, for there is extant a paper in the handwriting of Jasper Yeates, evidently prepared by these commissioners, which is of such interest as to warrant its publication :³

"A proposal for accommodating the Disputes between the Counties of West Augusta and Westmoreland until the boundary between them can be settled.

"1st. That the Laws as far as respects the Jurisdiction of the County of West Augusta be exercised on the South side of Youghyogany River and said River be considered as the Boundary between the two Counties in respect to the Jurisdiction of their respective Courts only.

"2d. That the People claiming under the County of Westmoreland may continue to be represented at their Capital as usual and have liberty to choose their Representatives and all other Officers of Government; only their Sheriffs, Magistrates, and Constables shall not act in Office on the South side of said River; Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall tend to invalidate any Judgment in the Courts held heretofore for Westmoreland, but when a boundary is run they may execute such Judgments on their side of the said Boundary anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding.

"3d. That the Inhabitants on the South side of the Youghyogany and East of the Mohongahela River as far as the great line shall not pay

¹ Quite a squabble ensued in an efforts to oust John Madison, the old clerk, to make a place for Dorsey Pentecost.

² Pioneer History, by S. P. Hildreth, 97; Craig's History of Pittsburgh, 140.

³ This paper had never before been printed ; thanks are due to Hon. G. L. Crammer, of Wheeling, for the copy here used.

Taxes to either Government until said Boundary is settled, and all persons associated in the Militia are to serve under the Government they associated under. If these Proposals shall meet the Approbation of the Public the People for West Augusta shall meet at Mr. Martin Kemp's on the 2d :Tuesday in November next, and those claiming under Westmoreland at Mr. Edward Cook's, the same Day, to choose six men to be their Trustees to Negotiate and confirm the above Proposals.


"October 18th, 1776,” 4

The suggestions contained in these proposals for the temporary adjustment of the disputed judicial jurisdiction seem to have attracted no attention even. Historical writers heretofore have made no reference to this document, and give no account of any meetings held at the place designated. At least the writer has not been able to find such references.

Division of the District of West Augusta.—The district of West Augusta, with its county-seat at Augusta Town, was not, however, of long duration now, for the Virginia General Assembly of October, 1776, at Williamsburg, Patrick Henry, Governor, made several enactments affecting that jurisdiction. Chapter XLV. 5 was:

" An act for ascertaining the boundary between the county of Augusta and the District of West Augusta, and for dividing the said District into three distinct counties." 6

4 The Jasper Yeates who was the writer of this paper (for there had been one or more of that name before him) was a citizen of Lancaster. He was justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from 1779 till his death in March, 1817. While at Pittsburgh, in 1776, he paid a visit to the scene of Braddock's defeat in company with his fellow-commissioner, Dr. Walker, and wrote a letter (published in VI. Hazard's Register, 104; also in II. Pa. Archives, Sec. S., 740) describing the appearance of that battle-field. Dr. Walker had participated In the scenes upon that field on July 9, 1755, twenty-one years before.

"He pointed out the ford where the army crossed the Monongahela (below Turtle Creek 800 yards); a finer sight could not have been beheld; the shining barrels of the muskets, the excellent order of the men, the cleanliness of their appearance, the joy depicted on every face at being so near Fort Du Quesne, the highest object of their wishes the music re-echoing throughout lite mountains. How brilliant the morning! how melancholy the evening!"

5, 9 Hening, 262.

6 The writer has a paper without date, in the handwriting of Col. George Morgan, evidently prepared before the passage of the act in the text. Col. Morgan (afterwards of Morgan* was, by appointment of Congress, Indian agent for the Middle Department, with headquarters at Pittsburgh, from Apri1,1776, for several years. He was not an adherent of the Virginia power, and therefore could not have been the author of the paper, which is as follows:

" Proposed Division of West Augusta into Three Counties,—Ohio, Youghiogane and Monongahela.

"Ohio County—

"To begin where the Division Line between Maryland and Pennsylvania, continued in the same Course Westward, strikes the Monongahela; Thence the same Course continued to the River Ohio; Thence up the River Ohio Sr along the several windings thereof to the Monongahela River, and up the said Monongahela River to the Place of Beginning.

"Remarks: This would make a County of a good Figure, nearly square, about fifty Miles long & thirty broad; the whole bounded by Natural Lines except about thirty miles; The Centre of this Tract of Country would be near the Heads of Chartiers Creek, A rich Country thick settled & well watered with fine Springs.

" Monongahela County—

" To begin at the lower side of the Mouth of the litle Kanawha; Thence South-East to the Laurel Hill to where it is crossed by the Bound-


" Whereas it is expedient to ascertain the boundary between the county of Augusta and the District of West Augusta. Be it enacted, &c., That the boundary between the said District and county shall be as follows, to wit: Beginning on the Allegheny mountain between the heads of the Potowmack, Cheat, and Green Briar Rivers; thence along the ridge of mountains which divides the Waters of Cheat river from those of Green Briar, and that branch of the Monongahela called Tygers Valley river to the Monongahela river; thence up the said river and the west fork thereof, to Bingemans creek, on the northwest side of the said west fork; thence up the said creek to the head thereof; thence in a direct course to the head of Middle Island creek, a branch of the Ohio; and thence to the Ohio, including all the waters of the said creek in the aforesaid District of West Augusta; all that territory lying to the northward of the aforesaid boundary, and to the westward of the States of Pennsylvania and Maryland, shall be deemed and is hereby declared to be within the District of West Augusta.¹

"And to render the benefits of government and administration of justice more easy and convenient to the people of said District, Be it enacted, Ste., That from and after the 8th day of November next ensuing all that part of the said District lying within the following lines, to wit: Beginning at the month of Cross Creek, thence up the same to the head thereof, thence southeastwardly to the nearest part of the ridge which divides the waters of the Ohio from those of the Monongahela, thence along the said ridge to the line which divides the county of Augusta from the said District, thence with the said boundary to the Ohio, thence up the same to the beginning, shall be one distinct county, and be called and known by the name of Ohio County.

ary Line between Maryland & Pennsylvania extended to the Westward; Thence Westward the same Course as the said Line continued to the River Ohio; Thence down the River Ohio to the place of beginning.

"Remarks : This is nearly a square Figure & contains all the Settlements on the Monongahela above Youghiogane County. It is about fifty Miles Long and near forty broad. The Centre of the Settled part of this Country is at or near the Mouth of the West Fork of Monongahela., a rich, well settled country; and as the Indiana Claim is contained within these Lines, no other County would be involved in a Dispute with the Proprietors.

"Youghiogane County—

"To begin where Ohio County does—viz.: where the division Line between Maryland & Pennsylvania continued in the same Course Westward strikes the Monongahela; Thence down the River Monongahela to the Allegheny River & up the said Allegheny River to the Western Boundary Line of the State of Pennsylvania; thence along the said Western Boundary Line of the State of Pennsylvania to the Southern Boundary Line of the State of Pennsylvania; Thence Eastward along the said Southern Boundary Line of the State of Pennsylvania to the Meridian of the Western Boundary Line of Maryland; thence south to the North West Corner or Boundary of Maryland ; Thence West to the Place of Beginning; And whereat; it is uncertain where the Western & Southern Boundary Lines of Pennsylvania will fall or be fixed when the Line of Property shall be run ; Suppose until then the said Boundary should be pointed out as follows:—To begin at the Mouth of Plum Run & up the same to the head thereof; Thence to the Bullock Penns in Tenure of a certain William Elliott; Thence along the great Road to the Widow Mires; thence along the New Virginia Road & Braddock's old Road (as proposed by the Honble. Convention of Virginia to the Convention of Penna. as a temporary Boundary between the two States,) to the Boundary of Maryland.

"Remarks: This is a very compact figure nearly of the same size as the other two Counties. The Centre of it would be some where about the Mouth of Jacobs Creek, in a very fertile and populous Country. By this division there is no Inhabitants of the three Counties would have to cross any difficult Waters when obliged to attend at Courts or other public Meetings.

" Additional Remarks: The Inhabitants settled between the Laurel Hill and the Allegheny Mountains along Cheat River, Tyger Valley & Green Briar are sufficient for a Fourth County or they might remain in Augusta or be included in Monongahela County, by extending the first Line to the Alleghany Hill. Memm. Every foot of Youghiogane County as above proposed is claimed by Penna. and as the Monongahela is the Extent of their present Claim, the Proceedings in the Courts of the undisputed parts of Virginia would not, should this division be adopted, be interrupted or Party Quarrels arise in them."

¹ This section, it will be observed, simply provided for a dividing line on the southeast and south for the district of West Augusta.

" And all that part of the said district lying to the northward of the following lines, via.: beginning at the mouth of Cross Creek, and running up its several courses to the head thereof, thence southeastwardly to the nearest part of the aforesaid dividing ridge between the waters of the Monongahela and Ohio, thence along the said ridge to the head of Ten Mile Creek, thence east to the road leading from Catfish Camp to Redstone Old Fort, thence along the said road to the Monongahela River to the said Fort, thence along Dunlap's old road to Braddock’s road and with the same to the meridian of the head fountain of the Potowmac, shall be one other distinct county, and be called and known by the name of Yohogania County.²

" And all that part of the said District lying on the northward of the county of Augusta, to the westward of the meridian of the head fountain of the Potowmack, to the southward of the county of Yohoganla, and to the eastward of the county of Ohio shall be one other distinct county and shall be called and known by the name of the county a Monongalia.

"And for the administration of justice in the said counties of Ohio, Yohogania, and Monongalia, after the same shall take place, Be it enacted, &r., That after the Reid 8th day of November, courts shall be constantly held every month by the Justices of the respective counties, upon the days hereafter specified for each county respectively, that is to say: For the county of Ohio, on the first Monday, for the county of Monongalia on the second Monday and for the county of Yohoganla on the fourth Monday in every month, in such manner as by the laws of this commonwealth is provided for other counties, and as shall be by their commission directed."

These acts of the Virginia General Assembly are copied verbatim from the original volumes of Hening, and to illustrate to the eye those parts of Pennsylvania embraced in the original district of West Augusta, as well as within the limits of the counties of Ohio, Yohogania, and Monongalia, a map has for the first time been constructed and expressly for this work.

A subsequent section of the chapter from which the foregoing extracts are made provided that Yohogania County should have jurisdiction to hear and determine all actions and suits, both in law and equity, which should be "depending" before the court of West Augusta at the time the said jurisdiction should take place. And it was further provided :³

" And be it further enacted, etc., That It shall and may be lawful for the landholders of the said counties respectively, qualified as aforesaid,4 to vote for representatives in General Assembly, and they are hereby required to meet at the times and places hereafter mentioned, that is to say: The landholders of the county of Yohoganla to meet at the house of An- drew Heath, on the Monongahela, in the said county, on the eighth day of December next; the landholders of the county of Monongalia to meet at the house of Jonathan Corbin (Coburn), in the said county, on the said eighth day of December next, and the landholders of the county of Ohio to meet at the house of Ezekiel Dewit, in the said county, on the said eighth day of December next, then and there to choose the place of holding courts for their respective counties."

Whether the election required to be held at the house of Andrew Heath to choose a place for holding their courts of Yohogania was held at the time and

² Here again is had only the southern line of Yohogania County, dividing it from Ohio and Monongalia, permitting Virginia to exercise her Jurisdiction as far to the east and north as she could get,

³ 9 Honing, 204, 265.

4 The qualifications were, by a preceding section, the possession for the year preceding of 25 acres of land with a house and a plantation, or of 100 acres without a house and plantation, claiming an estate for life in one's own right, or in right of his wife, although a patent had not been obtained ; in all future elections of senators the three counties were to form one district.


place appointed is not known, but the records of that court show (although there is some obscurity) that when duly organized it held its sessions at the plantation of Andrew Heath, on the left bank of the Monongahela, in what is now Allegheny County, but near the Washington County line. There its business continued to be done until Aug. 28, 1780, after, indeed, the boundary line was established, though before it had been finally run and marked. Jonathan Coburn lived about ten miles southeast of New Geneva, in what is now Fayette County,¹ and the place chosen for the holding of the courts of Monongalia County was the plantation of Theophilus Phillips, about two miles above New Geneva, on the Monongahela River, and here its courts were held until the establishment of the boundary line, when, to get them out of Pennsylvania, they were removed to the plantation of Zachwell Morgan, afterwards Morgantown. The early records of this court were lost in the burning of the clerk's office in 1796. The place fixed for holding the courts of Ohio County was Black's cabin, on Short Creek, now West Liberty, and the first court held there for that county was on Jan. 6, 1777. There these courts continued to be held until 1797, when they were removed to Wheeling.²

(1777) Council of War at Catfish Camp.—The military as well as the civil power of Virginia was also actively exercised west of the Alleghanies. On the 13th of December, 1776, Patrick Henry addressed a letter to Dorsey Pentecost, then county lieutenant (the officer having charge and direction of the militia) for Yohogania County, apprising him of the certainty of Indian hostilities in the next spring, and advising every possible preparation to be made in anticipation thereof.

