THE feeling of unrest among the Indians was gradually increasing, on account of the machinations of the French on the western and northern borders. They yearned to occupy all this portion of the Province and sought every opportunity to poison the minds of the Indians against the English. The Colony was weak and feared being embroiled in a Franco-Indian war. Cumberland county, which had been formed, January 27, 1750, out of a part of Lancaster, took in all the territory on the west side of the Susquehanna. Berks lay on the east side. In the meantime white settlers were gradually working their way up the river and a settlement had been made on Penn's creek (now Snyder county), notwithstanding the threatening attitude of the Indians. The pioneers trusted to the amity which had existed between the Indians and the whites for fifty years. The former claimed that they had been deceived and cheated in the recent treaties, and as French agents were constantly at work among them, they were soon ripe for revolt.
The disastrous defeat of Braddock was followed by war throughout the western part of the Province. The adventuresome settlers at Penn's creek were the first to feel the effects of Indian vengeance. A hostile body of savages, painted and clad in war costume, descended the West Branch and fell upon the Penn's Creek settlements. The attack was made, October 15, 1755, three months after the defeat of Braddock, and every person in the settlement, consisting of twenty-five men, women, and children with the exception of one man who made his escape, though dangerously wounded were either killed or carried into captivity. The scene of blood presented in this once happy settlement, is described as sad in the extreme. Their humble cabins were burned, their stock slain, and their fields and improvements laid waste. We are particular in noting this first massacre, for it marks the beginning of the long French and Indian war which followed, and in which the settlers of this portion of the West Branch suffered so severely. The Indians who made this foray were from the Allegheny river, and were induced to come here by the French, who were flushed with their victory over Braddock.
The consternation caused by this bloody affair was very great, and struck terror in the other settlements lower down the river. It was the first that had occurred in the Province of Pennsylvania east of the Alleghenies. In the latter part of October, 1755, Andrew Montour and the old chief Monagatootha, who still remained friendly to the English, were sent for by a band of Delawares to visit them at the Great Island. This historic spot lies in the river a short distance east of Lock Haven, and was the headquarters of hostile bands and marauding parties while the war lasted. They obeyed the summons at once, and were accompanied by three other Indians, making five in the party. On reaching the island they found six Delawares and four Shawanese awaiting them. These Indians informed them that overtures had been made by the French to unite with them in a war upon the English. They farther informed them that a largo body of French and Indians had crossed the Allegheny mountains for the purpose of killing and scalping the settlers.
MISSION TO THE GREAT ISLAND.
Montour and party, on learning this startling intelligence, hastened back and lost no time in reporting what they had learned to Governor Morris, at Philadelphia. They furthermore informed him that it was the intention of the French to overrun this portion of the country and erect fortifications at important points the better to enable them to hold it; and that it was their intention to seize Shamokin (now Sunbury) and make it their headquarters on the Susquehanna.
In the meantime the evil disposed Indians were not idle. About the 1st of November they appeared in considerable numbers on the West Branch and killed several white people who had risked staying in the hostile country. The outlook became more alarming from day to day. That something must be done, and that speedily, to meet the red horde, was apparent to all.
Sometime in the following month of November, an important council of the provincial authorities was held at Philadelphia to consider what system of defence had better be adopted. Among the friendly Indians present was the old chief Scarroyady, who took a deep interest in affairs at that time. He informed the council that two messengers had recently come from Ohio to the Indian town at Great Island, where they found a white man "who accidentally happened to be there." Who he was, or what the object of his visit to that place was at that time, is not stated. These Indian messengers, the chief stated, were greatly enraged at seeing the white man and insisted on having him killed. The friendly Indians would not permit him to be injured, and informed the emissaries of the French that they would protect him while he was with them, as they had lived on good terms with the English and did not desire to shed blood. This positive declaration by the friendly Indians doubtless saved his life. It is inferred from subsequent events that these messengers were successful in their mission to estrange the savages.
The Indians who were opposed to war advocated the building of a defensive work at Shamokin, and recommended the same to Governor Morris. Andrew Montour endorsed their recommendation, but, owing to the scarcity of means, and a rather vacillating course on the part of the authorities, no action was taken until the last minute. Accordingly, on the 14th of April, 1756, Governor Morris issued a declaration of war against the Delaware tribe of Indians, "and others in confederacy with them," in which he recited at considerable length the "cruel, savage, and perfidious manner" in which they had "killed and butchered great numbers of the inhabitants, and carried others into barbarous captivity, " and destroyed their habitations and laid waste the country. He reminded them that notwithstanding friendly remonstrances made to them by the government, and the interposition and "positive orders of our faithful friends and allies, the Six Nations," they (the Delawares) had continued their cruel acts of hostility, "sparing neither age nor sex" therefore, by and with the advice and consent of the Council, he issued his proclamation and warned the said Delaware Indians and all others associated with them, that if they did not desist from their acts they would be considered "enemies, rebels, and traitors to His Most Sacred Majesty," and he required all his subjects of this Province and of neighboring Provinces, "to embrace every opportunity" to pursue and kill all Delaware Indians, or their confederates, that might be found committing hostilities of any kind in the Province.
REWARD FOR INDIAN SCALPS.
He concluded his long and savage declaration of war, after numerous whereases, in these words, which are quoted verbatim, thinking no doubt that bombast would immediately frighten the Delawares into peaceable submission:
The Commissioners appointed with me to dispose of the sixty thousand pounds lately granted by act of General Assembly for His Majesty's use, have, by their letters to me of the 10th inst., agreed to pay out of the same the several rewards for prisoners and scalps herein specified; .... I do hereby declare and promise, that there shall be paid out of the said sixty thousand pounds to all and every person, as well Indians as Christians not in the pay of the Province, the several and respective premiums and bounties following, that is to say: For every male Indian enemy above twelve Years old who shall be taken prisoner and delivered at any forts garrisoned by the troops in the pay of this Province, or at any of the county towns, to the keepers of the common jails there, the sum of one hundred and fifty Spanish dollars or pieces of eight; for the scalp of every male Indian enemy above the age of twelve years, produced as evidence of their being killed, the sum of one hundred and thirty pieces of eight; for every female Indian taken prisoner and brought in as aforesaid, and for every male Indian prisoner under the age of twelve years taken and brought in as aforesaid, one hundred and thirty pieces of eight; for the scalp of every Indian woman produced as evidence of their being killed, the sum of fifty pieces of eight; and for every English subject that has been taken and carried from this Province into captivity that shall be recovered and brought in and delivered at the city of Philadelphia to the Governor of this Province, the sum of one hundred and fifty pieces of eight, but nothing for their scalps.
This "declaration" was signed by Robert H. Morris, Governor of the Province, attested by Richard Peters, secretary, and the great seal" attached, with the motto "God Save the King," under date of October 14, 1756. It caused a ripple of excitement among the people, while the Quakers, whose sympathies were with the savages, were shocked at the idea of offering a premium for their scalps. Morris only served from 1754 to 1756 as lieutenant governor of the Province. He died, February 20, 1764, in the sixty-fifth year of his age. One of his biographers says that he was "sometimes inconsiderate in the relations of life; often singular, sometimes whimsical, always opinionated, and mostly inflexible." His proclamation was too bombastic to have a good effect. Had he ordered defensive movements sooner and threatened less, he might have accomplished more important results and saved the scalp of many a white settler. As it was feared, his proclamation only intensified the vindictive feelings of the Indians and caused them to commit greater atrocities.
