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province at that period. The names now substituted, “as more compatible with the republican simplicity of our present form of government,” are similar to those of Philadelphia, as the streets running north and south commence at Water street, on the Schuylkill, and extend to Twelfth street, while those running east and west are called Penn, Franklin, Washington, Chesnut, and Walnut streets. In 1751, Reading contained 130 dwelling houses, besides stables and other buildings, 106 families, and 378 inhabitants, though about two years before it had not above one house in it. The original population was principally Germans, who emigrated from Wirtemburg and the Palatinate though the administration of public affairs was chiefly in the hands of the Friends. The former, by their preponderance of numbers, gave the decided character in habits and language to the place, as the German was almost exclusively used in the ordinary transactions of life and business, and is yet retained to a very great extent.
During the revolution, Reading was a favorite place of resort for citizens of Philadelphia from " war’s alarm.” Many prisoners, during the war, were sent here. A body of Hessians, captured at Trenton, in 1776, together with many British, and the principal Scotch royalists captured in North Carolina, were brought to Reading and stationed in a grove on the bank of the Schuylkill, in the south part of the place. They removed the same year to the hill east of the town, called the “Hessian Camp," and built their huts in regular camp order. The following historical items are from a pamphlet published by Maj. Stahle, in 1841 :
The first house of worship in Reading was a log house, built by the Friends, on their burying ground, in 1751. In 1766, it was pulled down, and in its place the present one-story log house was built in Washington street. Their old log school house, near it, was built in 1787. The German Reformed Church was organized soon after the settlement of Reading, but the exact date, as well as that of the erection of their first edifice, has not been ascertained. The present building was erected in 1832, and the previous one in 1762. The steeple is 151 feet high. The German Lutheran Church was organized shortly after the German Reformed. The congregation long occupied a log building where their church now stands. The present church, the largest in Reading, was erected in 1791. The splendid steeple, 201 feet high, was erected in 1833. In this church, and in the German Reformed, divine service is performed in the German language. The ancient stone school house near the church, was erected in 1765. One of the bells was cast by Henry Kippele, of Philadelphia, in 1755. On one of the gravestones in the yard, with a German inscription, is the date of 1703. The old 30 hour clock in the town, the first in the place, was imported from London about the year 1755. The Presbyterian Church was erected in 1824. The Catholic Chapel in 1791. The Episcopal Church in 1826. The Methodist in 1839. The Baptists formerly occupied a site near the river, but the location was disliked, and in 1837, a new brick church was erected by Rev. Enoch M. Barker, the pastor at that time, which he afterward conveyed to the society. The Universalist Church was erected in 1830. Besides the above, there are three African churches. The magnificent new court house was completed in 1840, after the designs of Thomas U. Walter, architect, of Philadelphia. The front is an Ionic portico, with six columns of red sand. stone. The edifice is surmounted by a very high cupola, presenting a conspicuous and beautiful object to one approaching the borough The old court house, which formerly stood in the center of the public square, at the intersection of the two principal streets, obstructing the beautiful and extended view through those streets now enjoyed, was built in 1762, and is said to have been" remarkable for nothing but its ugliness." The office of discount and deposit was established in 1808; the Farmers' Bank was incorporated in 1814; the Berks Co. Bank in 1826.
The postoffice was established at Reading in 1793; Gotleib Yungmann first postmaster. Previous to this, letters were conveyed from Reading to Philadelphia and other important places by private individuals, upon their own account. In 1789, a two-horse coach was started by Mr. Martin Hausman, to run weekly for the conveyance of passengers and letters between Reading and PhiladelphiiIt
made its passage through in two days. Fare $2—letter carriage, 3d. In 1790, the establishment was transferred to Alexander Eisenbeis. Mr. Eisenbeis sold out in 1791 to William Coleman, who soon after started a coach also to Harrisburg, which performed its trips in the same time, and at the same rates of fare and postage as that to Philadelphia. At the close of the year 1800, the mail was carried from here to Sunbury once a week, on horseback; to Lancaster and Easton once a week, in a private two-horse carriage.