In pursuance of the recommendations of this letter, a "council of War" was held at Catfish Camp, now Washington, on the 28th and 29th of January, 1777. This meeting was attended by the

several county lieutenants and field-officers of the three counties, and by thirty-two captains of militia. It would be interesting to know at what spot the council was held.³

¹ The Monongahela of Old, 93.

² There has long been a tradition that an old Virginia court-house stood just west of Washington, one account placing it at Razortown (Jacobs' Life and Times of Patrick Gass, 229), which was a collection of houses on the farm now of Hon. John Hall, a short distance northwest; another placing it upon the farm of William Gabby, about one mile immediately west of that borough; and our older historians (Dr. Smith's Old Redstone, 32, 113, and 129, and Dr. Creigh's History of Washington County, 137) would place the court-house of Ohio County, Va., at one or the other of these places. The writer, aided by the statements of old citizens, after a close study of the records of Augusta County and of the Yohogania County courts, has come to the conclusion that there was a log court-house and jail sixteen by twenty-four feet on Mr. Gabby's farm, and that it was the court-house of Augusta County, Va., just before Yohogania County was organized, at which place business was done for two or three monthly terms In the fall of 1776. (See note to the Centennial Celebration of Washington County, 39, and the records of the Augusta County Court hereafter.)

³ For the interest attached to this council the letter and proceedings

Petition for a New State.—The reader has now seen the establishment over the territory west of the Alleghanies of both the civil and military power of Virginia, and it must be apparent that by the winter

are here printed from the originals, presented by D. T. Morgan, Esq., from the papers of his grandfather, Col. George Morgan:

" WILLIAMSBURGH, December 13th, 1778.

"SIR,—The more I consider of the state of things in your quarter, the more I am convinced of the Necessity there is to prepare for hostilities in the Spring ; and although Continental Troops will be stationed on the Ohio, yet the Militia must be the last great Resource from which your safety is derived. In order to form something resembling Magazines, for the Present I have ordered about six Tuns of Lead for West Augusta; and that this article may be deposited in the Proper places, I wish you to summon a Council of Field Officers and Captains, and Take their Opinions which places are the fittest places for Magazines in the three countys of Yohogania, Monongalia, and Ohio, and Transmit the result to me. I wish you would please to find out where Capt. Gibson's Cargo of Powder is, and let me know. In the Council of Officers I would desire it should be Considered whether the Militia with you want any articles Government can furnish and what it is, for be assured it will give me great pleasure to Contribute to your safety. I am of the opinion that unless your People wisely Improve this winter you may probably be destroyed. Prepare then, to make resistance while you have Time. I hope by your Vigorous Exertions your frontier may be defended, and if necessity shall require some assistance be afforded to Combat our European Enemies, I have great Expectations from the number and known Courage of your Militia, and if you are not wanting in foresight and preparation they will do great things., Let a plan of Defence be fixed and settled beforehand; I mean principally the places of Rendezvous and the Officers who are to act, as well as to Provide Speedy and certain Intelligence. Let the Arms be kept in constant repair and readiness, and the Accoutrements properly fixed. It will be proper to send out Scouts and Trusty Spies Toward the Enemies Country to bring you accounts of their movements. I wish great care may be used In the Nomination of Military Officers with you, as so much depends on a proper appointment. You will please to give Strict attention to the great Objects here recommended to you, and I shall be Happy to hear of the safety of your people, whose Protection Government will omit Nothing to accomplish.

"I am, Sir,

" Your most obedient servant,



"At a Council of War held at Catfish Camp in the District of West Augusta the 28th day of January, Anno Domini 1777.

"Present, Dorsey Pentecost, Co'y Lieut.

John Cannon, Colo.

Isaac Cox, Lieut.-Colo.

Henry Taylor, Major.

David Sheperd, Co'y Lieut.

Silas Hedge, Colo.

David McClure, Lieut.-Colo.

Samuel McCullough, Major.

Zacheriah Morgan, Co'y Lieut.

John Evins, Major.

Captains: John Munn

David Andrew

John Wall

Cornelius Thompson

Gabriel Cox

Michael Rawlings

William Scott

Joseph Ogle

William Price

Joseph Tumbleson

Benjamin Fry

Matthew Richey

Samuel Meason

Jacob Lister

Peter Reasoner

James Rogers

Captains: David Owings

Henry Hogland.

John Pearce Duvall.

James Briuton.

Vinson Colvin.

James Buckhannon.

Abner Howell

Charles Crecraft

John Mitchell.

John Hogland

Reason Virgin.

William Harrod

David Williamson

Joseph Cisnesy.

Charles Martin.

Owin Davies.


of 1776-77, at which time the Revolution had fairly begun, and the settlers were in terror and distress from anticipated Indian barbarities, already too well known to them in al}•their horrors,—that by this pe-

"Colonel Dorsey Penticost was unanimously chosen President of this Council, whereupon Col. Morgan and Col. Shepherd Conducted him to his seat.

"Col. David McClure was unanimously chosen Clark.

"The President Informed the Council of the Importance of the business for which he had convened them and Concluded with Recommending Deliberation in their Councils, Decency and decorum in their Debates, and then Produced Letters from his Excellency the Governor, dated the 9th and 13th of December last, Signifying the Necessity of Spedy and Vigorous Exertion of the Militia, and putting them in a proper State of Defence &c. &c.

" Upon Motion made Resolved, That Col. Dorsey Pentecost, Col. Shepherd, Col. Morgan, Col. Cannon, Cap. Richey, Col. McClure, Maj. Eying, Cap. Mitchel & Cap. Martin be appointed a select Council to Consider of the before Mentioned Letters and make their Report to this Council, to be then Reconsidered, and the Council adjourned until Tomorrow at 10 O'Clock.

"January 29, 1777.

"The Council met according to adjournment, and Col. Isaac Cox was unanimously Chosen Vice President. Col. Pentecost from the Select Council delivered the following Resolutions which he read in his place and then sent to the Clark's Table where they were read a Second Time, and

"Resolved, that it is the opinion of your Committee, That the following is proper Places for Magazines in the District of West Augusta (viz) the House of Gabriel Cox in the County of Yohogania, the House of John Swearingen in the County of Monongalia & the House of David Shepherd in the County of Ohio ; and that the Six Tutins of Led to be sent to this district mentioned in his Excellency's letter of the 13th of December last, addressed to Col. Pentecost, be divided in the following manner and deposited at the before mentioned places, (viz) for Yohogania County 2½ Tunns, for the Monongalia County 2¼ Tunns & for the Ohio County 1¼ Tunns, being (as this Committee Conceives) as equal a Division of the said Led and other Ammunition that may be sent to this District, according to tic, number of People in each County as may be.

"Resolved, That his Excellency, the Governor, be requested to send with all Convenient Expedition, Powder Equivalent to the before Mentioned Led, which agreeable to the Rifle use is one pound of Powder to two pounds of Led, with Ten Thousand flints.

"Resolved, That in Consequence of his Excellency's Requisition that it is highly Necessary and it is accordingly Strongly recommended to Col. Pentecost to send a Capt. and 50 Men down the Ohio to find out if Possible where Capt. Gibson's Cargo of Powder is, & Conduct it up to the Settlements and that it is the Opinion of this Council that the Officers and Men to be employed in the Business Deserves double Wages.

"Resolved, As the Opinion of your Committee, That upon the best Information they can at this Time Collect, that one-third of the Militia of this District is without Guns. Occasioned by so many of the Regular Troops being furnished with Guns out of the Militia of this District, and that ate-half of the remaining Part wants repairs.

"Resolved, Therefore, that Government be requested to send up to this district one Thousand Guns, these Rifles, if Possible to be had, as Muskets will by no means be of same Service to defend us against an Indian Enemy.

"Resolved, For the Purpose of Repairing Guns, Making Tommehocks, Scalping knives, &c., that proper Persona ought to be Employed in each County at the Public Expense, and that Thomas and William Parkeson be appointed in the County of Yohogania, and that they Immediately Open Shop at their House on the Monongahela River for the above purpose, and that they make with all possible Expedition all the Rifle Guns they can, and a Sufficient number of Tommehocks, Scalping knives, &c., and that the County Lieut. Reseve them, or Direct the Distribution thereof.

" Resolved, That Robert Curry be Employed for the above Purpose in the Monongahela County, and that he Open Shop at his own Dwelling-House in the forks of Cheet.

"Resolved, That Thomas Jones (or some other proper person to be appointed by the County Lieut.) be appointed fur the above purpose in the Ohio County, to Open Shop at the House of Col. Shepherd.

"Your Committee having Maturely & Deliberately Considered the

(1776) riod many of the inhabitants had become weary of the contest, apparently without an end to it, and had begun to feel the want of a State government with its power nearer to them than that either of Pennsylvania or Virginia. To illustrate that feeling a paper is now given which has never appeared in print,¹ and which cannot fail to interest by. its peculiar style, as well as by the vigorous setting forth of the evils under which our early settlers lived :

Truly Critical and Distressed Situation of this Country, and with the deepest Anxiety have viewed the very recent Cruel Depredations Committed on our people by our relentless Neighbor, the Indiana, and with the ut. most regard have Considered his Excellency's Recommendation to pre-pair for Hostilities in the Spring, and to prepair to make Defense while we have time, and to form a plan of Defense for this Country, are of opinion that if no field Officer appear to take the Command of Troops, now raised and raising in this District at the next meeting of the differ. ant Committees, that the said Commanders forthwith order the sd Troops to such places on the Frontiers as they shall think proper, for the Present Protection of the Inhabitants, and at least one hundred of as Troops be ordered to Grave Creek Fort,—and in case the said Troops are not stationed as aforesaid, then the County Lieut. of Yohogania County le requested to order a Lieut. and 25 men to Baker's Fort, arid a Limit and 25 men to Isaac Cox's on the Ohio, and that the County Lieut. of Ohio County order a Lieut. and 25 men to Beech Bottom, and a Lieut. and 26 men to the Grave Creek Fort, and that the County Lieut. of Monongalia County order a Capt. and 60 men to be stationed at the House of Capt. Owen Davis's, the head of Dunkard Creek, and a Lieut. and 25 men to Grave Creek to augment that Garrison to 50 men, those men to be ordered at such time as the County Limit. shall think Proper and the Exergency of tire times Require; and that. Militia be Drafted, officered, and (held in Constant Reditress) to Rendezvous at the following places and in the following Manner—(Here is mentioned the active officers, the places of Rendezvous in each County, which are the places of the Magazines, the drafts and who heads them from each company, which is 15 Privates, one Sarjt. and a Commissioned officer, making in the whole about 1100 men.)

"Resolved, unanimously, That upon the first hostilities being Committed on our Settlements, that the County Lieutenant in whose County the same may Happen, Immediately call a Council of the three Countys as Proper measures may be pursued for the Chastisements of the Cruel Perpetrators."

[The foregoing is from a certified copy over the signature of David McClure, clerk.]

" WILLIAMSBURGH, Feb. 28, 1777.

" SIR,—You are forthwith to send one hundred men properly Officered in order to escort safely to Pittsburgh the powder purchased by Capt. Gibson. I suppose it is at Fort Louis, on the Mississippi, under the protection of the Spanish Government.

"The Canoes necessary for the voyage, the provisions, and every other matter must be provided, and the officers' orders must be to lose not a moment in getting the powder to Fort Pitt. If the present Garrison leave that Fortress, you are to order two hundred militia to guard it till further orders; let necessary repairs be forthwith done that it may he put in good posture of defense. I've ordered four 4-pound Cannon to be cast for strengthening it, as I believe an attack will be made there ere long. Let the Ammunition (Lead included) be stored there, & let it be defended to the last extremity ; give it not up but with the lives of yourself and people. Let the provisions be stored there and consider it as the Bulwark of your Country. No Militia shall be paid but those on actual duty, & I wonder any one should think otherwise. Let me know the guantity of Ammunition and stores at Pittsburgh; upon any alarm of dangerous Invasion, take dare to defend Pittsburgh. Capt. Linn has good Boat capable of bringing the Powder.