Having declared war it now behooved the Governor to act promptly in ordering defensive operations; instructions were issued for Colonel Clapham to proceed to Shamokin with his regiment and build a fort. He had repeatedly promised the friendly Indians to do so, but had always delayed beginning the work. Soon after the massacre at Penn's creek the Indian town at Shamokin was abandoned and the Moravian mission destroyed. The Indians who lived there sought other places and the Moravians fled to Bethlehem. When Colonel Clapham arrived he found the place wholly deserted and all the cabins, wigwams, and buildings burned.
The work of building Fort Augusta was commenced in July, 1756, and rapidly pushed. It was carefully laid out by English engineers on a large scale, with palisades, bastions, ravelins, ditches, curtains, counterscarp, moss house, quarters, and a house for the commandant, and became the strongest and most important defensive work constructed by the colonial authorities between the Delaware and the Allegheny rivers. It became an important factor in the early settlement of the West Branch region, and the place of refuge for many a settler flying from what is now Lycoming county to escape the tomahawk and scalping knife. When fully manned it mounted sixteen cannon, and a garrison was kept there till after the close of the Revolution. On the restoration of peace it was dismantled and its ramparts leveled. Not a hillock (excepting a slight mound over the magazine) now remains to mark its site.
APPEARANCE OF THE FRENCH.
The building of this great work was commenced just in time to save all this part of the Province, through to the Allegheny river, from French domination. Before it was fairly finished a French expedition was organized and sent to Chinklecamoose (where the town of Clearfield now stands) with instructions to descend the river and capture the fort. Rumors to this effect reached the commanding officer at the fort and he straightway informed the Governor. This party of invasion was said to consist of 800 men, and it is so stated in the Colonial. Records, but it is doubtful if it was one-eighth of that number. Owing to the meagerness of the records it is impossible to state the strength of the invading party with accuracy. According to tradition this force was armed with four small brass cannon. Floats, or log rafts, were built and on them the French and Indians descended the river to a point near the mouth of Loyalsock, where they disembarked on the south side. This was near where the great Indian path emerged from Bald Eagle mountain through the gap. Here the party encamped on a level piece of ground, not deeming it safe to descend the river any further until the strength of the colonial forces below was known. A small scouting party, with a few French engineers, was then detailed and marched over the Indian path which led to Blue Hill, opposite Fort Augusta, where they concealed themselves and carefully reconnoitered the position of the English.
The only account of this expedition known to exist, is found in the Marquis do Vaudreuil's letter under date of Montreal, July 13, 1757, to the French commandant of Canada, and now in the Archives of France. It gives a minute account of French operations in the Province of Pennsylvania. He speaks of M. de St. Ours with six Canadians and fourteen Indians having been sent on a scout to the "English fort containing a garrison of 600 men," on the Susquehanna. St. Ours, he writes, "took two scalps within sight of that fort, but he was unable to make any prisoners." This, undoubtedly, was the extent of the French expedition which caused such a fright to the colonial authorities.
That there was a camp at the spot mentioned, nearly opposite the mouth of Loyalsock, there is positive evidence, for the early settlers found French buttons and other trinkets at that place. Near the summit of the mountain, on the Indian path, the remains of camp kettles, spoons, and other utensils were found, showing that a body of French had been there. Probably St. Ours and his party lay here, while the Indians remained in the camp on the bank of the river.
When the scouting party returned from Shamokin and reported that the force was insufficient to reduce the fortification, preparations were made to return to their strongholds on the Allegheny. Here M. de St. Ours was confronted with a serious difficulty. He had floated down the river very easily with his cannon, but he could not return with his flotilla up stream; and the Indian paths were too narrow to drag his guns back again. What was to be done with them? He did not want them to fall into the hands of the English, as they certainly would, if left in the abandoned camp. After consultation with his comrades it was decided to cast the guns into the river. Deep water, where it was not likely they would be discovered, was found a short distance below the camp, and into it they were thrown and quickly went to the bottom. This place for more than a hundred years has been known as the "Cannon Hole." How the fact of the guns being placed there leaked out is unknown, unless some of the Indians who accompanied the expedition afterwards informed the whites. For many years the "deep hole "has been filled with gravel and the French guns are no doubt buried beyond all hope of resurrection.
The war was continued without cessation for several years, and many white settlers were killed. The West Branch country, particularly that portion included in the limits of Lycoming county, was constantly infested with roving bands of savages bent on pillage and murder. Their headquarters were on and about the Great Island and it became necessary to send expeditions there to dislodge them and destroy their towns.
BATTLE OF MUNCY HILLS.
One of the most important of the early conflicts with the Indians is known as the "Battle of Muncy Hills." A circumstantial account of the affair is found in an old and rare book entitled "London's Indian Narratives," published at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1808. The battle occurred in September, 1763. A party numbering over 100 men was made up from among settlers residing in Cumberland and Lancaster counties to proceed up the river as far as Great Island, if possible, to, rout the hostile Indians who made that place their headquarters. Under date of August 25, 1763, Lieut. Samuel Hunter, who was then commanding Fort Augusta, noted in his journal the arrival that day of Captain Patterson, Captain Bedford, George Allen, and a company of 114 men, on their way up the river to destroy some Indian towns. Accounts of the number of men in the expedition differ. The same day Lieutenant Blythe, who was also stationed at the fort, left a note, which is on record, concerning the strength of the party. He says that it appeared on the Blue Hill side of the river, opposite the fort, and three men came over and reported that they were from Cumberland county, and that there were fifty in the expedition. They claimed that the object of their visit was to look at the land along the river and at Great Island, where some of them proposed to settle. They also made particular inquiries regarding the Indians, which led Lieutenant Blythe to believe that they had some design against them. The names of these men were : John Woods, James KcMeen, and James Dickey. Of this number we know that McMeen afterwards, settled on the river a short distance west of Williamsport and became a man of some prominence.
Loudon in his Narratives (Vol. II, page 172) says that he had the account from "one of the men who was at the battle of Muncy," and that he could depend on his veracity. A verbatim transcript of the material portion of this account is as follows:
In September 1763, about one hundred or us went up to take the Indian town at the Great Island, and went up to Fort Augusta where we sent a man forward to see whether Andrew Monture was there, but he was not; he asked where he was told he had gone to the plantation. We had apprehended that Monture knew of our coming and had gone to inform. the Indians at the town called Great Island, or Mousey town, and when we got to the fort the officers that lay there wanted to persuade us not to go over, as the Mousey Indians were friendly to the, white people. But as this was contradicted by some, we concluded to go. When we had crossed the river we saw Monture coming down in a canoe with a hog, and some corn which he had brought from his plantation. When he came near we called to him, upon which he landed and enquired our business, which we told him, and asked his advice whether it was proper to proceed or not. He said they were bad Indians and that we might use them as we pleased. We went that night to Monture's plantation, and next morning crossed the Monsey hill, and discovered fires, where the Indians lay the night before. Here we consulted whether to proceed or not; at length William Patterson turned back, and we followed. When arrived at the top of the Monsey hill, we met with a party of Indians which we engaged; had two men killed, and four wounded, two of which died that night. We then went and secreted the dead bodies in a small stream to prevent their being discovered by the enemy. By that time it was night, and we went on about twenty perches, where the Indians fired on us from behind the point of a hill. About twelve of us ran up the hill when we heard them running, but could not see them. We then came back to where they had fired on use first, and found that the rest of our party were gone. We heard somebody coming after, stopped to see who it was; George Allen and two or three more of our men came up to us. We chose Allen to pilot us into the path, which he undertook to do; but after traveling along the side of Mousey hill with much difficulty, until midnight, I told him we were going the wrong road; he told me if I knew the road better to go before. We then directed our course southward until near daybreak, when we came to a path, which Allen informed us led to the Great Island and crossed the North branch to Iskepeck falls; in this path we traveled until daylight, when we saw a smoke, and proceeding ten or twelve perches we saw some Indians sitting around a fire. I then turned to the right into the woods, and some of our men followed me and some went on in the path till the Indians saw them, and seized their guns; we raised our guns to fire. but the Indians cried don't shoot brothers, don't shoot! we answered we will not if you do not; we then went up to them and asked where they had been; they said they had been at the Moravian town buying goods; we told them we had an engagement the evening before with some of their people; they said it was impossible, as there were no Indians at the Great Island but a few old men and boys, the rest having all gone out a hunting; I told them I knew better; that they were gone to Tuscarora and Shearman's Valley, to kill the white people; that we had been waylaid at Buffalo creek by them and had five men killed and one wounded; that James Patterson's shot pouch and powder horn had been found near the place, and he was a Great Island Indian, and they must come with us. The three Indians began to tremble, and leaving the victuals they were preparing proceeded with us.