Norristown, the capital of Montgomery county, is a flourishing place on the left bank of the Schuylkill, 17 miles by railroad N. W. from Philadelphia, and 91 E. from Harrisburg. The town is well built, having a large number of superior public buildings, large cotton factories, etc., which present a fine appearance when viewed from the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, on the opposite bank of the river. The place contains several large and flourishing boarding schools. The dam across the Schuylkill creates here an immense water power, which is improved by mills and factories. Population, about 8,000. Norristown was laid out in 1784. It then belonged to some academy in Philadelphia, which had purchased it from John Bull, being the farm which he improved during the revolution. Mr. Bull, notwithstanding his name, was a strong whig, and on this account his barn was burnt by the British. Mr. B. purchased this farm from Isaac Norris, from whom the town received its name. About half a mile below the town, on the opposite side, stood the old Swedes' Ford, famous in the annals of the revolution. It is stated in Day's Penn. that the first public canal in the United States was excavated on the river bank in this place. This was the old Schuylkill and Delaware Canal, intended to connect the two rivers, and also to supply water to the citizens of Philadelphia : the company was incorporated in 1792.
Valley Forge, the head quarters of the American army in the winter of 1777–78, during the occupation of Philadelphia by the British, and cele
brated as a scene of suffering and privation of the patriots, is on the west side of Schuylkill, six miles above Norristown, 22 north-west of Philadelphia, and about 45 southwest of Trenton. It is in a deep, rugged hollow, at the mouth of Valley creek, at a point where anciently stood a forge—hence its name, Valley Forge. Upon the mountainous flanks of this valley, Washington
established his army for the winter WASHINGTON'S HEAD QUARTERS AT VALLEY FORGE.
quarters; and it was from here that, at the darkest era of the revolution, he marched and gained the victories at Trenton and Princeton, which revived the drooping spirits of his countrymen. Thatcher, in his Military Journal, says:
My friend, Maj. Minnis, from head quarters at Valley Forge, has detailed to me the particular circumstances of the distress and privations which our army suffered while in winter quarters at that place, the last winter. In the month of December, the troops were employed in erecting log huts for winter quarters, when about one half of the inen were destitute of small clothes, shoes and stockings; some thousands were without blankets, and were obliged to warın themselves over fires all night, after the fatigues of the day, instead of reposing in comfortable lodgings. At one time, nearly three thousand men were returned unfit for duty,
from the want of clothing, and it was not uncommon to track the march of the men over ice and the frozen ground by the blood from their naked feet. Several times during the winter they experienced little less than a famine in camp; and more than once our general officers were alarmed by the fear of a total dissolution of the army from the want of provisions. For two or three weeks in succession, the men were on half allowance, and for four or five days without bread, and again as many without beef or pork. It was with great difficulty that men enough could be found in a condition fit to discharge the military camp duties from day to day, and for this purpose, those who were naked borrowed from those who had clothes. It can not be deemed strange that sickness and mortality were the consequence of such privations, in the midst of an inclement season. Under these unexampled sufferings, the soldiers exercised a degree of patience and fortitude which redects on them the highest honor, and which ought ever to entitle them to the gratitude of their country. The army indeed was not without consolation, for his excellency, the commander-in-chief, whom every soldier venerates and loves, manifested a fatherly concern and fellow feeling for their sufferings, and made every exertion in his power to remedy the evil, and to administer the much desired relief. Being authorized by congress, he reluctantly resorted to the unpopular expedient of taking provisions from the inhabitants by force, and thus procured a small supply for immediate necessity. It was on this occasion that a foreign officer of distinction sai to a friend of mine, that he despaired of our independence, for while walking with Gen. Washington, along the soldiers' huts, he heard from many voices echoing through the open crevices between the logs, “no pay, no clothes, no provisions, no rum," and when a miserable being was seen flitting from one hut to another, his nakedness was only covered by a dirty blanket. This was the unhappy condition of that army on whom Gen. Washington had to rely for the defense of everything held most dear by Americans, and this, too, while situated within sixteen miles of a powerful adversary, with a greatly superior army of veterans, watching with a vigilant eye for an opportunity to effect its destruction.