" I am, Sir,

"Your humble servant,



¹ For his copy the writer is indebted to Hon. G. L. Cranmer, of Wheeling. It is the same petition, doubtless, referred to in Jacobs' " Life of Michael Cresap," who says, p. 60,—



"To the Honourable the President & Delegates of the thirteen united American Colonies in General Congress assembled:

"The Memorial of the 'Inhabitants of the Country West of the Allegheny Mountains Represents:

"That whereas the province of Pennsylvania and Virginia have set up Claims to this large & extensive Country which for a considerable time past have been productive & attended with the usual Concomitants & pernicious and destructive effects of discordant and contending jurisdictions, innumerable Frauds, Impositions, Violences, Depredations, Feuds, Animosities, Divisions, Litigations, Disorders, & even with the Effusion of human Blood to the utter Subversion of all Laws, human & divine, of Justice, Order, Regularity & in a great Measure even of Liberty itself & must unless a timely and Speedy Stop be put to them in all Probability terminate in a Civil War, which how far it may effect the Union of the Colonies & the General Cause of America we leave to your wise, prudent, impartial, & Serious Consideration:—And whereas (exclusive of & as an Addition and further aggravation to the many accumulated Grievances & Oppressions we already labor under in consequence of the aforesaid Claims & the Controversies &cc thereby occasioned, the Fallacies, Violences & fraudulent Impositions of Land Jobbers, Pretended Officers & Partisans of both Land Offices & others under the Sanction of the jurisdiction of their respective Provinces, the Earl of Dunmore's Warrants, Officers & Soldiers Rights & an Infinity of other Pretexts in which they have of late proceeded so far as in Express Contradiction to the Declaration of the Continental Commissioners made on the ninth day of October 1775 at a Treaty at Fort Pitt to make encroachments on the Indian Territorial Rights by improving, laying Warrants & Officers Claims on & Surveying some of the Islands in the Ohio and Tomahawking (or as they term it) improving in a variety of places on the Western side of said River, to the great imminent & manifest danger of involving the Country in a Bloody, ruinous, and destructive War with the Indians, a People extremely watchful, tenacious, & jealous of their Rights, Privileges and Liberties, and already it is to be doubted, too much inclined to a Rupture and Commencement of Hostilities from the Persuasions and Influence of British Enunissaries, Agents & Officers & the little attention unfortunately hitherto paid to them by the American Confederacy in Conciliating their affections, Confidence and Friendship;) there are a number of private or other claims to Lands within the limits of this Country equally embarrassing & perplexing; George Croghan Esquire in various Tracts, Claims Land by Purchase from the Six Nations in 1748 and confirmed to him at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768 to the amount by Computation of 200,000 Acres on which are Settled already 1500 or 2000 Families; Major William Trent on Behalf of himself and the Traders, who suffered by the Indian Depredations in 1763, another large Tract Containing at least 4,000,000 of Acres by Donation & Cession of the Six Nations aforesaid at the aforesaid Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768, on which 1500 or 2000 Families are already settled; and there was on the 4th day of January 1770 a certain Contract & Purchase made by the Honourable Thomas Walpole and associates (including the Ohio Company & the Officers & Soldiers in the Service of the Colony in the year 1754) under the name of the Grand Ohio or Vandalia Company, with and of the Lords, Commissioners of the Treasury on Behalf of Crown for an Extensive Tract of Country within the Purchase & Cession from the aforesaid Six Nations and their Confederates at the said Treaty of Fort Stanwix aforesaid made and by his Majesty's Special Command & Direc-

"As this petition recites the treaty of Pittsburgh, in October, 1775, it is probable we may fix its date (for it has none) to the latter part of 1776 or 1777. 1 rather think the latter, not only from my own recollection of the circumstances of that period, but especially from the request in the petition to be erected into a new State, which certainly would not be thought of before the Declaration of Independence." But it is now possible to fix the date of this remarkable petition with more certainty by other papers, for which the writer is indebted to Mr. Cranmer, to wit, a letter from Jasper Yeates to James Wilson, Esq., dated Pittsburgh, July 30,1776, with a P.S. of date Aug. 1, 1776, in which latter the petition is mentioned as then being circulated and intended for Congress and its contents described, and another paper, being "The Address and Memorial of the Committee of West Augusta County" to the Speaker of the Lower House of the Virginia Assembly, praying that the " Hon’ble House will take such steps in the premises & make such necessary Regulations to ensure Union to the inhabitants in these times of public Calamity, etc., is which also the petition is mentioned, and the hounds of the 14th state described, “Beginning on the Eastern Bank of the Ohio, opposite the mouth of the Scioto, etc."

tions notified to the Indians of the Western Tribes at the aforesaid Confederacy on the 3rd day of April 1773 by Alexander McKee, Esq., Deputy Agent of the Western Department for Indian Affairs on the Plains of Scioto, who by their Answer of the 6th of the same Month, expressed their approbation thereof and Satisfaction & Acquiescence therein, at the same Time justly observing that it was as necessary for prudent People to govern the white settlers, as for the Indians to take Care of their foolish young men.

"This is a country of at least 240 miles in Length, from the Kittanning to opposite the Mouth of Scioto, 70 or 80 in Breadth, from the Allegheney Mountains to the Ohio, rich, fertile and healthy even beyond a Credibility & peopled by at least 25,000 Families since the year 1768 (a population we believe scarce to be paralleled in the Annals of any Country) Miserably distressed & harrassed and rendered a scene of the moat consummate Anarchy & Confusion by the Ambition of some, and avarice of others, and its wretched Inhabitants (who through almost insuperable Difficulties, Hardships, Fatigues & Dangers at the most imminent Risque of their lives, their little all and everything that was dear and valuable to them, were endeavoring to secure an Asylum & a Safe Retreat from threatening Penury for their tender numerous families with which they had removed from the lower Provinces and settled themselves In different Parts of the aforesaid Lands & Claims agreeable to the usual Mode of Colonization & an Ancient Equitable & long established Custom & Usage of the Colonies, the Rights of Preemption whenever those Lands could be rightfully & legally conveyed & disposed of:) after surmounting every other Obstacle to the Hopes, their Expectations & wishes, now unhappily find themselves in a worse & more deplorable Situation than whilst living on the poor, barren rented Lands in their various respective Provinces below: through Party Rage, the Multiplicity of Proprietary Claims & Claimants & the Precariousness & Uncertainty of every kind of Property from the forecited Causes, the want of Regular Administration of Justice & of a due and proper Executive and Exertion of a system of Laws & regulations, and Mode of Polity & Government, adapted to their peculiar Necessities, local Circumstances and Situation, and its Inhabitants, who the' neither Politicians nor Orators, are at least a rational and Social People inured to Hardships & Fatigues, & by experience taught to despise Dangers & Difficulties, and having immigrated from almost every Province of America, brought up under and accustomed to various different & in many respects discordant & even Contradictory Systems of Laws & Government & since their being here from the want of Laws & Order Irritated and exasperated by Ills & urged & Compelled by Oppressions & Suffering and having imbibed the highest and most extensive Ideas of Liberty, as the only pure efficient source of Happiness and Prosperity will with Difficulty Submit to, the being annexed to or Subjugated by (Terms Synonymous to them) anyone of those provinces much less the being partitioned or parcelled out among them, or be prevailed on to entail a state of Vassalage & Dependence on their Posterity, or Suffer themselves who might be the happiest & perhaps not the least useful Part of the American Confederacy as forming a secure, extensive & Effectual Frontier & Barrier against the Incursions, Ravages & Depredations of the Western Savages, to be Enslaved by any set of Proprietary or other Claimants, or arbitrarily deprived & robbed of those Lambs & that Country to which by the Laws of Nature & of Nations they are entitled as first Occupants, and for the Possession of which they have resigned their All & exposed themselves and families to Inconveniences, Dangers & Difficulties, which Language itself wants Words to express & describe, whilst the Rest of their Countrymen softened by Ease, enervated by Affluence & Luxurious Plenty & unaccustomed to Fatigues, Hardships, Difficulties or Dangers, are bravely contending for and exerting themselves on Behalf of a Constitutional, national, rational, & social Liberty.

"We the Subscribers Inhabitants of the Country as aforesaid therefore by Leave by — hereby planarity, amply & specially delegated, interested, authorized & impowered to act & to do for us on this occasion as, our immediate Representatives, Solicitors, Agents, & Attornies, Humbly to represent to you as the Guardians, Trustees, Curators, Conservators & Defrees of all that is dear or valuable to Americans, that in our Opinion no Country or People can be either rich, flourishing, happy, or free (the only laudable, rightful, useful, warrantable & rational ends of Government,) or enjoy the sweets of that Liberty, the Love & desire of which is radically impressed on, Self-Existant with & animates & actuates, every brave, generous, humane and honest soul, and for which every American Breast at this time pants and glows with an unusual Flow of Warmth and Expectation & with redoubled zeal and Ardor: whilst annexed to or dependent on any Province whose seat of Government is those of Pennsylvania & Virginia four or five hundred miles distant and separated by a vast, extensive Jr almost impassable Tract of Mountains, by Nature


itself formed and pointed out as a Boundary between this Country & those below it, that justice might be both Tedious and Expensive, the Execution of the Laws dilatory & perhaps mercenary, if not arbitrary; Redress of Grievances precarious and Slow and the Country so situated without participating of any of the Advantages suffer all the Inconveniences of such a Government & be continually exposed, as we already too well know, by Dear bought and fatal experience to the violence, Frauds, Depredations, Exactions, Oppressions of interested, ambitious, designing, insolent, avaricious, rapacious & mercenary Men & Officers—And pray, that the said Country be constituted, declared & acknowledged a separate, distinct & independent Province & Government by the title & under the Name of 'The Province & Government of Westsylvania,' be empowered & enabled to form such Laws & Regulations & such a System of Polity & Government as is best adapted & most agreeable to the peculiar Neceeities, local Circumstances & Situation thereof and its Inhabitants invested with every other Power, Right, Privilege & Immunity, vested or to be vested in the other American Colonies; be Considered as a Sister Colony & the fourteenth Province of the American Confederacy, that its Boundaries be:—Beginning at the eastern Branch [bank] of the Ohio opposite the mouth of the Scioto and running thence to the top of the Allegheny Mountains, thence with the Top of the said Mountain to the Northern Limits of the Purchase made from the Indians in 1768, at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix aforesaid, thence with the said Limits to the Allegheny or Ohio River and thence down the said River as purchased from the said Indians at the aforesaid Treaty of Fort Stanwix, to the Beginning.

"And that for the more effectual Prevention of all future and further Frauds & Impositions, being practiced upon us, thereby all Proprietary or other Claims or Grants, heretofore by or to whomsoever made of Lands within the aforesaid Limits of the said Province, with & under the approbation & Sanction of the General Congress or Grand Continental Council of State of the United American Colonies:

"And your Memorialists, as by all Ties of Duty, Interest and Honor bound, as American Brethren & Associates, embarked with you in the same arduous & glorious Cause of Liberty and Independency shall ever pray, that your Councils and Endeavors for the Common Good, may be continually attended, blessed and crowned with a never ceasing and uninterrupted aeries of Success, Happiness and Prosperity."

Perhaps it would be a work of supererogation to proceed beyond the production of the foregoing extraordinary paper, by way of illustrating the results of the contention between the two sovereignties. That petition was actually circulated and filed with the Continental Congress, but without any result whatever, for at that time the United States had no territorial jurisdiction. Not until 1784, when the Atlantic States had ceded their claims to the territory west of‘their several grants, was there a national commonwealth established. If, therefore, the Congress had had the wish to grant the prayer of this petition it did not have the power.

(1777), Oath of Allegiance and Fidelity to Virginia.—Early after the colonies had declared their independence of the mother-country, and when the Revolution was well under way, the States enacted laws 1777. requiring oaths of allegiance to the new sovereignty and a renunciation of the old. At the May sessions, of the General Assembly of Virginia the following law was enacted:¹

" Whereas allegiance and protection are reciprocal, and those who will not bear the former are not entitled to the benefits of the latter; Therefore be it enacted, etc., That all free-born male inhabitants of this State, above the age of 16 years, except imported servants during their term of service, shall, on or before the tenth day of October next, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation before some one of the justices

¹ Chapter III., 9 Hening, 281.

of the peace of the County, city, or borough, where they shall respectively inhabit; and the said justice shall give a certificate thereof to every such person, and the said oath or affirmation shall be as followeth, viz.: " I, --, do swear or affirm, that I renounce and refuse all allegiance to George the Third, King of Great Britain, his heirs and successors, and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the commonwealth of Virginia, as a free and independent state, and that I will not, at any time, do, or cause to be done, any matter or thing that will be prejudicial or injurious to the freedom and independence thereof, as declared by Congress; and also that I will discover and make known to some one justice of the peace for the said State, all treasons or traitorous conspiracies which I now or hereafter shall know to be formed against this or any of the United States of America."²

The act then proceeded to require that the justices should keep registers and transmit returns to the county clerk ; that within one month after the passage of the act the court of every county should appoint certain ones of their number "to make a tour of the county and tender the oath or affirmation aforesaid" to the persons of whom it was to be demanded, and that in the certificate directed to be returned of those who take the oath or affirmation "shall be mentioned the names of such as refuse ;" that a list of the recusants should be delivered by the justice to the county lieutenant or chief commanding officer of the militia, "who is hereby authorized and directed forthwith to cause such recusants to be disarmed ;" and such recusants were made incapable of holding any office in the State, of serving on juries, of suing for any debts, of voting or of being elected, and of buying and holding lands. The last section provided that the act should be read publicly by the sheriff of the county at the door of the court-house of his county on or before the 3d day of next September, "and also by every minister of the gospel, or reader, immediately after divine service, on some Sunday within the said time."