They afterwards coolly murdered two of these Indians on the hill just back of the town of Northumberland, by shooting, them down as they were made to walk in front. The third was shot and supposed to be dead, until one of the party went to strip him of his fine leggins, when he suddenly jumped up, ran, and escaped. He had been shot through the arm, but lying still and feigning death, suffered himself to be scalped. When he jumped up and started to run he presented a horrible appearance; and as he apparently rose from the dead, his assailant was so stupefied with fear that be allowed him to escape. The Indian finally made his way to a spring, where he bathed his head in cold water, placed moss on his wound, and tying it up with one of his leggins, started for Great Island. He reached his destination, and accounts inform up that he recovered and was able to go upon the war path again!
The "Monture" referred to in the account was the celebrated Andrew, son of Madame Montour, whom Count Zinzendorf spoke of meeting at Otstonwakin in 1742. At this time he was living on a "plantation" near the mouth of Chillisquaque creek.
Captain Patterson's party followed the Indian path over Muncy Hills, and the point where they "discovered fires, where the Indians lay the night before," is supposed to have been the "Warrior Spring," near what is now the village of Port Penn. In early times it was a conspicuous landmark and a favorite place of resort by the Indians. It was here that the old Monsey Chief Egohowen and his friends received and entertained Chief Newhaleeka, of the Great Island, under the wide spreading branches of a mighty elm, and they conferred with each other regarding the condition of their tribes and the future outlook. The meeting tradition informs us, was a memorable one.
Another brief account of the battle of Muncy Hills, found in Loudon's Indian Narratives (Vol. II, page 191,) is worth being reproduced in this connection. It is as follows:
It was generally believed if there could be an expedition sent out to destroy some of the Indian towns, and to annoy them in their own country, it would be the most effectual method to keep them from murdering and massacreing the inhabitants; accordingly a company of volunteers turned out to the amount of about 100 men, and marched up the Susquehanna as far as Monsey, and at the foot of a hill of that name they spied some Indians. They held a council what was best to be done; one of the men who had been a captive with them for nine years, advised them to return on the path they came, for the Indians would take round them and come upon their rear, and take them upon disadvantageous ground; they had not retreated far till they met the Indians, and a smart battle ensued, which lasted till dark. The Indians were in two companies and one of their captains called Snake was killed; and when his party found their leader was killed they moved off. When night came on the white men retired a small distance and lay down to take a little rest. The Indians came round and posted themselves in a thicket a few perches from the white men; they were so near that they heard them cocking their guns, and directly they fired on the white men, who were about to return the fire, when the captive above mentioned called not to fire, for if they should empty their guns the Indians would rush up with their tomahawks. The white men and Indians lay that near that they could speak to each other; the Indians hearing some of our wounded making some moaning called to them that some of them was very sick; our men replied that they would serve some of them as they had done the Snake. However, the Indians did not choose to risk another battle, but moved off, and ours came home and brought the wounded. How many were killed we cannot tell.
It was the opinion of the inhabitants at that time in Lancaster and Cumberland counties, that the influence of this battle was greatly to their advantage, as it had the effect of putting a check for a time on the movements of the Indians. This expedition, it appears, was undertaken without any direct authority from the officers of the Province, but no doubt with their tacit approbation; and had it not been for the sequel they would have been proud to give it publicity. The place where it occurred was on the rear part of the farm of Joel Bieber, not far from where the Banghart school house now stands. Indian relies have been picked up on this ground. Several specimens may be found in the antiquarian collection of J. M. M. Gernerd, of Muncy which are treasured as memorials of a sanguinary conflict which took place near by nearly 130 years ago.
The aborigines exhibited a remarkable knowledge of locality and the geography of the country. Without roads, and destitute of means for accurate measurement, they seemed to possess an intuitive knowledge of places, however remote they might be, and how to reach them. Their mode of life frequently led them hundreds of miles into a strange country, either in pursuit of game or of an enemy, yet it was of the least importance how they should be able to find their way back. This knowledge resulted from experience and keenness of observation. To acquire it they were compelled to observe closely and quickly, and remember accurately every minute detail, either in the configuration of the country, or the trees, rocks, and streams. Their paths, therefore, were always laid out by the most available routes and by springs of water. They were only of sufficient width for one person. They know the best fording places on rivers and creeks, and thither their main paths were directed. In exercising their engineering abilities they seemed to be guided by the stars as to the points of the compass, whilst their intuitive knowledge of location enabled them to penetrate the thickest and gloomiest of forests and reach their destination with safety. Nature furnished them unerring signs as guides which they never mistook in their movements; consequently it was rare for an Indian to lose his bearings in the depths of the forest.
They had important paths and thoroughfares along the West Branch, over the mountains, and up certain streams. Several of them ran through Lycoming county. One in particular led to the headquarters of the Six Nations and was frequently traveled by the Moravian missionaries, bearers of important news, and war parties.
Shamokin was the central point in this part of the Province and from it the main paths diverged to all points of the compass. The main path north, after crossing the river in shallow water on a ledge of rocks since destroyed by the erection of the dam at Sunbury passed up the ravine in Blue Hill and followed the present road for a few miles; then turning towards the river passed over the hill and followed the river through Winfield and Lewisburg; thence to Buffalo creek, which it crossed where the iron bridge now spans it. Then it curved to the river and passed through Shikellimy's town, which stood at the mouth of Sinking run, one mile below West Milton on the Union county side. The Reading railroad now runs through the ground on which this ancient village stood. It then followed the river
along the base of the hills into White Deer valley; thence along the south branch of the creek, near where the village of Elimsport is located, and over the mountain into Nippenose valley, through which it passed to the head thereof, then over the bills and through a ravine in Bald Eagle mountain to the river, where there was a fording to Great Island. It then ascended Bald Eagle creek to Milesburg, passed over the mountains to Chinklecamoose (Clearfield) and westward to Kittanning.
From the confluence of Spring creek and White Deer Hole crook, another trail bore away from the main path described above, to the northwest, following Spring, creek to its source, then over Bald Eagle mountain into Mosquito valley; thence through the narrows via DuBoistown to the river, which was crossed by a fording just west of the mouth of Mosquito run to the western shore of Lycoming creek. At this point an Indian village, known to the early explorers as "French Margaret's Town," was located. From here it continued up Lycoming creek on the west side, because there were such impenetrable thickets on the east side that it was impossible to penetrate them. Keeping along the benches and on the side of the mountain the point where Ralston now stands was reached. At Roaring Branch the creek was followed to its source to the Beaver Dam at the southwestern angle of Bradford county; thence down the meadows, crossing to the north side of Towanda creek, near East Canton, and on down that stream. Here a branch followed up Pine creek and passed near Mainsburg, through Troy, down Sugar creek and over the Ulster mountain, called the "narrow way," and reached the Warrior path near Sheshequin. A connecting path led from near LeRoy to Burlington. Weiser traveled the Le Roy and Burlington route in 1737, and Zeisberger took the Pine and Sugar crook route in 1750, in order to reach Onondaga through the prescribed door at Tioga.
This path was one of the most important in the Indian network of trails through this section of the country. Portions of it are distinctly traceable to this day on the south side of Bald Eagle mountain, and in Mosquito valley. It is worn deep in many places and can be followed with ease for a long distance. That it was much traveled is evident. It passed a number of springs where the weary travelers stopped to quench their thirst. And over this path many prisoners, including women and children, were dragged to captivity. So important was it regarded as a "short cut" over the mountains, that the early white settlers used it in traveling to and from Northumberland. In later times it was widened, by cutting away the underbrush, so that pack horses could pass over it and carry bags of grain td the mill which Culbertson built near the mouth of Mosquito run. And in time it came to be known as "Culbertson's Path," on account of its convenience in going to and returning from his mill.
Long before the introduction of stage coaches and packet boats, river men in returning from voyages below on foot followed the path through Nippenose valley to their homes up the river. About the close of the last century, when the nearest postoffice to the West Branch valley was located at Northumberland, parties living along the river from this point up as far as the settlements extended, traveled over these paths when going for their mails.
The next great trail passed tip the river on the east side from Northumberland, by the mouth of Warrior run and through the gap in the Muncy Hills-now followed by the public road to the "Warrior Spring," near Port Penn. The importance of this great spring has already been referred to. It was a favorite camping place; many chiefs and warriors met there to counsel with each other when the times grew gloomy and the stern finger of destiny began to beckon their tribes westward. The associations which cluster around that spring, still as pure and clear as it was a hundred years ago, would fill a volume if they could be obtained and written out. The great elm under which these councils were held has long since fallen, but the crystalline waters of the spring flow on forever.
The Wyoming path started from this spring and ran up Glade run, so named from the glades or open spaces through which it passed before falling into the river a short distance below Muncy creek; then it continued over the hills to Fishing creek, which it crossed at the present thrifty town of Millville; thence on to Nescopeck gap and up the river to Wyoming, where it intersected another important trail leading north through Wyalusing to Tioga Point. This path was not used as much as the others; it was only used as a "cut off "by parties wishing to reach the West Branch valley quickly from Wyoming or vice versa. Count Zinzendorf traveled over it in the latter part of September, 1742, on his return from visiting Madame Montour at Otstonwakin, under the guidance of Andrew Montour, her son. War parties, too, in later years, used it when on marauding expeditions against the white settlers.
The Wyalusing path, which is frequently referred to in the records, started from the big spring and ran tip Muncy creek to the head, or nearly so, when it crossed the hills to Loyalsock, half a mile from where the Berwick turnpike now crosses that stream ; thence by the borough of Dushore, Sullivan county, and on to Wyalusing creek, near the northeast corner of Sullivan county, to the flats, where it intersected the path leading north. It was frequently used, and over it the Moravians traveled when they fled from their settlement on the North Branch to this valley, and thence on to Ohio.
The great trail from Muncy, which was a continuation of the path from Northumberland, crossed Muncy creek and continued up the river on the line of the present highway to Otstonwakin, where it crossed Loyalsock. It then kept on the edge of the ridge, on account of the swampy ground, until it reached what is now East Third street, Williamsport. The course from Third and Penn streets is believed to have been a little north of the former, following an elevated piece of ground near the line of Willow street, and as far north as Edwin street, until a point was reached near Park street, when what is now West Fourth street was followed to Lycoming creek, where it crossed at a fording, and then continued down that stream to French Margaret's Town. From here it continued up the river to Linden, where another Indian village was located. The route was then over what is now the public road to Great Island. It ran over the ground where Jersey Shore stands and crossed Pine creek at or near the present bridge, near the Hays place. This route was an important one and was frequently traveled. The Moravians in their visitations to the Great Island followed it, and war parties descended this way.
What was known as the Sheshequin path left the trail up the west side of the river, near the mouth of Black Hole creek (Montgomery), followed that stream almost to, its source, and then crossed Bald Eagle mountain through Loyalsock gap to the river; thence, northwesterly by a fording at the head of what is now known as Canfield's island to the north shore of the river. From this point it ascended what was called Bonsul's run in olden times, but is known at the present day as Miller's run. Where it crossed the path leading up the river was the point where Rev. David Brainerd, the Presbyterian missionary, met and preached to a large number of Indians in August, 1746. Before the Moravian records at Bethlehem were found and translated, the early writers supposed that he was the first white man to preach to the Indians west of Muncy Hills. But later research showed that Count Zinzendorf had preceded him by four years as a missionary. Brainerd speaks in his journal of preaching to the savages, and gives them credit for being very attentive.
The path then bore away in a northwesterly direction through what is called Blooming Grove, and descended through a gap to Lycoming creek, coming out near Hepburnville. There it united with the path leading up that stream. In a piece of timber not far north of Williamsport, traces of the path are still plainly visible, and it can easily be followed for some distance. It is deeply beaten into the earth at many places, showing that thousands of travelers passed over it in early times. It shortened the distance considerably between the point where it intersected the great path leading up Lycoming creek, and from Otstonwakin, on Loyalsock, by avoiding French Margaret's Town.
Conrad Weiser on making his journeys to Onondaga generally used it, and Zeisberger and other Moravians traveled that way. It was a favorite route for war parties coming in from the north, and over it many prisoners were conducted.
The foregoing were all the Indian paths of any consequence known to run through the territory of Lycoming county when it was held by the original owners; and if the reader is familiar with the geography of the country, he will readily see that they were laid out so as to enable the traveler to reach any given point by the shortest distance.
NAMES OF THE PRINCIPAL STREAMS.
Having indicated as definitely as possible the Indian paths which ran through the section of country now forming Lycoming county, it will not be out of place to describe the principal streams, give their Indian names, and the meaning thereof, as far as it is possible. Indian names, although very poetic, are often difficult to pronounce and hard to understand. This comes of the peculiarity of the languages. Bancroft informs us that they are usually concrete and synthetic, not abstract nor analytic. They can not say father, son, master, separately. The noun must be. limited by including within itself the pronoun for the person to whom it relates; so they could not say tree or house the word must always be accompanied by prefixes defining its application. They have special terms for each kind of oak, but no generic term including them all. The noun, adjective, and pronoun are all blended into one word. Hence one part of a stream or place might receive one name, and the other part a very different one.
The principal stream flowing through Lycoming county is the West Branch of the Susquehanna river. It runs through almost the center of the county, on the north side of Bald Eagle mountain, in a direction due east until it reaches the end of the mountain opposite Muncy, when it bears around it in a graceful curve and flows south by west until it passes into Northumberland county at the Montgomery railroad bridge. It is difficult to define the word Susquehanna, as it is spelled and pronounced today. In early times it was written "Sasquehanna," which, according to Rev. W. C. Reichel, of Bethlehem, is a corruption from Que-ni-schach-achgek-han-ne, compounded of quin, long, schach-ack-ki, straight, and hanne, stream, the name by which the Delawares originally designated the "reach" of the West Branch westward from Muncy creek, then the West Branch, and finally the main stream of the great river. What is known at this day as the "Long Reach "proper is a long stretch of water west of Williamsport It reaches for several miles, and the ground over which it flows is so level that scarcely a current is perceptible.