The records of the court of Yohogania County show that on Aug. 26, 1777,—John Campbell, John McDowell, Isaac Cox, Richard Yeates, John McDonald, William Goe, Zachariah Connell, George Vallandigham, Thomas Freeman, and John Canon, justices present,—gentlemen were appointed to make the "Tour of the Different Districts hereafter mentioned and Tender the Oath of Allegiance and Fidelity to this Commonwealth,³ &c." To each appointee was assigned his district, over which he was to travel and tender the oath provided, making and returning his lists of those who took it and the recusants.

Virginia Land Laws.—Well may be supposed, as would appear from the action of Pennsylvania and

² A law with a like preamble, enactment, and oath of allegiance wits passed by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, June 13, 1777, excepting, however, the counties Of Bedford and Westmoreland from its provisions, for the obvious reason, without doubt, that in the then existing conflict of jurisdiction the danger of open collision would become more imminent. The text shows how the law was enforced by Virginia la the very territory which Pennsylvania had exempted. (See III. Penn, Archives, Sec. S., 6.)

³ See map, ante, fur the outline of Yohogania County, and for the ap. pointees and each one's district see the extracts from the records of Yohogania County Court, post.


Virginia, respectively, with reference to the oaths of allegiance to the new State governments, that the Pennsylvania jurisdiction was scarcely exercised at all in the Monongahela valley. Indeed, long before, on Feb. 13, 1775, Robert Hanna, W. Lochry, John Carnahan, and Devereux Smith had united in a letter to Governor Penn,¹ in which they said, " We are sorry to repeat our complaints so often, but William Crawford, Esq., and Dorsey Pentecost hath each opened a Land Office, and assumed the Title of Deputy Surveyors to execute their entries. The people in general hath already given up, and what can we do to support Government, there now being writs granted for almost every acting Officer in this County, and we are every day expecting Confinement." ²

It is, however, known that by far the greater part of the lands lying in Washington County, as originally erected, were occupied by persons claiming under Virginia titles. Settlement rights had been acquired, of course, when the settlements began, and such rights were always of much importance. There is evidence that as early as 1770 surveys had begun to be made, and during the time of Lord Dunmore a number of patents were granted. But not until the act hereinafter quoted was there a regular and continuous system of granting legal titles to lands west of the Alleghanies. ³

(1779) But in 1779, Virginia, recognizing the fact probably that her jurisdiction " upon the western waters" must sooner or later come to an end, and her necessities also doubtless requiring the revenue which might be made available, enacted a law which, being the basis of so many of the land titles of Washington County, is of sufficient importance to demand a clear account of it, buried as it is from the sight of all but antiquarians.

Chapter XII. of the acts of the General Assembly of Virginia, in the session of May, 1779,4 was

"An act for adjusting and settling the titles of claimants to unpatented lands under the present and former governments previous to the establishment of the Commonwealth's Land Office.

"Section IV. And whereas, great numbers of people have settled in

¹ X. Col. Records, 234.

² Thomas Lewis was the county surveyor for Augusta County, Virginia. During the year 1774, Crawford surveyed and returned to his office 4153 acres for different persons. He surveyed Washington's Mount Pleasant lands, 2813 acres, in April or May, 1774. On May 8, 1774, he writes to Washington, " Sir,—Inclosed you have the drafts of the Round Bottom and your Charlie's land, finished agreeable to Mr. Lewis' direction."—Washington-Crawford Letter3, 46. These lands were patented to Washington by Lord Dunmore on July 5, 1774. Dorsey Pentecost was running lines in the neighborhood of the Henry Taylor tract as early as 1772, and surveyed for George Croghan on the Chartiers to the extent of 30,000 acres in 1773.— Washington-Crawford Letters, 38.

³ For the reason that after the final running of the boundary line the holders of Virginia

titles and rights protected themselves generally by obtaining surveys and patents from Pennsylvania, our records do not show in but few cases what lands were hold originally from Virginia. The Washington tract in Mount Pleasant and Cecil and the Hugh Stephenson tract in Cross Creek are two instances in which the lands sever were patented by Pennsylvania.

4 10 Hening, 35.

- 13 -

the country upon the welders waters,5 upon waste and unappropriated lands, for which they have been hitherto prevented from sueing out patents or obtaining legal titles by the King of Great Britain's proclamations or instructions to his governors,6 or by the late change of Government;7 and the present war having delayed until now the opening of a land office and the establishment of any certain terms for granting lands, and it is just that those settling under such circumstances should have some reasonable allowance for the charge and risk they have incurred, and that the property so acquired should be secured to them, Be it enacted, etc., That all persons who at any time before the first day of January, in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, have really and bona fide settled themselves or their families, or at his, her, or their charge have settled others, upon any waste or unappropriated lands on the said western waters, to which no other person hath any legal right or claim, shall be allowed for every family so settled four hundred acres of land or such smaller quantity as the party chooses, to include such settlement. And where any such settler hath had any survey made for him or her since October 26, 1763, in consideration of such settlement for less than four hundred acres, such settler, his or her heirs, may claim and be allowed as mush adjoining waste and unappropriated land as together with the lands so surveyed will make up the quantity of four hundred acres."

Section V. made special provisions for such as had settled in towns and villages, and then provided that upon the production of certificates from the commissioners to be appointed under the act to the county surveyors, the latter was required to enter them in his books, and to proceed to survey the land so entered according to law, "and upon due return to the Land Office of the surveys, with the certificates from the commissioners," patents from the commonwealth were to issue.

"And if any such settlers shall desire to take up a greater quantity of land than is herein allowed them, they shall on payment to the Treasurer of the consideration money, required from other purchasers, be entitled to the preemption of any greater quantity of land adjoining to that allowed them in consideration of settlement, not exceeding one thousand acres, and to which no other person hath any legal right or claim.

"And to prevent doubts concerning settlements, it is hereby declared, That no family shall be entitled to the allowance granted to settlers by this act, unless they have made a crop of corn in that country, or resided there at least one year since the time of that settlement.

"All persons who, since the said first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, have actually settled on any waste or unappropriated lands on the western waters to which no other bath a just or legal right or claim, shall be entitled to the preemption of any quantity of land, not exceeding four hundred acres, to include such settlements, at the State price to other purchasers.

" And all those who, before the said first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, had marked out or chosen for themselves any waste or unappropriated lands, and built any house or hut, or made other improvements thereon, shall also be entitled to the preemption upon the like terms, not exceeding one thousand acres, and to which no other person bath any legal right or claim; but no person shall have the right of preemption for more than one such improvement."

By Section VI. the composition money, which seems to mean the " State price," was fixed at ten shillings for every one hundred acres.

Section VIII. allotted the country on the western waters into districts : Monongalia, Yohogania, and Ohio Counties into one; Augusta, Botetourt, and

5 Of course this meant down in the present Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as upon the Monongahela.

6 Id eat, the proclamation of 1763.

7 In Pennsylvania, from 1775 to 1782, the Laud Office was substantially closed, and was not opened for new sales until July 1, 1784.—The Monongahela of Old, 97.


Greenbriar into another; Washington and Montgomery into another; and Kentucky into another, and the last.

The Governor with the advice of his Council was to appoint four commissioners for each district, any three of whom might act, to settle and adjust claims to unpatented lands, and provisions were made for the oath of the commissioners, the method of hearing, the registry to be kept, 'etc.

At the same session (May, 1779) was enacted the law establishing the Land Office.

Section 3 of Chapter XlII.¹ made the following provisions respecting the office of county surveyor:

"A surveyor shall be appointed in every county, to be nominated, examined, and certified able by the president and professors of William and Mary College, and of good character, commissioned by the Governor, with a reservation in such commission to the said professors, for the use of the college, of one-sixth part of the legal fees which shall be received by such surveyor, for the yearly payment of which he shall give bond," etc.

The foregoing is believed to contain a full account of the land laws of Virginia, upon which are founded so many of the titles in the Monongahela valley. The commissioners to settle and adjust the claims of settlers in the district of Monongalia, Yohogania, and Ohio Counties were Francis Peyton, Philip Pendleton, Joseph Holmes, and George Merriweather, the latter of whom, however, did not attend when their duties were performed. But before an account is given of the transactions of these land-title commissioners, their certificates to settlers, and the surveys following, made within the limits of our county under these Virginia laws, it is proper for sake of clearness first to narrate the history of the final determination of the boundary line, for, as will appear, even the settlement of the contention as to the locality of that line was not an end by any means to the exercise of jurisdiction by Virginia within our county.

(1776). The Baltimore Agreement as to the Boundary Line.—Early in the year 1776, and before the May session of the Virginia Assembly of that year, both States seem to have become anxious for an end to the boundary contention. Hitherto there seemed to have been no opportunity to meet with a chance of settlement. On Dec. 18, 1776, both houses of the Virginia Assembly agreed upon the following resolution :²

"Resolved, That it is the mutual interest of the commonwealth of Virginia and Pennsylvania, that the boundaries between them be speedily settled and ascertained, in the most amicable and indisputable manner, by the joint agreement and concurrence of both. . . .

"Resolved, That as the boundaries expressed in the Pennsylvania charter may admit of great doubt, and a variety of opinion may arise on its construction, and it is expedient and wise to remove as much as possible all cause of future controversy, ( . . . ) to quiet the minds of the people that may be affected thereby, and to take from our common enemies an opportunity of fomenting mutual distrust and jealousy, this commonwealth ought to offer such reasonable terms of accommodation, (even if the loss of some territory is incurred thereby,) as may be cordially

¹ in Hening, 52.

² Reprinted in Revised Code of Va. of 1819, p. 51.

accepted by our sister state, and an end put to all future dispute, by a firm and permanent agreement and settlement.

"Resolved, Therefore, That the Virginia Delegates in Congress be empowered and instructed to propose to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a final accommodation of our disputed boundaries in the following manned: " That the meridian line drawn from the head fountain of the Potowmock River, shall be extended from the intersection of the line run between the proprietors of Maryland and Pennsylvania., (commonly called Mason and Dixon's Line,) due north until it intersects the latitude of forty degrees, and from thence the southern boundary of Pennsylvania shall be extended on the said fortieth degree of latitude until the distance of five degrees of west longitude from Delaware River shall be completed thereon, the same to be ascertained by proper astronomical observations; that from the completion of the said five degrees of longitude, upon said fortieth degree of latitude, the western boundary of Pennsylvania shall be fixed at five degrees of longitude from its eastern boundary, either in every point thereof, according to the meanders of the Delaware River, or, (which is judged easier and better for both,) from proper points and angles on the said Delaware River, with intermediate straight lines between ; and whenever said western boundary shall be run, that the degrees of longitude be also fixed by astronomical observations, at proper points and angles on said Delaware River; add from these, that there be straight lines run corresponding as near as may be with the before-mentioned straight or reduced courses of the said river; for which purpose, if the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shall accept this offer, and whenever they shall have signified their agreement to the boundary herein proposed, the Governor and Council are empowered and desired to appoint commissioners to proceed with a proper mathematical apparatus, and in conjunction with commissioners to be appointed on the part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to ascertain and run the said Southern or Southern and Western boundary, until the same shall strike the Ohio or Allegheny River, which it is apprehended is as far as it can yet be extended with safety on account of the 'Indians, saving their private property and rights to all persons who may have acquired titles, under either country respectively, previous to the ascertaining and running such boundary, although they should be found to fall within the other."

Pennsylvania was to assent to this proposed boundary, cutting as it would have done a large corner out of her parallelogram,—almost all of Fayette County, all of Greene County, and quite a portion of Washington County,—when commissioners were to be appointed to run and mark the line. Of course the sister State could not cordially accept the offer, but it appears that during the year 1777 and 1773, at long intervals, negotiations were made through the Virginia delegates in Congress, with such little interest, however, that the papers would become lost!'

On May 20, 1779, while Virginia was passing her statute relating to lands on the Western waters, her Assembly also resolved " that the Governor be desired to inform the commissioners appointed on the part of Pennsylvania 4 to adjust the boundary between that and this State, that this Assembly will proceed to nominate commissioners for the same purpose, to signify that the place appointed by them is agreeable, but to desire that such meeting .may be postponed until the Assembly {shall have risen, of which notice will be given them."5 The commissioners on the part of Pennsylvania were George Bryan, John Ewing, and David Rittenhouse; those on the part of Virginia

³ See VI. Penn. Archives, 82 ; VII. Ibid., 79, 184, 309, 310.