By some tribes the West Branch was called the Ot-zin-ach-son, but the Indian historians have failed to define the meaning of the term. That it possessed some peculiar significance is evident, for the late Professor Guss informs us that the Ot-zin-ach-son were people of the Demon's Dens, but he offers no explanation of the phrase. Count Zinzendorf, when he came to Shamokin in 1742, and ascended the West Branch, says in his journal: "To the left of the path, after crossing the [main] river, a large cave in a rocky hill [Blue Hill in the wilderness was shown us. From it the surrounding country and the West Branch of the Susquehanna are called the Ot-zin-ach-son, i. e., the 'Demon’s Dens, for here the evil spirits, say the Indians, have their seats and hold their revels."
The word, or combination of words, is a soft, poetical, and beautiful expression, and it strikes us as singular that it should represent evil spirits. The river flows through a valley noted for the beauty and picturesque grandeur of its natural scenery, and at many points it rises to the degree of sublimity. Some writers have claimed that Otzinach was the Iroquois name for Shamokin, but no testimony in support of the theory has been advanced.
That the term Ot-zin-ach-son was current in early times, whatever may have been its meaning, is well supported. Conrad Weiser occasionally refers to it in his journal as the "Otsinackson," the "Zinahton," "Zinachton," and the "Rinacson" river. Great confusion in the pronunciation of Indian names was caused by the different ways of spelling them by persons of different nationalities. The Germans wrote them according to their ideas of expressing the sound, the French did the same, and the English ditto. The result has been a curious combination of words based on sounds, so puzzling to Indian linguists that they can not correctly define them.
Susquehanna, by some authorities is claimed to be a corruption from a Delaware word, signifying the winding river. The Iroquois called at least the upper part, if not the whole stream, Ga-wa-no-wa-na-ne Ga-hum-da, signifying the Great Island river. But it is useless to speculate.
The West Branch, which has its source in Cambria county, is fed by several large tributaries in its passage through Lycoming county, some of which rise to the dignity of mountain rivers. On the southern boundary the first tributary worthy of mention in this connection is Black Hole creek. It flows through the borough of Montgomery and falls into the river on its west side. It drains an extensive district on the south side of Bald Eagle mountain.
The next two streams on the east side are Glade run and Muncy creek. The latter is a large and important tributary, having its sources in Sullivan county. It flows through a mountainous region, and as it has many tributaries, it drains a large district. It takes its name from the Monsey Indians, who once inhabited that part of the county, but there has been some dispute as to the true origin of the name. By some early writers and explorers it was called Oc-coh-po-cheny, but subsequent investigation showed that this name applied to the flats, or hickory grounds, at its mouth. Conrad Weiser, in his frequent journeys through the valley, speaks of it as Can-a-so-ragy, and others called it Lone-e-se-ran-go. But whether these terms referred to the town or the creek, we are left in doubt. We are inclined to think that they referred to the town, or towns, in the valley, and that Muncy is but an easy transition from Monsey, the name of the tribe once occupying the valley now bearing their name.
According to Schoolcraft the term Oc-coh-po-cheny is derived from the Shawanee language, and signifies "Hickory ground," or flats, from the word Oche-ab, a hickory tree. The term Can-a-sor-ago is from the Iroquois, and signifies "town on a rock or high place," from the word "Canada," town, "ar," rock, and "ago," a place. The fact that extensive ruins once existed on a high bluff near by would seem to prove conclusively the appropriateness of the name.
Heckewelder, in his glossary of Indian names, says that the word Muncy is corrupted from Mins-ink, signifying "where there are Minsies." A colony of Monseys drifted up the stream and had a small town near the mouth of Orcutt's creek, in Athens township, Bradford county. They did not remain there long, but moved westward with their tribe. The Mousey Indians made their way finally to Indiana, and their name is perpetuated by the town of Muncie in that State, as well as by the borough of Muncy, and the creek and valley, in Lycoming county.
From the foregoing it would seem to be clearly established that the stream derives its name from this tribe of Indians, and in the absence of conclusive proof to the contrary, we must accept that idea. The fact, too, that they had a village near Tioga, would indicate that they frequently traveled up and down the creek, and that in time it came to bear their name.
The next great affluent of the river from the north is what is known as Loyalsock. It rises in Sullivan county, and after receiving the waters of numerous tributaries, flows past the borough of Montoursville and falls into the river. It is a large stream and drains a wide scope of country. According to Heckewelder the name is corrupted from Laivi-saquick, signifying the middle creek-that is, a creek flowing between two others. The name, therefore, is singularly appropriate, as it lies midway between Muncy and Lycoming creeks, the distance both ways being about six miles. It is a historic stream and has figured in Indian annals from the earliest times. The aboriginal villages of Ots-ton-wak-in and Ots-tua-gy were situated on its banks the former on the west side and the latter on the east. When white men first visited the place they found the celebrated Madame Montour and her son Andrew living in Ots-ton-wak-in. And as the latter received a grant of land at This place from the Proprietary government in consideration of his valuable services as an interpreter and agent, the place came to be known as Montoursville, a name which it still bears. Many. thrilling events occurred on the banks of the stream in the vicinity of the present borough which will be described at the proper place.
Lycoming creek, which lies west of Loyalsock, is another important tributary, because it pours a large volume of water into the river. Its source is a spring about half a mile east of Penbryn station (Carpenter's) on the Northern Central railroad. The tracks of a switch now pass over it. The stream is small at the beginning, but as it flows southward it gathers strength from numerous tributaries, until it passes through the western part of the city of Williamsport and reaches the river. The name, according to Heckewelder, is corrupted from Legani-hanne, signifying sandy stream. The Delawares called it invariably by this name. On Scull's map it is written Lycaumick. It is plainly seen, therefore, how easy the transition was to Lycoming.
This large stream is noted for its tortuous course, as it winds through the narrow valley, shut in by high mountains on both sides. When first visited by white men an impenetrable mass of briers, laurel, and underbrush lined both shores of the creek; and at several places there were great swamps which were dangerous to venture into. At many places penetrated by the narrow Indian path, on the sides of the creek and on elevated ground, we are told that the early travelers were often compelled to creep on their hands and feet for some distance to get through. The overhanging foliage of the pine and the hemlock were so dense as to darken the way and add to the discomforts of the journey. Accounts left by travelers who were caught in these thickets in dark, stormy weather, depict the scene as not only gloomy in the extreme, but bordering on the horrible.
Zeisberger called it "The Limping Messenger," and the "Diadachton." We are at a loss to account for the application of the first name, but the second can be explained. The phrase, "Limping Messenger" is used by no other writer. This has lead to a theory that it was not the stream he referred to, but that a "messenger" had been met on it who was "limping" in his walk. It is well known that "messengers" were constantly traveling between Shamokin and Onondaga bearing information. There was no other way of communicating intelligence in those days. Is it not reasonable, therefore, to suppose that at the point where the path over which he and his party were traveling came to the creek, they met an Indian bearer of dispatches who was "limping "in his gait, and he noted the fact in his journal that at dusk "we came to the Limping Messenger?" No other construction can be placed on the expression that would seem to be reasonable, and we are disposed to adopt it.
Larry's creek is a tributary worth noticing. It heads in Cogan House township, Lycoming county, and empties into the river a mile and a half east of the borough of Jersey Shore. It has a number of affluents and drains a large territory. Larry's creek derives its name from Larry Burt, an Indian trader, who had his cabin near its mouth. The early surveyors found him, but he soon afterwards disappeared. Tradition says that he had an Indian woman for his wife. His name does not appear among, the regularly licensed Indian traders, which leads us to believe that he might have been an adventurer and went with the Indians when they moved westward.
The last great tributary on the north side of the river is Pine creek, and it forms the western boundary line between Lycoming and Clinton counties for a long distance. It heads in Potter county and is fed by numerous streams on its descent to the river. Pine creek carries a greater volume of water than any other tributary of the West Branch, and is entitled to be called a mountain river. For many miles it flows through a wild ravine, with steep high mountains on both sides. The scenery is bold and greatly admired by travelers. The Indians never had a path up the gorge through which it emerges from between the highest mountains. On account of its narrowness, there being barely room enough for the stream, it was very likely considered inaccessible by the projectors of Indian paths. The thickets must have been very dense in aboriginal days, and as the mountains were covered from base to summit with a heavy growth of pine and hemlock, the gloom which prevailed must have bordered on night all the time.
For many years this stream was a disturbing factor in Indian negotiations, and caused no little trouble for the early settlers along the river. When the purchase of 1768 was made the Indians claimed that Tiadaghton creek, which was to be the line on the north side of the river, was Lycoming creek. The commissioners claimed that Pine creek was the real Tiadaghton, but the Indians denied this so emphatically that they were compelled to accept Lycoming as the line. This was, no doubt, the reason why Zeisberger spoke of it as the "Diadaghton" in his journal. In this bit of deception the Indians exhibited more than their usual sagacity in dealing with the whites. And it would seem, too, that they applied this name to Lycoming long before the treaty of 1768, else Zeisberger would not have known to speak of it by that title in 1745, more than twenty years before.
Many of the whites had a suspicion that deception had been practiced in designating the line of the purchase, but as the treaty called for Lycoming as the dividing stream they had to accept it. The doubt that prevailed caused many adventure some settlers to go beyond the forbidden line, notwithstanding the Proprietary government issued a proclamation warning all settlers that if they located westward of Lycoming it would be at their own risk, and they must not expect assistance in the event of trouble with the Indians. The warning did not deter them for they flocked in and occupied the country. It was this condition of affairs that led to the establishment of the Fair Play system for their own government and protection.
It was not until the last treaty with the Indians at Fort Stanwix in 1784 that they finally admitted that Pine creek was the real Tiadaghton, and that they had deceived the whites with regard to the line in 1768. The troubles and litigations which grow out of this affair will be more fully described when we come to speak of the settlers.
The meaning of the term Tiadaghton has never been explained. Heckewelder makes no reference to it in his glossary, and Professor Reichel, who edited the same as late as 1872, is likewise silent. There is a mystery about it that, probably, will never be solved. Heckewelder, however, speaks of Pine creek, and says that the name in Delaware was Cawen-hanne, a pine stream, or a stream flowing through pine lands. This was a very appropriate name, when we consider the dense forest of pine that once lined its banks. The other name though unique, if not poetical is meaningless to white people.
On the south side of the river, near the western line of the county, is a tributary called Antes creek, which, though short, discharges a large volume of water. It is the outlet for the waters of Nippenose valley, which sink beneath the limestone rocks
underlying the soil. At the head of the valley the accumulated waters emerge in the form of a great spring, of sufficient power to drive a grist mill and woolen manufactory but a short distance from the source. The total length of the creek is less than three miles, and it flows through a deep, narrow ravine in Bald Eagle mountain. It takes its name from the celebrated Col. John Henry Antes, who was a conspicuous as well as representative man in colonial times.
The foregoing comprise the principal tributaries of the river in Lycoming county. Many other streams of lesser note, but quite important in their commercial and manufacturing relations, emptying into these main arteries, will receive attention when we come to describe the minor civil subdivisions of the county.
DECLINE OF FRENCH DOMINATION.
With the victory of Bouquet over the Indians at Bushy Run in 1763, and the occupation of Fort Duquesne soon after, began the rapid decline of French domination in the northwestern part of the Province. All the available forces on the Susquehanna had been withdrawn for the purpose of aiding this western expedition, but as the hostile Indians were also called in that direction by the French, the settlers in the valley suffered no molestation.
On the way home in 1764, the officers who participated in the expedition held a meeting and entered into an agreement to make application for a grant of land on the West Branch of the Susquehanna, in consideration of their services, where they could found a colony of sufficient strength to resist any further encroachments of the enemy. Each member of the compact was to have "a reasonable and commodious plantation," which was to correspond with his rank and subscription.
Commissioners were appointed to lay their application before the Proprietaries, which duty they performed on the 30th of April, 1765. They asked for 40,000 acres lying on the West Branch of the Susquehanna. The Penns felt kindly disposed toward the petitioners, because they appreciated their services in saving a large portion of the Province from the control of a troublesome enemy, and they took their application and at once gave it thoughtful and careful consideration.
In due time Thomas and Richard Penn decided that they would grant the application, providing they could secure more land from the Indians. Commissioners were appointed to hold a treaty with the Six Nations at Fort Stanwix, November 5, 1768. The treaty was held, and in consideration of $10,000 the Indians conveyed another slice of their territory to the Penns on the Susquehanna. The boundary line is thus defined in the deed:
Beginning on the north boundary line of the Province to the east side of the east branch of the Susquehanna at the place called "Owegy," and running with the said boundary line down this branch till it came opposite the month of a creek, called by the Indians Awadac (Towanda), then across the river, and up said creek on the south side thereof, and along the range of hills called Burnett's Hills by the English, and by the Indians on the north side of them to the head of the creek running into the West Branch, called Tiadaghton, and down it to the river: then crossing and running up the south side to the forks which lie nearest a place called Kittanning, on the Ohio; from thence down the Ohio to the western bounds of the Province; thence around the southern boundary to the east of the Alleghenies to the line of the tract purchased in 1758 by the said Proprietaries, and from thence along the line of a tract purchased in 1749, around the place of beginning.
Much trouble grow out of this sale. The Indians had discovered the value set on their lands by the whites, and the arts and arguments used by different parties to obtain them. They therefore determined to dispose of the coveted land as often as a purchaser could be found to pay them their price. Having sold the Susquehanna valley in 1754 to the New England people, in 1766 they gave the Christian Indians all that part of it from Wyalusing to above Tioga, and in 1768 they sold the same tract again to the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania. Those Christian Indians, unnder the protection of the Moravians, had founded a town at Wyalusing which was called Friedenshutten. This sale resulted finally in its evacuation and the flight of the Moravians down Muncy creek to the river, and up that stream to the Great Island, thence over the mountains to Ohio. To show the extent of Indian duplicity practiced at that time, it may be stated that the sale of these lands was kept a profound secret from the Indians of Wyalusing for a time, and they had no intimation of what had been done until the 5th of December, when it was told them by a trader. They straightway sought to learn the truth, but evasive answers were returned. After much parleying, and a correspondence with the Penns, they finally became satisfied that the lands had been sold and they at once decided to leave their settlement, not feeling safe to remain longer among those who had so grossly deceived them.