4 When Pennsylvania had appointed her commissioners has not been discovered; the papers seem to have been lost!

6 VII. Pa. Archives, 441.


were Rev. James Madison, Rev. Robert Andrews, and Thomas Lewis. They met at Baltimore on Aug. 27, 1779. Thomas Lewis, one of the Virginia commissioners, the former county surveyor of Augusta County, did not attend. At their first meeting they produced their respective commissions, when it was determined that their proceedings were to be reported to the Assemblies of their respective States for approval, and that their communications should be in writing. This correspondence, as stated by Mr. Veech in a manuscript correction to his "Mason and Dixon's Line," "was an instructive lesson in diplomatic casuistry. After very stately displays of their respective pretensions, making them as irreconcilable as they could, they advance with rapid strides towards the agreement." Omitting the discussions (confined to the construction of the Pennsylvania charter), a presentation of the propositions from the one side and the other will here be presented.¹

On the 28th day of August, the Pennsylvania commissioners submitted their position and proposals. After a full and exhaustive discussion of the terms of the charter bearing upon the boundary, and of the right of Pennsylvania to go down west of the Maryland line to parallel thirty-nine degrees, thence west to the limit of five degrees of longitude ; but without referring to the western boundary at all, they conclude,—

"Yet, gentlemen, although we have no doubt of the justice and propriety of our claim, as above laid down, but, on the contrary, a full confidence that disinterested judges would allow us the whole of that tract of country which is so expressly contained in the charter, and so fully ceded by the State of Virginia; yet, inasmuch as it might disturb the settlers on the south side of the River Potomack, who have been long accustomed to the laws and government of Virginia; for the sake of peace, and to manifest our earnest desire of adjusting the disputes on amicable terms, we are willing to recede from our just rights, and therefore propose that a meridian he drawn from the head spring of the north branch of the Potomack to the beginning of the fortieth degree of north latitude, and from thence that a parallel of latitude be drawn to the western extremity of the State of Pennsylvania, to continue forever the boundary of the State of Pennsylvania and Virginia."

The communication of the Virginia commissioners, on August 30th, was an argumentative reply to the discussion of the other side, and concluded,—

"Anxious as we are to put an end to the dispute subsisting between the two States, and to remove all grounds of future dissensions by adjusting at this time their boundaries in an amicable manner; yet the undoubted right of Virginia to that tract of country westward of Maryland and as far northward as the latitude of that point on the Delaware, twelve miles distant from New-Castle northward, together with a regard for the peace of those who have settled in this tract, on the supposition that it was comprehended in the government of Virginia, determine us not to accede to the proposal you have been pleased to make. But, we trust on a further consideration of the objections of Virginia to your claim, that you will think it advantageous to your State to continue Mason and Dixon's line to your western limits, which we are willing to establish as a perpetual boundary between Virginia and Pennsylvania on the south side of the last mentioned State. We are induced to make this proposal, as lee think that the same principle which effected the compromise between Pennsylvania and Maryland should operate equally as strong in the present case."

It is admissible to infer, from the absence of any reference in both these proposals to the nature of the

¹ For the full record, see 10 Hening, 519.

western boundary to be adopted, that both States seemed to assume that that line was to be a line corresponding with the sinuosities of the Delaware. True, it is possible that each party left that matter in the background for a point from which compromise suggestions might originate. At all events, the Pennsylvania commissioners, in their communication made the same day, were not slow to see an opportunity opened ; they proceeded to state that they should be under the disagreeable necessity of returning to their constituents with a report of the proposals made for the sake of peace, "unless you can comply with an addition to your proposal which we now make for your consideration," viz.:

"That Mason and Dixon's line should be extended so far beyond the limits of Pennsylvania as that the meridian drawn from the western extremity of it to the beginning of the forty-third degree of north latitude, shall include as much land as will make the State of Pennsylvania what it was originally intended to be, viz.: three degrees in breadth and five degrees in length, excepting so much as has heretofore relinquished to Maryland. . . . And finally, if this proposal be not complied with, it is our intention that it shall not be adduced to prejudice the claim of Pennsylvania hereafter."

Still the point was not yet reached. It was not far away, however. In her answer on the same day, Virginia could not accede to the idea of compensation when site had nothing for which she should pay, and still contemplating the great necessity "that every cause of discord be now removed," on the same day made another advance:

" We therefore propose that a line run due west from that point where the meridian of the first fountain of the north branch of the Potowmack meets the end of the thirtieth minute of the thirty-ninth degree of northern latitude, five degrees of longitude, to be computed from that part of the River Delaware which lies in the same parallel, shall forever be the boundary of Virginia and Pennsylvania, on the southern part of the last-mentioned State. We hope that this proposal will finally meet with your approbation, as it coincides most nearly with the claim of each State."

To this the Pennsylvania commissioners, on Aug. 31, 1779, replied,--

" We will agree to your proposal of the 30th of August, 1779, for running and forever establishing the southern boundary of Pennsylvania In. the latitude of thirty-nine degrees thirty minutes, westward of the meridian of the source of the north branch of the river Potowmack, upon condition that you consent to allow a meridian line drawn northward from the western extremity thereof as far as Virginia extends, to be the western boundary of Pennsylvania."

To which the Virginia commissioners responded at once,—

"We cannot agree to make that addition to our proposal, . . . but . . . we will make a further proposal, which we think as advantageous to Pennsylvania as that first made by you to us. We will continue Mason and Dixon's line due west five degrees of longitude to be computed from the river Delaware, for your southern boundary, and will agree that a meridian drawn from the western extremity of this line to your northern limit shall be tile western boundary of Pennsylvania."

Thereupon the Pennsylvania commissioners closed the negotiations :

"We agree to your last proposal of August 31st, 1779, to extend Mason's and Dixon's line due west five degrees of longitude, to be computed from the river Delaware, for the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, and that a meridian drawn from the western extremity thereof to the northern limit of the State be the western boundary of Pennsylvania forever."


And thus followed the final agreement of the commissioners of the two States for the establishment of the southern and western boundaries of Pennsylvania. It was in these words:

"BALTIMORE, 31st August, 1779.

"We, James Madison and Robert Andrews, commissioners for the State of Virginia, and George Bryan, John Ewing, and David Rittenhouse, commissioners for the State of Pennsylvania, do hereby mutually, in behalf of our respective States, ratify and confirm the following agreement, viz.: to extend Mason's and Dixon's line due west five degrees of longitude, to be computed from the river Delaware, for the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, and that a meridian drawn from the western extremity thereof to the northern limit of the said State be the western boundary of Pennsylvania forever.

"In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands this thirty-first day of August in the year of our Lord 1779.






Even with this agreement, however, the boundary controversy was not yet determined, for, as it will be remembered, the result of the Baltimore commission was to be submitted to the constituent States. Pennsylvania was the first to act, and

" On Friday, November 19, 1779, agreeable to the order of the day, the House took up the report of the commissioners appointed to settle the boundary line between this State and Virginia. and the same being read and fully considered,

"Resolved, unanimously, That this House do ratify and finally confirm the agreement entered into between the commissioners from the State of Virginia and the commissioners from this State, which agreement is in the following words : [quoting the agreement as printed above.]

" Attested,


" Clerk of the General Assembly."²

Thus did Pennsylvania manifest her readiness to accept the action of the Baltimore commission and give "it her unqualified approval, as well she might do," says Mr. Veech,³ " seeing that it expanded her western limits full half a degree, without any equiva-

¹ Hon. George Bryan was a Philadelphia delegate of the Convention of 1776, and is said to have been the author of the Constitution of that date; in 1777, vice-president and afterwards president of the Supreme Executive Council; 1780, assistant judge of the Supreme Court; 1783 member of Council of Censors from Philadelphia; the author of the celebrated preamble to the Pennsylvania act of 1780 for the abolition of slavery. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, 1731; died at Philadelphia in 1791.

John Ewing, D.D., born East, Nottingham, Md., 1732; died 1802; ancestors from Ireland; tutor in philosophy in Philadelphia College, and became provost of that institution when made the University of Pennsylvania in 1779; had been commissioner on boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland in 1760; was also pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia.

David Rittenhouse, LL.D., born near Germantown, Pa., 1732; ancestors from Holland; was eminent as a mathematician and astronomer; was engaged upon the boundaries of New York, New Jersey, as well as of Virginia; state treasurer from 1776 to 1789; first director of the U. S. Mint; died at Philadelphia, June 20, 1796.

Right Rev. James Madison, relative of President Madison, at this time president of William and Mary College, Va., afterwards bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia.

Rev. Robert Andrews, was professor of mathematics in William and Mary College, a Protestant Episcopal minister.

² This resolution is not found in our Pennsylvania Archives or Records, but see VIII. Penn. Archives, 14; XII. Col. Records, 177, 213. It is printed in full in 10 Hening, 619, et seq.

³ Centenary Memorial, 335.

lent loss on the south." Virginia, however, held back, and whether from a dissatisfaction with the boundaries as established by the commission, or with an intention to benefit her whilom adherents in the Monongahela valley, her Assembly bad no action upon the subject until the following summer. And what occurred in the mean time?

Virginia Surveys in Washington County.—It will be remembered that the General Assembly of Virginia in May, 1779, after the negotiations for the appointment of the Baltimore commissioners had been begun, had-passed her act "for adjusting and settling titles of claimants to unpatented lands" upon the western waters, creating districts, with four commissioners to each, to hear proofs of settlement rights and grant certificates to claimants, and that the commissioners appointed for Yohogania, Monongalia, and Ohio Counties were Francis Peyton, Philip Pendleton, Joseph Holmes, and George Merriweather. All this before the Baltimore conference.

These land-title commissioners came to "the western waters" in the Monongahela valley in December, 1779, and in that and the following months sat at Redstone and at Cox's Fort,4 on the Monongahela, and granted scores of certificates to claimants under Virginia settlement rights.

Col. William Crawford was the county surveyor for Yohogania County. His "Record Book of Surveys" for that county is still extant, and contains numerous surveys made by him, through his deputies, within the present limits of Washington County, upon certificates granted by the said commissioners sitting either at Redstone or Cox's Fort. These surveys are all plotted out, and properly and neatly recorded, and in order to illustrate to the sense of sight this exercise of power by Virginia over lands then known not to be hers, or which at least she was about to abandon, the accompanying map has been made by an able artist simply by connecting a number of contiguous surveys together.

The greatest number made in any one locality was upon the waters of Pigeon Creek. And that the reader may know the extent to which this land jurisdiction was exercised, a list is given, 1780. compiled of the surveys from Col. Crawford's record, made upon lands in the present limits of Washington County. The list will be introduced by a transcript of a survey made of a tract then occupied in whole or in part by Henry Taylor within sight of Washington 5

4 Redstone was Brownsville. There has been some doubt as to the locality of Cox's Fort. Mr. Veech calls it " Cox's Fort, on the west side of the Monongahela." Some of the certificates are dated at Cox's Fort, others at Cox's Fort, evidently meaning the same place. There was a Cox's Fort just above Wellsburgh, on land about 1785 bought by Van Swearingen, but the locality called by this name in the text is believed to be the station or fort of Capt. Gabriel Cox, in the now Union township.

5 In an ejectment brought by Judge Taylor in 1782, his title was sustained over that of Richard Yeates, or his assignees, because of a prior settlement. At the date of these Virginia surveys our territory was


"In consequence of three Certificates dated at Coxes Fort the 21st Day of February, 1780, and part of one other dated 9th Day of February, 1780, granted by the commissioners for actual Settlements, appointed to adjust claims to unpattented Lands in the Counties of Yohogania, Monongahela, and Ohio, Richard Yeates, assignee of William Riley, is titled to nine Hundred and Two acres of Land lying in Yohogania County aforesaid, said Land lying on the eastern Branch of the middle Fork of Shirtees creek, the Form, Manner, and Model, Is as the annexed Plot representeth : Beginning at W. O. at A, thence S. 37° W. 64¾ Pole to a B. Oak at B; thence N. 87° W. 68½ Pole to a W. O. at C; thence S. 37° W. 84 Pole to a W. O. at D; thence N. 82° W. 113 Pole to a W. O. at E; thence N.36° W. 144 Pole to a B. 0. at F; thence N. 4° W. 175 Pole to a W. O. at G; thence N 58° E. 340 Pole to a W. O. at G ; thence N. 58° E. 340 Pole to a W. O. at H; thence S. 47° E., 126 Pole to a Walnut at I; thence S. 50° W., 70 Pole to a black Ash at K; thence South 6.3 Pole to a white Ash at L; thence South 89', E., 95 Pole to a Sugar tree at M; thence S. 8° W. to the Beginning; Containing by Calculation 902 acres. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my Hand this 26th Day of February, 1780.


"Examined copy given.



"Del'd Mr. Yeates, & by him returned to the Land Office."

Acres. To whom surveyed



902. Richard Yeates.

160. Hercules Roney.

161, Capt. James Buchanan

400. Ezekiel Hopkins.

375. Joseph Brenton.

400. John Adams.

637. James Innis.

394. Noah Williams.

206. John Study.

216. Daniel Sweekard

270. John Book.

263. D. Hopkins, J. Collins.

400. John Cramer.

408. John Jackson. 

355¼. John Blackburn¹

360½. Richard McMachin.²

400. Nicholas Plater

105. George Sybolt

299½. Vincent Colvin

235. Philip Black

153. Nicholas Plater ³

215. John Hull

786. Joseph Graybill. 4

400. Christopher Graybill

379. George Venimon

284. Samuel Jenkins

349. William Woods

347. Luther Calvin

400. Abraham Deaker

634. Vinson Colvin

260. Peter Chesround

333. Samuel Heath

376. Moses Holladay

400. John Robinson

203. Benjamin Bently

212 Jacob Fegle

375. Capt. Henry Heath

400. Capt. Henry Heath

486. Robert Lightle

286. Capt. Geo McCormick7

848. Capt. Samuel Beelor

763. William Askew

400. “

400. “

400. “

Feb. 26, 1780.

   “ 26, (?)"

   " 26, "

   " 29, “

May 2, “

   ” 2, “

   ” 4, “

   ” 6, “

   ” 6, “

   ” 6, “

   ” 10, “

   ” 10, “

   ” 11, “

   ” 11, “

   ” 11, “

(no date given)

May 13, 1780

May 15, 1780

May 20, 1780

May 20, 1780

May 20. 1780

May 26, 1780

June 3, 1780

June 3, 1780

June 4, 1780

June 4, 1780

June 8, 1780

June 24, 1780

June 26, 1780

June 27, 1780

June 27, 1780

Nov. 6, 1780

Dec. 8, 1780

(no date given)

(no date given)

Jan. 12, 1781

(no date given)

(no date given)

Nov. 3, 1781 6

Feb. 12, 1782

March 17, 1782

June 1, 1782

June 2, 1782

June 3, 1782

Chartiers cr., Sth. Strab.

   “ ” “

   ” “ ”

Mingo cr., Nottingham

E. Pike Ann.

Pigeon cr., Fallowfield.

   “ ”

   “ ”

   “ ”

   “ ”

Mingo cr., Nottingham.

Pigeon cr., Fallowfield.

Chartiers cr., Nth. Strab.

Chartiers cr., Peters.

Mon. r., near Allegh. co.

Pigeon cr., Fallowfield

Chartiers cr., Peters

Pigeon cr., Fallowfield

Mon. R., Union (?)

Mingo cr., Nott. Or U.

Mon. R., near A. & W.

Waters of Alle. River, 5



At or near Candor




pretty well settled, and what must have been the temper of the Pennsylvanians when viewing their execution?

Pennsylvania Indignant.—As might have been expected, this exercise of sovereignty created a storm of indignation. "No event in the whole controversy so roused" the people of Pennsylvania. On Nov. 29, 1779, Thomas Scott9 (still living on Dunlap's Creek, in now Fayette County, and therefore near where the land commissioners held their sessions) wrote to the Supreme Executive Council, of which he was then a

¹ Surveyed under certificate dated Cox's Fort, Feb. 19, 1780, adjoining Moses Coe, William Long, Francis Morrison ; in Peters township, in the corner below the mouth of the East Branch of Chartiers, now or late of D. G. Phillips. At the foot of the record is this note: " B. J. offered the survey—rejected for want of money."

² The certificate recited is dated at Redstone Old Fort, Nov. 17, 1779.

³ At the foot of the record of this survey is written : "May 25, 1784, rec'd 5s. 3d. the College Fee. Col. Crawford's fees Mr. Plater says he Paid to Mr. Brock in a cow that Brock sould to John Brouchman." John Brock was a deputy surveyor under Col. William Crawford.

4 See Virginia Act of May, 1780, hereafter quoted.

5 Described as lying in Yohogania County, including the drains of a small branch of Allegheny River, adjoining Hunt, Tub, and Gen. Thompson's land, and was probably north of the Monongahela at Pittsburgh.

6 Seven months after Washington County was erected !

7 At this date of the first board of Washington County commissioners! The first of these surveys to William Askey recites a certificate dated at Cox's Fort, Nov. 20, 1779 (the very day after Pennsylvania bad confirmed the report of the Baltimore commission), "That William Askey, assignee of Richard Willis, is entitled to 763 acres of land in Yohogania County, adjoining his settlements made in 1771, lying on the western branches of Robinson's run,' part of a preemption warrant for 1000 acres.

These are all the Yohogania County surveys in this book (embracing a period from 1780 to 1785, inclusive) which can with any certainty be placed in the present limits of Washington County, including for obvious reasons one probably in Allegheny County north of the Monongahela River. After the early part of June, 1782, when Col. Crawford was burned at the stake by the Sandusky Indians, Benjamin Johnston succeeded him as county surveyor, at first pro tempore, then by commission. The latter lived then on one of the Dorsey Pentecost tracts, in now North Strabane township:'

The deputy surveyors during this period were John Brock, G. Green, Thomas Bond, B. Johnston, Daniel Leet, John Wells, William Sinclair, William Lowrey, Isaac Greathouse. It should be remembered that this list does not embrace all the Virginia title's in our county, only those made at this period and in that part of Washington County which lap in the old Yohogania County.

9 XII. Col. Records, 234.


member, "respecting the State of Virginia empowering commissioners to sell lands within the bounds of this State, particularly in the county of Westmoreland." This letter is not found, but on its receipt Joseph Reed, the president of the Council, transmitted it to our delegates in Congress ¹ with some vigorous preliminary remarks, and

" We have therefore thought it our duty to lay this matter before you as the Representatives of Pennsylvania in the great Assembly of America, convened for the purposes of general Union and common Defence, that you might take their sense thereupon, and that we may avail ourselves of their Judgment and Influence, if they conceive the common Interest of America injured thereby. At the same time we shall make such a Remonstrance to the State of Virginia as the Interest and Honour of this State require; if these should be ineffectual we trust we shall stand justified in the eyes of God and Man, if availing ourselves of the Means we possess, we afford that support and Aid to the much injured and distressed Inhabitants of the frontear Counties which their Situation and our Duty requires."

After receiving the resolution of Congress passed Dec. 27, 1779, recommending to the contending parties not to grant any part of the disputed land, or to disturb the possession of any persons living thereon, and to avoid every appearance of force until the dispute could be amicably settled,² the president of the Supreme Executive Council on the next day, December 28th, issued a proclamation, which, after reciting at length the appointment, proceedings, and agreement of the Baltimore commissioners, that that agreement had been at once ratified by the Pennsylvania Assembly, and the ratification duly transmitted to Virginia, that nevertheless the officials of that government had proceeded to Fort Burd (Redstone), and were proceeding to exercise a summary and arbitrary jurisdiction, tending to dispossess the grantees under Pennsylvania, etc., and quoting also the resolution of Congress, closed by requiring of all officers, civil and military, and others, subjects of Pennsylvania, to pay due obedience and respect to the resolution of Congress, and encouraging the several grantees claiming under Pennsylvania to continue in the cultivation and improvement of their several estates, as well as in their allegiance and fidelity, notwithstanding any claims or pretences set up by the State of Virginia. Fifty copies of this proclamation were transmitted to Mr. Scott, with a letter from the President dated Dec. 29, 1779 : 4

"You will see from its import (the Proclamation) that we thought it beet to avoid all irritating Measures, and express our Confidence in the Justice and Honour of Virginia to rectify the Measures complained of. . . . We have sent you an attested Copy of the Resolution of Congress, that you may communicate it to the Commissioners if they are yet with you, and we would desire you to do it in form, demanding of them whether they will yield Obedience thereto, and transmitting to us their Answer so Authenticated that, if necessary, we may lay the same before Congress. We shall also remonstrate with the Government of Virginia, etc."

Mr. Scott performed the duties required of him, and on the 20th January, 1780, received the following reply from the Virginia land commissioners still with them on the Monongahela :5

¹ VIII. Penn. Archives, 46.

² XII. Col. Records, 211.

³ Ibid., 212.

4 VIII. Penn. Archives, 63.

5 Ibid., 91.


"Sir,—In answer to your application of yesterday we beg you would inform his Excellency the President of Pennsylvania, that we shall ever pay the greatest respect to a recommendation of Congress, as well as to an application from the executive power of Pennsylvania, consistent with our duty as servants of the State of Virginia.

"We do not conceive an immediate application to us (on the resolution of Congress) consistent with the rules of propriety; we rather think such an application ought to be made to the Governor of Virginia, under whose commission we act. Until that is done and we receive directions to the contrary we think ourselves obliged to continue to act under our commission.

"We are, with great respect,

"Sir, Your Obed't hble Semis




" COX'S FORT [Union tp.],

"January 21st, 1780."

On March 24, 1780, the Supreme Executive Council and the General Assembly6 submitted a joint address to our delegates in Congress, containing a forcible presentation of the state of affairs in the Western frontiers: "And we now find ourselves reduced to the sad alternative of seeing a number of honest; industrious settlers, who have peaceably purchased, cultivated, and enjoyed their lands for many years, under Titles of this State, now dispossessed and ruined, or enter into a contest which to us is dreadful in contemplation." The address is of great length, and concluded:

" But if Pennsylvania must arm for her internal defence instead of recruiting her Continental Line, if her attention and supplies must be diverted in like manner, if the common enemy encouraged by our division should prolong the War, interests of our sister States and the common cause be injured or distressed, we trust we shall stand acquitted before them and the whole World; and if the effusion of Human blood is to be the result of this unhappy dispute, We humbly trust that the great Governor of the Universe, who delights in Peace, equity, and Justice, will not impute it to us. Confiding in his protection and the justness of our cause, we shall endeavor to defend and preserve the Citizens of this State from further violence, and if necessary repel force with force, with what success we presume not to say. It is sufficient for us that opposition, Tyranny, and injustice are the same from whatever hands they proceed, and that no change or situation can be more disgraceful or distressing."

Pennsylvania for the first time in the boundary controversy was now thoroughly ready for a fight. The peace policy was ready to be abandoned. Men are always prepared for an emergency when they are willing to leave the results with Providence. But of what effect were these belligerent declarations upon Virginia? Her General Assembly met in May, 1780. Chapter IX.7 of the acts of that session was an act granting further time to obtain warrants upon certificates for pre-emption rights, etc. Of this chapter, Section IV. provided that the further time of eighteen months be given to all persons who may obtain certificates from the commissioners to enter the same,

"Provided that the Court of Commissioners for the district of the counties of Monongalia, Yohogania, and Ohio do not use or exercise any jurisdiction respecting claims to lands within the territory in dispute between the States of Virginia and Pennsylvania, north of Mason and Dixon's line, until such dispute shall be finally adjusted and settled."

6 XII. Col. Records, 289.

7 10 Hering, 237.


Look back now at the list of surveys on a previous page.

The Virginia commissioners may not have granted any certificates to settlers after the passage of this act, in May or June, 1780, but her surveyors and deputy surveyors continued right along to receive entries, make official surveys, and to return the same, of lands within the present limits of Washington County, indeed until as late as June 3, 1782, more than a year after Washington County was erected.¹

But Virginia was possibly somewhat under the influence of a general sentiment adverse to her policy, and her conduct began to be shaped accordingly. Col. John Proctor, one of the agents for forfeited estates for Westmoreland County, perhaps saw some change for the better when he wrote his letter to President Reed, dated June 1, 1780:²

“ I havue the Pleashor to inform you that we havne had perfect Quietness from Virginia, the havue laid several new Plana for new Disputa but the People being so often Desaved by them will not fall in with them, and the seem know at their wits end. I have maid several new frends to pennsylvania by telling the People in the Desputed Part that the Comisioners only want'd to fill there own Pockets with money white!' is tactic from the Poor unjustly, and that Pennsylvania will not pay aney regard to aney thing Don by them."

Final Ratification of Boundary Agreement.—But the end of the contest approaches. On June 23, 1780, the Lower House of the Virginia Assembly passed a resolution confirming the Baltimore agreement, with a very important condition attached, to be complied with on the part of Pennsylvania. It was finally passed as amended by the Senate on July 1st, and transmitted at once to Philadelphia. This resolution³ controverted the reasoning of the Pennsylvania commissioners at Baltimore, disavowed the binding agency of the Virginia commissioners in the execution of the agreement, yet asseverating the wish of that State to prevent future dispute and animosity, and to prove the sincerity of her professions and desire to cultivate and maintain the most cordial harmony with the sister State of Pennsylvania, expressed the willingness of Virginia to ratify the agreement "on the Conditions expressed in the following resolve, corresponding with the reservation in their offer of December 18, 1776 :"

"Resolved, therefore, That the agreement made on the 31st day of August 1779, between &c. [naming the commissioners], be ratified and finally confirmed to wit: [quoting the agreement] On Condition that the private property and rights of all persons acquired under, founded on, or recognized by the laws of either Country previous to the date hereof, be saved and confirmed to them, altho' they should be found to fall within the other, and that in the decision of disputes thereupon preference shall be given to the elder or prior right whichever of the said states the same shall have been acquired under, such persons paying to that state within whose boundary their lands shall be included the same purchase or consideration money which would have been due from them to the state under which they claimed the right; and where any such purchase or consideration money bath, since the declaration of American Independence, been received by either state for lands which according to the before recited agreement shall fall within the territory.