Owing to the importance of this purchase, and the chicanery resorted to by the Indians to deceive interested parties, the boundary line is given. The tract included about sixteen miles in width of the Province of New York, from the Delaware to the Susquehanna. From the head of Towanda creek along Burnett's Hills would undoubtedly be the range now known as the Elk mountains, and further west Brier or Laurel Hill. This is an unbroken range until pierced by the second fork of Pine creek, the stream called Tiadaghton. No other stream will answer the description, as the head of the main branch of Pine creek is some thirty miles northwest of the head of the second fork, which can not be reached by following the range of hills mentioned as running from the head of Towanda crook, and crossing the main branch of Pine creek one mile below Big Meadows, at the mouth of the third fork, fifty-five miles from the river. From the geography of the country the stream described as forming the western boundary of this purchase, on the north side of the West Branch, was the stream known as Yarnell's creek, then down the same to the second fork of Pine creek, thence to the river, a distance of fifty-three miles. The line then passed up the south side of the river to the Canoe Place, now the corner of Clearfield, Cambria, and Indiana counties, and thence to Kittanning. This line was run by James Galbraith, by order of Surveyor General Lukens, April 17, 1768.
It has always been a question what was meant by "Burnett's Hills." No explanation has ever been offered. It is. possible that they bore some relation to William Burnett, who was Governor of the Province of New York from 1720 to 1728. He was a man of great activity and advocated obtaining control of Lake Ontario in order to frustrate the project of the French for establishing a chain of forts from Canada to Louisiana. For this purpose he began the erection of a trading house at Oswego in the country of the Senecas in 1722, and in 1726, at his own expense, built a fort at the same place for the better protection of the post and traders. He had much business with the Indians, and it is barely possible that these hills were named after him.
It is not strange, perhaps, that the Indians deceived the whites by claiming that Lycoming creek was what they called Tiadaghton, instead of Pine creek. The motive for this is apparent. They wanted the territory between Lycoming and Pine creeks for hunting and fishing. It was a wild and mountainous region and abounded in game of all kinds. Elk, deer, and bear were plentiful. The streams were numerous and filled with fish. Their women and children devoted much of their time to fishing in season, while the young men engaged in the chase, and altogether they managed to secure a good supply of food. This was the principal reason, perhaps, why the Indians disliked to abandon this portion of their domain lying on the north side of the river above Lycoming creek. This fact so tempted the cupidity of the Indians that they were induced to tell a deliberate falsehood, when the law of self-preservation stared them in the face. If the white man lied to cheat the Indians, why should not the Indians retaliate by lying also? was the logic they employed. The lie resulted in making some lively times, which will be described in the proper place.
The land having been acquired the Penns granted the application of the officers, and on the 3d of February, 1769, it was ordered by the Board of Property that "Col. Turbutt Francis and the officers of the First and Second battalions of the Pennsylvania Regiment be allowed to take up 24,000 acres, to be divided among them in distinct surveys, on the waters of the West Branch of the Susquehanna, to be seated with a family for each 300 acres within two years from the time of survey, paying five pounds sterling per hundred and one penny sterling per acre." The records show that the officers agreed to the terms, and at a meeting held at Fort Augusta in the latter part of February, they appointed Captains Hunter and Irvine to accompany William Scull in making the survey of their lands. The work of survey was performed, and 6,096 acres set aside for the applicants on the east side of the West Branch. The survey included what are now the boroughs of Milton and Watsontown, and the town of Dewart. Samuel Maclay reported that he had surveyed 8,000 acres in Buffalo valley (now Union county) and John Lukens reported that his survey on Bald Eagle creek (now Clinton county) embraced 9,004 acres. Very few of the officers settled on the tracts of land assigned them.
Between the time of the confirmation of the purchase of 1768 and the opening of the Land Office, a number of special grants to various individuals for valuable services rendered the Proprietary government were made. Among these grants was one to Andrew Montour on the 29th of October, 1768. This was perhaps the first made within the present territory of Lycoming county, and was located on what is now the site of the borough of Montoursville. It took in lands lying on both sides of Loyalsock. According to the survey it contained 880 acres and was called "Montour's Reserve." This fine grant took in both the Indian villages of Otstuagy and Otstonwakin. The draft shows that Samuel Purviance claimed lands bounding the "Reserve" on the east and north, and James Tilghman on the west. The southern boundary was the river. This certificate is appended to the draft:
By virtue of an order of survey dated the 29th day of October 1768, surveyed the 3d day of November, 1769, unto Andrew Montour the above described tract of land, situate on Loyalsock creek (Stonehauger) and the West Branch of the river Susquehanna, in the county of Berks, containing 880 acres and allowance of six per cent.
PR WM. SCULL.
Montour did not retain the land very long. Surveyor General Scull in his return says that the survey was make January 9, 1770, but a patent was not issued till June 17, 1785, the land in the meantime having passed into the hands of other parties. The patent was granted to Mary Norris and Peter Zachary Lloyd, and the consideration money was £142 7s. 9d. The five pounds sterling, reduced to dollars and cents, equaled $22.22 per hundred acres, or twenty-two cents for one acre! At this rate "Montour's Reserve" originally cost the purchasers $193.60. Compared with the prices prevailing today, the reader will see that there has been a vast appreciation in value. There is land lying, within the limits of the "Reserve" today that could not be purchased for $200 per acre, and lots in the borough would reach a much higher rate.
The following extract from the Land Office records, showing the history of the transfer, is of interest to the inhabitants of the borough of Montoursville today:
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, ss.
WHEREAS by Virtue and in Pursuance of an Order of Survey dated the Twenty-ninth Day of October, 1768, granted to Andrew Montour, there hath been surveyed a certain Tract of Land, Containing Eight hundred and eighty acres and allowance of six per cent. for roads, &c., Situate on Loyalsock Creek and the West branch of Susquehanna river, in the County of Northumberland, And whereas the said Andrew by the name of Henry Montour by Deed dated 12th Augt. 1771, Conveyed the same to Robt. Lettes Hooper, who by Deed dated 27th Feb'y, 1773, conveyed to Jos. Spear, who by Deed dated 9th Dec'r. 1773, conveyed to James Wilson, Esq'r, who by Deed dated 26th June, 1777, conveyed to Mary Norris who by Deed dated 27th June 1777, conveyed one Moiety thereof to Peter Zachary Lloyd, Esq'r, And the said Mary Norris & Peter Zachary Lloyd have paid the Purchase Money at the Rate of Five Pounds Sterling, per Hundred Acres, with the Interest thereon due, agreeable to in Act of Assembly, passed the ninth Day of April, 1781, entitled "An Act for Establishing a Land Office, &c." and a Supplement thereto, passed the twenty-fifth of June, then next following THESE are therefore to authorize and require you to accept the said Survey into your Office, and to make Return thereof into the Office of the Secretary of the Land Office, in Order for Confirmation, by Patent to the said Mary Norris & Peter Zachary Lloyd, And for so doing, this shall be your Warrant.
IN WITNESS whereof, the Honorable James Irvine, Esquire, Vice President of the Supreme Executive Council, hath hereunto set his Hand, and caused the lesser Seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed the seventeenth Day of, June, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-five.
JOHN LUKENS, Esq. Surveyor General.
The policy adopted by William Penn in the early history of the Province, was to reserve out of each purchase from the Indians one-tenth of the lands, to be selected and laid out in manors or reserves before the Land Office was opened, for the purpose of making grants to individuals for special services, which were to be regarded as the property of himself and successors until disposed of. This practice was continued, with some variations, to the beginning of the Revolution.