¹ See the surveys for William Askew, in Robinson township.

² VIII. Penn. Archives, 284.

³ 10 Hering, 519, et seq.: VIII. Penn. Archives, 352.

of the other, the same shall be reciprocally refunded and repaid, and that the inhabitants of the disputed territory, now ceded to the state of Pennsylvania, shall not before the first day of December, in the present year, be subject to the payment of any tax, nor at any time to the payment of arrears of taxes or impositions heretofore laid by either state.

"Resolved, That upon the acceptance and full ratification of this condition and agreement on the part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Governor be empowered with the advice of the Council to appoint two Commissioners on behalf of this Commonwealth in conjunction with Commissioners to be appointed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to extend the line commonly called Mason and Dixon's line five degrees of longitude from Delaware River, as aforesaid, and from the western termination thereof to run and mark a meridian line to the Ohio River, which is as far as the General Assembly conceive the same can at present be extended and marked without danger of umbrage to the Indians ; 4 giving the said Commissioners, on the part of Virginia, such instructions therein as the advice of the Council shall judge proper."

Pennsylvania was prepared, for the sake of an end to the controversy, to yield even to these humiliating conditions, clearly disclosing the want of good faith on the part of Virginia, especially in view of the certificates and surveys by the Virginia officials even then continuing within our borders. The General Assembly of Pennsylvania met on the 7th of September; the same day the message of the president of the Council laid before that body the foregoing resolution of the General Assembly of Virginia, stating,5 "The prospect of an amicable termination of this unhappy controversy cannot but be acceptable to every good man and faithful citizen, and we have no doubt this overture will be improved into a full and final accommodation, consistent with the rights of individuals and the honor of the State." On Saturday, Sept. 23, 1780,6

" The House resumed the consideration of the report of the Committee upon the Determination of the General Assembly of Virginia respecting the disputed Boundary, and having maturely considered the same it was unanimously agreed to as follows, viz.:

"Resolved, That although the conditions annexed, by the Legislature of Virginia, to the ratification of the boundary line agreed to by the Commissioners of Pennsylvania and Virginia on the 31st day of August, 1779, may tend to countenance some unwarrantable claims which may be made under the State of Virginia, in consequences of pretended purchases or settlements pending the controversy, yet this state, determining to give the World the most unequivocal proof of their earnest desire to promote peace and harmony with a Sister State, so necessary during this great contest against the Common Enemy, do agree to the conditions proposed by the State of Virginia, in their Resolves of the 23d of June last, to wit: [Here Is copied verbatim the first resolution of the Virginia Assembly, Including the conditions set out.] And we do hereby accept and frilly ratify the said recited conditions, and the Boundary Line formed thereupon."

Following the foregoing was a resolution almost word for word with the second of the Virginia resolutions, authorizing the appointment of commissioners, to act in conjunction with those to be appointed by Virginia, to extend Mason and Dixon's line, and to run and mark the meridian from the western termination thereof 7,

4 Who had not yet parted with their title to lands west of the Allegheny and north of the Ohio; this they did by the treaty of 1784.

5 XII. Col. Rec., 476.

6 VIII. Penn. Archives, 570.

7 It is not understood why the Legislature passed the act of April 1, 1784: "An Act confirming an agreement entered into between this State and the State of Virginia."-2 Smith's Laws, p. 281.


At last, so far as the legislative power of the two commonwealths was concerned, the contention was at an end. Henceforward the matter was with the respective executive departments. Nothing remained to be done but the running and marking of the line of separation of the two jurisdictions.

How Virginia had clung to the valley of the Monongahela Her surveyors were still running their lines around "settlements" made by her adherents, by virtue of certificates issued by her commissioners' courts at Redstone and Cox's Fort. But her Yohogania County Court, holding its sessions for the administration of justice under her laws, only closed its records on Aug. 28, 1780, but a month before the passage of the Pennsylvania resolution accepting the terms of settlement imposed by Virginia. Then was the power of Virginia withdrawn.

The exercise of an active jurisdiction on the part of Pennsylvania over lands lying west of the Monongahela River, and soon to be erected into a new county, had been superseded probably since 1774, at least to a very great extent. The Virginia jurisdiction having been withdrawn, the condition of that territory, fully settled by this time, is doubtless well described by the lamentation of Col. Joseph Beelor, of old the provincial county commissioner of Westmoreland County, and later an adherent of the Virginia usurpation. His letter to Col. Daniel Brodhead, then commanding at Pittsburgh, and calling upon the surrounding counties for men and horses, may properly be entitled as "Beelor's Lament."¹

"OCT. 10, 1780.

"DEAR SIR,—I received yours of the 7th inst. this morning,² but it is not in my power to give you a just return as you request until the last of this week, for I have been obliged to issue orders to press horses & draught men, as I could not get Volunteers enough, of which I have not got a return yet. I am sorry to inform you that I am afraid we shall come but little speed; I find that the Government of Virginia will not protect me in any thing I do by vertue of the laws of Virga, since their last Resolution, & the laws of Pensyla have not as yet taken us under their protection ; all this the Country is acquainted with, so that every thing I do is at the Risque of my Fortune unless protected by the States. If it had not been to forward an expedition I should have declined acting a good while ago, as no man ever had a more disagreeable time of it than I have at present, having no law to defend me. We are assured of your good intentions for the safety of the Countrey, & are very sorry that we cannot act with that spirit that we ought to do. But hope the laws of Penn will either be extended in a few Days from this time, or the Laws of Virga be kept in force. It is very unhappy for this Countrey that the two contending States has not provided a better way for

¹ VIII. Penn. Archives, 583.

² Col. Beelor lived in Peters township, near Chartiers Creek.

the defence of this Countrey that to Let it fall between them both until matters are settled between them.

" I have the honour to be with the greatest

" Respect, Dear Sir, your most obed't H'ble serv't,


" without law to protect me."






The Running and Marking of the Boundary Line—A Temporary Line Run—The Permanent Line Run and Marked.

The Running and Marking of the Boundary Line.(1780). From this time (the date of Col. Beelor's lament) onward, with the exception of complaints made of delays on the part of the Virginia officials appointed to aid in running and marking of the line, the boundary controversy was at an end as between the States, and confined thereafter to factions, so long separated that a union seemed impossible. By the final action of Pennsylvania on Sept. 23, 1780, accepting the ratification of the Baltimore agreement with the conditions attached by Virginia, where the boundary should be was no longer a question : it only remained now to run and mark it.

But delays, vexatious and long continued, were to intervene. Thomas Scott wrote to President Reed, Jan. 24, 1781,³ " I have been big with expectation of the line between us and Virginia 1781. being shortly run, and that dispute finally settled, but begin to think I shall be disappointed." On Feb. 25, 1781, Col. Daniel Brodhead, commanding at Fort Pitt, added to a letter a " P. S.—I hope no time will be lost in determining the Boundary Line, for until then the Inhabitants will be in confusion, and I cannot call them out in case of Invasion."4 But on the 21st of February a step had been taken by the Supreme Executive Council in the appointment of John Lukens and Archibald McClean, of York County, as commissioners on the part of Pennsylvania to run and mark the line, proposing to Virginia the 10th of the next. May as the time, and providing that in case of the cleat., sickness, or inability of either, Alexander McLean, Esq., of Westmoreland County, be substituted.5 Then on March 20, 1781, President Reed wrote to Thomas Scott,6 informing him of these steps and also of another important matter, the immediate prospect of the erec-

3 VIII. Penn. Archives, 713.

4 Ibid., 744.

5 Xii. Col. Records, 635. For instructions see Ibid., 704.

6 IX. Penn. Archives, 20.


tion of a new county. On the 17th of April, 1781, Thomas Jefferson, then the Governor of Virginia, addressed the following to President Reed :¹

"SIR,—I have been honored with your Excellency's Letter, proposing the actual extension of our mutual Boundary. . . . No mode of determining the extent of the five degrees of Longitude from Delaware River, in the Latitude of Mason's and Dixon's Line having been pointed out by your Excellency, I shall venture to propose that this be determined by Astronomical Observations, to be made at or near the two extremities of the Line, as being, in our opinion, the most certain & unexceptionable mode of determining that Point, which being fixed, every Thing will be easy.

"Should this mode be approved by your Excellency, we have appointed the Rev. James Madison, as a commissioner on our part to execute the work in the Western Quarter, and the Rev. Robert Andrews to perform the office at the Eastern end, in conjunction with the Gentlemen whom you have been pleased to appoint or any others on your part. . . . We will send to the Westward the most necessary Instruments, which we suppose to be a good Time Piece, Telescopes, and a Quadrant, and hope it will be convenient for you to furnish what may be necessary at the Eastern end.

"Our Commissioners will be at their Respective Stations at any time which your Excellency shall think proper to appoint, allowing it to be a month after I shall have received your Pleasure on that Head. . . ."

The important suggestions contained in this communication must have been favorably received by President Reed, and the time changed from that at first proposed, for on May 22, 1781,² Governor Jefferson writes the information that his government has been compelled to remove to Charlottesville by the British invasion, and being at a great distance from Williamsburg, where the commissioners of Virginia resided, it would be impossible to proceed with the running of the line on June 12th, the day last set by President Reed, which made necessary a postponement. The establishment of the permanent boundary was then deferred till May 1, 1782.

A Temporary Line Run.—But on June 3, 1781,³ Governor Jefferson assented to a proposition previously made, to run a temporary line, extending Mason and Dixon's line due west twenty-three miles, or to the Ohio River, and directed the county surveyor of Monongalia County to join in the work with any one whom President Reed should appoint. Soon after the receipt of this letter the Supreme Executive Council appointed as the Pennsylvania artist Alexander McClean, Esq., then living in that part of Westmoreland County now forming Fayette. This appointment and the cause of the interruption of the prospect of the running of the permanent line is set forth in the letter of President Reed to Col. James Marshel,4 the lieutenant of Washington County, of date July 23, 1781 :5

"SIR,—I have received two letters from you, one of the 5th, & the other of the 27th June, which I have laid before the Council. We are sorry to hear of the obstructions which have been thrown in your way by ill designing people who keep up unhappy Contests for sinister pur-

poses. We hope the Time will come when these Machinations will be at an end, as we are resolved as soon as the line is run to exert the Power of legal & coercive Authority over all who shall presume to disturb the publick Tranquility & distress the Country by their mal Practices. It was much our wish to run the Line this Spring, but the State of Virginia being invaded [by the British Army], & the affairs of the Government in great confusion, there has not been the Time or Opp'y for that purpose which was necessary. Besides that, upon inquiry we found the Season was too far advanced for those Astronomical Observations which were necessary to run the line with Exactness. We have therefore postponed the grand Operation to next Spring. But as we know it was highly necessary to have a partition of Territory and Jurisdiction, we proposed to Virginia to run a temporary line, beginning at the End of Mason and Dixon's, and measuring 23 miles, 6 what is by common Computation the five degrees of Longitude called for in the Charter of King Charles the 2d. This has been agreed to, and the State of Virginia has sent Orders to the Surveyor of Yeoghegany County 7 to join with one to be appointed by us to that Service. We have appointed Alexander McClean, Esq., and this Express carries up his Commission & Instructions for this Purpose. Should he have Occasion for a Guard or any other Assistance from you, we make no Doubt he will receive it. As soon as they. have run the Line & reported their Proceedings we shall send up Proclamations calling upon all those who shall fall into this State to conform to its Laws and Government, and hope you will soon be relieved from the Anarchy and Confusion which has reigned so long in your Country from this unhappy Dispute. . . ."

Washington County had been erected by an act of the General Assembly passed March 28, 1781. It is not the place here to show what were the " Obstructions" producing the " Anarchy and Confusion" referred to in this letter. They will be given at length hereafter. Suffice it to say that, after the organization of the county, the old antagonisms arising out of the disputed jurisdiction continued indeed for several years. Such terms as " Villanous Banditti" were of frequent use on either side, and letters in the State Archives are full of them. Of one party were Col. James Marshel, Hon. Thomas Scott, the principal leaders of the old Pennsylvania adherents, while of the old Virginia partisans Col. Dorsey Pentecost and Col. John Canon were among the most conspicuous. During the year 1781 the new State project was also revived, resulting in much trouble, and the passage of an act, late in 1782, making the advocacy of the scheme a treason. These difficulties at present must be deferred. Their continuance, however, during the year 1781 and later was the occasion of much anxiety for the final establishment of the boundary line.