The next warrant, in the order of date, was issued by John Penn, December 25, 1768, directing the survey of a tract of land to be called Muncy manor. This fine body of land was recommended by Job Chilloway, the friendly Indian and guide, and the words, "Job's Discovery," were written on the draft. Lying at the mouth of Muncy creek, it was considered the most important point on the West Branch, on account of its fine location, the richness of the soil, and the beauty of the natural scenery surrounding it. The river washed its western boundary, whilst a chain of mountains shut it in on the east and south. It was also the converging point of Indian paths leading east, west, north, and south, and from the earliest times had been known as a favorite place of resort by Indian chieftains when seeking repose, or for the purpose, of counseling with each other regarding the condition of their people. The certificate reads:
By virtue of a warrant dated the 24th day of November, 1768, surveyed the 26th and 27th days of December, 1768, for the use of the Honorable the Proprietaries of the Province of Pennsylvania, the above described tract of land situate on the West Branch of Susquehanna River at the mouth of Muncy alias Cannassarago alias Ocochpocheny Creek containing one thousand six hundred and fifteen acres with allowances of six per cent.
Pa. WM. SCULL.
Returned into the Secretary's office the 8th of February, 1769.
Job Chilloway, the discoverer of Muncy manor, was a Delaware Indian and a faithful friend of the whites in the West Branch valley. He was born at Egg Harbor, New Jersey, early in 1737, and in 1759 he was employed as a spy and guide by the provincial authorities. He learned to speak English, and having a knowledge of several Indian dialects, made himself valuable to the early officers and settlers. Job, from long association, preferred to live among the whites. He was thoroughly acquainted with this portion of the State, knew all the Indian paths, and frequently made long journeys as a messenger and bearer of despatches. His personal description shows him to have been "a tall, muscular man, with his ears slit so as to hang pendant like a pair of ear rings." The Moravians exercised a good influence over him. The hostile Indians did not like him, and when war prevailed they would have killed him if he had come in their way. His squaw was named "Betsy," and was quite handsome, but she never took kindly to the whites ; in fact, she did not like them, and sought every opportunity to give information to the Indians. Her conduct annoyed Job greatly, and it is said he requested his white friends not to be communicative with her. She roved about a great deal and finally left him to follow the fortunes of her race.
Job saw much military service before and during the Revolution, and was at the battle of Red Bank with Colonel Potter's regiment. Some interesting anecdotes are preserved of him, and one in particular will serve to show his sagacity, as well as faithfulness to his white friends. One day, when the times were perilous, he was loitering about Antes Fort on the bluff near the mouth of Antes creek, when he discovered a sentinel leaning against a tree asleep. Quietly slipping behind him he reached around the tree, grappled, and held him fast. The sentinel could not see who it was and was badly frightened. He struggled to release himself but was unable to do so. At last be discovered that it was Job, when he begged him not to inform Colonel Antes, as his punishment for such an offense would be serious. Job promised that he would not report him, but took occasion to remind him if it had been an enemy that seized him he might have been killed and scalped. "Yes," replied the sentinel, "I might have been caught by an Indian and killed and scalped before I had known who my assailant was." "It was an Indian that caught you," replied Job with a grin, "but you may thank God he was your friend !"
This circumstance so amused Job that he would burst into a fit of laughter whenever he thought of it. His frequent outbursts of merriment finally attracted the attention of Colonel Antes, and he asked him what was the cause of it, but no persuasion would induce him to tell for a long time. At last he informed the Colonel that a serious circumstance had happened to one of his men, but he had pledged his word not to tell. But he intimated that he might detect the guilty man by his countenance when the company was on parade. The Colonel scrutinized the countenances of his men sharply when paraded, which caused the guilty man to confess what had befallen him. The circumstance, and the manner of its revealment through the suggestion of the Indian, so amused him that he did not punish the man, but admonished him not be caught that way again.
On the restoration of peace Job lingered for a long time in the valley engaged in hunting and fishing, when he finally drifted westward and joined the Moravians at their settlement in Ohio. Great injustice has been done the memory of this faithful Indian by some writers in stating that towards the close of his life he became much addicted to strong drink, and finally was found dead in his cabin on Spring creek, in what is now Centre county. Rev. Edmund de Schweinitz, in his "Life and Times of David Zeisberger," (page 629) referring to the deaths of two noted Christian Indians near Fort Erie, Canada, thus speaks of Job: "One was William, or Job Chilloway who died on the 22d of September, 1792. In his youth a special favorite of Sir William Johnson, and one of his interpreters, he had joined the mission in 1770, and served it for twenty years with ability and faithfulness, especially in negotiations with heathen chiefs." He was identified with the Moravian mission at Wyalusing and took charge of the houses and property when they abandoned the place in June, 1772. It was no doubt, when traveling up and down the Wyalusing path, on missions to the settlement at Shamokin, that he discovered the fine tract of land with the meadow, near the mouth of Muncy creek, and reported the fact to the Penns or their agents, which induced them to issue orders to have a manor laid out.
A few days after the order to survey Muncy manor was issued, another was made, on the 31st of January, 1769, to survey 1,000 acres, one-half of which was to be located at the mouth of Lycoming creek, and the balance in some other part of the Province. As that portion of the survey embraced lands now lying within the limits of the city of Williamsport, and as it was the cause of some litigation in after years, the orders are quoted in fall:
L. S. PENNSYLVANIA, ss. BY THE PROPRIETARIES.
These are to authorize and require you to survey and lay out, or cause to be surveyed and laid out for our use, the quantity of one thousand acres of land, viz.: Five hundred acres thereof at the mouth of a creek known by the name of Lycoming, and extending thence down and upon the river Susquehanna, and the other five hundred acres in any part of the purchase lately made at Fort Stanwix of the Six Nations, that shall not interfere with any previous warrant, and to make return of the same in our Secretary's Office; and for the so doing this shall be your sufficient warrant. Witness, John Penn, Esq., Lieutenant Governor and Commissioner of Property of the said Province, who by virtue of certain powers from said Proprietaries, hath hereunto set his hand and caused the seal of the Land Office to be affixed at Philadelphia, this thirty-first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine.
To John Lukens, Esq., Surveyor-General.
To William Scull, Deputy Surveyor:
Execute this warrant, and make return of survey into my office.
JOHN LERENS, S. G.
February 3, 1769.
As the Lycoming creek land, specified in the order, was found to lie a few miles west of Andrew Montour's line, the surveyors on the 20th of March, 1769, surveyed 579 acres on the east side of Lycoming creek. The balance was surveyed in two tracts elsewhere. These were the last of the reserve surveys in the Province of Pennsylvania.
The Lycoming creek portion of the survey included all the western part of Williamsport. The order was dated January 31, 1769, and returned May 5, 1770. On this survey a patent was issued to Rev. Richard Peters, August 11, 1770, for 599 acres and called Orme's Kirk. Peters, who was a great speculator in land, sold the same to the famous Col. Turbutt Francis, November 23, 1772. As he was a greater land speculator than Peters, he sold the tract to Hawkins Boone, January 19, 1775. Boone was a descendant of "Squire" Boone, of Exeter township, Berks county, and a brother of the celebrated Daniel Boone, the bold hunter and explorer of Kentucky. Hawkins Boone fell in the battle at Fort Freeland. As he died intestate Robert Martin, Robert Arthur, and Joan Hardy were appointed to admin-ister on his estate. Finding that the personal property was not sufficient to pay the debts, they applied to the court at Sunbury for permission to sell enough land to pay off the indebtedness. Authority was granted, and on July 2, 1791, they sold 2871 acres to William Winter for 1350, "lawful money of Pennsylvania," and gave him a deed which was recorded at Sunbury, January 4, 1792, in Deed Book E, page 317.
William Winter was a brother-in-law of Hawkins Boone, his first wife being Ann Boone, whom he married in 1747 in the Province of Virginia. She died here in 1771, leaving eleven children, four sons and seven daughters.
The remainder of the 599 acres constituted what was afterwards known as the Amariah Sutton farm, and after undergoing more changes of ownership, finally became the property of Hon. R. J. C. Walker.