It appears that Alexander McClean was one of those drafted by the Virginia military officials to serve in Gen. George Rogers Clarke's expedition against the Indians, which left Western Pennsylvania in the summer of 1781, of which fact Archibald McClean, of York County, informed President Reed in a letter dated on Aug. 13, 1781,8 so that the border troubles as well as the British invasion of Virginia became responsible for delay. But Mr. McClean's

¹ IX. Penn. Archives, 78.

² Ibid., 160.

³ Ibid., 189.

4 James Marshel was also the recorder of deeds and the register of wills, es well as the county lieutenant. Holding the latter position, lie was the representative of the executive power in the county in military affairs.

5 IX. Penn. Archives, 304. See also President Reed to Hon. Christopher Hays, Ibid., 300.

6 In the latitude of their line Mason and Dixon computed the width of a degree of longitude to be 53 miles 167?,, perches, and Penn's five degrees of longitude from the Delaware at 267 miles 195k perches. To their stopping•place on Dunkard, the distance run, they say, was 244 miles, 113 perches, 71 feet, leaving, as they computed it, 23 miles 83 perches yet to be run.— Veech.

7 It was Monongalia County.

8 IX. Penn. Archives, 352.


services on that expedition seem to have been dispensed with, for on September 13th he addressed a letter to President Reed,¹ giving as an excuse for his inactivity the delays„occasioned by the unreadiness of Mr. Madison, who had been appointed to act with him on the part of

Virginia, and on October 19th Thomas Scott wrote to President Reed,² " We still groan under the difficulty of an unrun boundary line, now occasioned by Mr. Madison, the Virginia commissioner (partly from design in himself, and partly to gratify a small faction still in the county), declining to join with Mr. McClean in that business, and instead thereof he has posted off a messenger to Virginia with prayers, and thinks (as is said) that it may not be done."³

Preparations had already again been made, however, for the running of the permanent line early the next year, for on October 8th the Supreme Executive Council had appointed Rev. Dr. John Ewing and David Rittenhouse, Esq.,4 commissioners for that purpose, who were desired at once to proceed to provide the necessary instruments and to have everything in readiness to perform said service ; yet by reason, of the facts already mentioned the much-desired temporary line had not yet been run, and on December 17th, Hon. William Moore, now the president of the Supreme Executive Council, wrote to Brig.-Gen. William Irvine, in command at Fort Pitt : 5

" . . . With respect to the line between this state and Virginia, every measure, on our part, has been taken to have had a temporary line run last summer; but it has failed of being effectual by some omissions of the commissioners appointed on the part of that state; and it seems to be impracticable by the lateness of the season, and perhaps unnecessary, now, to push that measure, as preparations are making for running in the Spring a permanent line, founded on astronomical observations...."

(1782) But the winter having passed away, on March 1, 1782, a committee of the General Assembly met with the Supreme Executive Council, and after consideration it was resolved that the completion of the permanent line was unadvisable for the present on account of the great expenses necessarily attending it, but " that a temporary line during the continuance of the present War or till times are more settled on the Frontiers may be made and agreed on at a small expense, which will answer every purpose expected."6 This resolution being communicated to Governor Harrison, of Virginia, it was assented to,7 whereupon, on April 6th, Alexander McClean was again commissioned 8 and instructions given him as follows :9

" You are hereby instructed to be on the 10th of June at the extremity of Mason and Dixon's line, where you'll meet the Commissioners from Virginia, Is then continue the said line 23 miles West, then run a

¹ IX. Penn. Archives, 402. 

² Ibid., 439.

³ See letter Col. James Marshel to President Reed, IX. Penn. Archives, 444.

4 XIII. Col. Records, 79.

6 IX. Penn. Archives, 468.

6 Ibid., 506; XIII. Col. Records, 209.

7 IX. Penn. Archives, 518.

8 MIL Col. Records, 252.

9 IX. Penn. Archives, 519.

Meridian Line till it strikes the Ohio. Shou'd the Commissioners from Virginia not Attend at the time et place, or refuse to perform with you the running of ye above Lines you'll proceed yourself."

Some differences then followed between Governor Harrison and President Moore as to whether or not the commissioners should begin at the extremity of the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland, or at the point on Dunkard Creek where Mason and Dixon had been stopped by their Indian escort in 1767 ; 10 but the matter being referred to the Virginia Assembly, that body, on June 1, 1782, empowered the commissioners to be appointed by the Governor to begin at the extremity of Mason and Dixon's line, thence extend it twenty-three miles, and then run the meridian to the Ohio11 But Alexander McClean did as he was instructed to do, and on June 10, 1782, appeared with his escort at the point designated, prepared for the duty enjoined, with the result, however, shown by his report to President Moore, as follows:"12



" SIR.,—To my great Mortification I am lead to inform you that after every effort which prudence might dictate, I am again prevented from Running the Line. ,The Circumstances I presume you will be anxious to know. They are au follows, Viz.: Shortly after my Return from Philadelphia an expedition was formed against Sandusky by the Volunteers of both Counties, which drew off a great Number of the Militia and Arms. The Situation of Washington County was very distressing to appearance. I thought it not prudent to call any part of the Guard from thence, altho' Impowered so to do. The Lieut. of the County of Westmoreland furnished me with a guard of one hundred and upward, but had not Arms sufficient to supply them. About Seventy were armed. We proceeded to the Mouth of Dunkard Creek, where our stores were laid in on the tenth day of June, and were preparing to Cross the River that night when a party of about thirty horsemen Armed appeared on the opposite of the River, Damning us to come over, and threatening us to a great Degree ; and several more were seen by our Bullock Guard, which we bad sent over the river, one of which asked them if they would Surrender to be taken as prisoners and other Language of menacing; and hearing of a great number more who were on their way to their assistance, We held a Council, the Result of which was to appoint a Committee to confer with them on the Causes of their opposition, the result of said Conference you will see enclosed. This Mob or Banditti of Villains are greatly increased since the supply Bill has been published amongst them. . . . In short the Cry against Taxes in Specie is general and in any Mode by a Number of those who formerly adhered to Virginia, and they think the Running of the Line will be a prelude to and increase the power of Collecting them; Together with the Idea of a New State, which is artfully and industriously conveyed (under Coverture) by some of the Friends of that State as the only Expedient to prevent the Running of the Line. I have also to inform you that I have the most finished assurance that they have not the least Desire to settle the Line in any equitable manner, for the Instructions of their Commissioners (if they have appointed any) will doubtless direct them to begin at the end of Maryland, which is not yet ascertained, neither can it be without the concurrence of that State, which I am fully persuaded was thrown in as a barrier to keep the Evil day the further off.

“. . Colo. Hayes, who was present on Committee, was Zealous to proceed against all opposition, but all to no purpose, other than to enrage the Mob still more; they proceeded to dare us to trial of their Resolution and intention. I have just now been with General Irwin, who is well disposed to render every Service in his power, but as a Continental Officer he cannot interfere without instructions for that purpose. In short every measure has been taken that might be thought prudent but to no purpose. Their obstinacy is such that they will never submit until destruction overtakes them.

" I have therefore to request that you will devise some mode that it may be accomplished speedily, as the Enemies of this State are daily

10 Ibid., 533, 549.

11 Ibid., 562.

12 Ibid., 554.


encreasing, and I find it is out of my power, unless a Commissioner from Virginia should appear, to proceed without open war, which, if you are determined upon, you'll please to give me instructions agreeably, together with the Necessary Powers. I am just now informed that a meeting of some of the former subjects of Virginia has been lately Requested to choose Officers to resume the Government in this place, the Result of which I am not able to inform you."

With the foregoing report was the following record of the conference had with the " Mob or Banditti of Villains" referred to:

" MOUTH OF DUNKARD CREEK, June 10th, 1782.

" At a meeting of the Commissioners on the Part of Pennsylvania, the 10th Day of June, one Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-Two.

“Present Alexander McClean, Esq.,}             Commissioners

  and Samuel McClean, Asst. Surveyor.} for Running the Line.

"With the Several Drafts of the Militia of the 9d and 4th Battalions of Westmoreland County, under the Command of Col. Benjamin Davis, etc.

"When a number of the Inhabitants of Washington County, holding themselves yet under the Jurisdiction of the State of Virginia, appeared in Opposition to us under Arms. And as the meeting of Parties in such cases Inraged with Passion are frequently attended [with?] Evil Consequences it was thought Proper to appoint a Committee to Confer on the Causes or Reasons of said Opposition; on which Henry Vanmeter, Jesse Pigman, and George Newland, of the Opposite Partie, were appointed a Committee to Confer with us; and Christopher Hays, Henry Beason, and Alexander McClean, a Committee on behalf of Pennsylvania. After Producing the Several Papers and Instructions, Together with Corresponding Letters of the Council of Virginia, The said Committee on part of Virginia Refuse to Concur with the Committee of Pennsylvania in the Measure, until finally Determined or Proclaimed to be agreeable to the State of Virginia, other than through forceable or Dangerous Measures, Which might be attended with Consequences truly Evil.

"In Witness that it is the full Intention of the Party we represent, We, as a Committee, do Sign our Names for them the Day and year aforesaid.




"True Copy,

" E. Cook."

The executive of Pennsylvania having received the Virginia resolution of June 1st, and Mr. McClean's report of June 27th, on July 18, 1782,² appointed the "4th day of November next to run the line between the States of Pennsylvania and Virginia, agreeably to said resolution, and that a guard of one hundred militia be ordered to attend the Commissioners while on that duty." Governor Harrison on August 1st appointed Col. Joseph Neville ³ as " the surveyor on the part of this State to extend the boundary Line of the two States, agreeable to the Resolution of our Assembly, and II] have ordered one hundred Militia from the County of Hampshire to attend them as a Guard."

On the appointed day and in the required manner, with "chill November's surly blasts" soughing among the forests and hills along the southern boundary of Washington County, did Alexander McClean and Joseph Neville with their guard of two hundred militia perform the duty assigned them of running

¹ All residents of Washington, now Greene County. See subsequent letter from McClean, IX. Penn. Archives, 585.

² XIII. Col. Records, 334.

³ IX. Penn. Archives, 607.

(1783). and marking a temporary line, according to the terms agreed upon, on the south and west between Pennsylvania and Virginia. Mr. McClean made report of the proceedings on Feb. 19, 1783, and on March 26th following, John Dickinson, the then president of the Supreme Executive Council, issued his proclamation,4 giving notice to all persons within the Pennsylvania jurisdiction, no longer in doubt, "to take notice of the proceedings aforesaid, and to pay due obedience to the laws of this Commonwealth."

The Running of the Permanent Boundary.—The General Assembly of Pennsylvania, on March 22, 1783, 5 had approved the report and confirmed the temporary line as run by Messrs. McClean and Neville, which action was communicated by President Dickinson to Governor Harrison on March 27th, the day after the issuance of the foregoing proclamation. One would have thought that the two contending States, having run and marked a temporary line which all perhaps must have known could not have been far from the true boundary as had been agreed upon, the jurisdictional controversy would have ended with peace among the people. Not so. There were two causes still existing productive of continued dissension. One was disputes of the bitterest nature arising out of conflicting claims to the same lands by settlers on account of "improvements" made under the laws of one or the other of the two States. The fierceness of this contention, when the hand of the executive power lay lightly, can easily be conceived. Another serious difficulty was the entry of prosecutions in our courts against the Virginia militia officers, who, with severe rigor, enforced the compulsory service of persons drafted by them for Gen. Clarke's expedition in 1781. 6 Remonstrances were made to the Virginia government by her late adherents complaining that the compact made upon the subject of private rights in the boundary agreement was not observed, and that the Pennsylvania government was persecuting by criminal suits the officers of militia who had but obeyed executive instructions. On June 12, 1783, Governor Harrison wrote to President Dickinson,7 transmitting the remonstrance and calling attention to the nature of the charges made. This communication received the consideration of the Council. and a reply was made on July 3d, 8

4 XIII. Col. Records, 541.

5 X. Penn. Archives, 8.

6 Col. James Marshel wrote President Reed, Aug. 8,1781, with reference to elections for the organization of the Pennsylvania militia: "I Judged it most prudent to postpone the Election until that event [the running of the line] Should happen, or until the departure of the armed Banditti Under the General [Clarke] that then awed the good people of this County, and were Chasing such of the Inhabitants as Pentecost, Shepherd, and Evans, the Lieutenants of Youghagaini, Monongalia & Ohio, were pleased to point out by way of drafting as fit to go with the general. . . ."—IX. Penn. Archives, 343; II. Ibid., 78, 80.

7 X. Penn. Archives, 56.

8 XI. Ibid., 499.