York, the capital of York county, is a rich, thriving place in the midst of a fertile country, 28 miles S. S. E. from Harrisburg, 92 W. from Philadel. phia, and 48 N. from Baltimore. Population, about 9,000. It was laid out in 1741, and was made a borough in 1787. During the revolutionary period, no part of Pennsylvania displayed more patriotic zeal in the contest than the county of York. Military companies were formed in York, while the people of the neighboring counties slept. The first company from Pennsylvania who marched to the field of war, was a company of riflemen from the town of York; they left this place on the first of July, 1775. Fairs were held here in ancient times. Before the abolition of slavery in Pennsylvania, many slaves were owned here. In 1803, the negroes in and near York, conspired to burn the town; fires broke out every day for three weeks. At length a negro girl was discovered in the act of throwing a pan of coals on the hay in her master's barn ; on being arrested, she confessed that she had done it in concert with others, to fire the whole town “at 12 o'clock; but in her stupidity she had mistaken 12 o'clock at noon for the same hour at midnight.
Carlisle, the county seat of Cumberland county, is 117 miles from Philadelphia, and 17 W. of Harrisburg, with which it is connected by railroad. It is an ancient, handsome, and flourishing place, containing upward of 5,000 inhabitants. The town is well built, the streets are wide, and the public buildings of a superior order. Dickinson College of this place, is one of the oldest and most flourishing in the state. It was founded in 1783, and is now under the direction of the Methodists. The United States Barracks, half a mile from the village, were built in 1777, chiefly by the labor of the Hessians captured at Trenton. A school of cavalry practice has been recently established here. The barracks will garrison 2,000 men. During
the revolutionary war, Maj. Andre passed some time here as a prisoner of
In 1794, Gen. Washington had his head quarters at Carlisle during the Whisky Insurrection.
During the period of the French and Indian wars the following interesting incident occurred in Carlisle:
“In 1764, Col. Boquet conquered the Indians, and compelled them to sue for peace. One of the conditions upon which peace was granted, was that the Indians should deliver up all the women and children whom they had taken into captivity. Among them were many who had been seized when very young, and had grown up to womanhood in the wigwam of the savage. They had contracted the wild habits of their captors, learned their language, and forgotten their own, and were bound to them by ties of the strongest affection. Many a mother found a lost child; many were unable to designate their children. The separation between the Indians and their prisoners was heartrending. The hardy son of the forest shed torrents of tears, and every captive left the wigwam with reluctance. Some afterward made their escape, and returned to the Indians. Many had intermarried with the natives, but all were left to freedom of choice, and those who remained unmarried had been treated with delicacy. One female who had been captured at the age of fourteen, had become the wife of an Indian, and the mother of several children. When informed that she was about to be delivered to her parents, her grief could not be alleviated. “Can I," said she, “enter my parents' dwelling? Will they be kind to my children? Will my old companions associate with the wife of an Indian chief? And my husband, who has been so kind—I will not desert him!” That night she fled from the camp to her husband and children.
A great number of the restored prisoners were brought to Carlisle, and Col Boquet advertised for those who had lost children to come here and look for them. Among those that came was an old woman, whose child, a little girl, had been taken from her several years before; but she was unable to designate her daughter or converse with the released captives. With breaking heart, the old woman lamented to Col. Boquet her hapless lot, telling him how she used many years ago to sing to her little daughter a hymn of which the child was so fond. She was requested by the colonel to sing it then, which she did in these words :
“ Alone, yet not alone am I,
Though in this solitude so drear;
He comes my every hour to cheer.”
PITTSBURG, the capital of Allegheny county, the great manufacturing city of the West, is situated on a triangular point at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. It is 300 miles W. from Philadelphia, 1,100 by land, and 2,029 by water from New Orleans. The Allegheny comes down from the N. E., and sweeping suddenly round to the N. W., receives the current of the Monongahela from the S.—their combined waters flowing on to the Mississippi under the name of the Ohio, or Beautiful River. The cities of Pittsburg, and Allegheny, and Manchester, South Pittsburg, Birmingham, East Birmingham, and Temperanceville, localities in the immediate vicinity, may in many respects be considered as one place, and have in the aggregate a population of 150,000. Of this number Pittsburg proper contains about 90,000, and Allegheny City 40,000. The Theological Seminary of the Associate Reformed Church, founded at Pittsburg in 1828, and the Western Theological Seminary in Allegheny City, founded in 1828, are flourishing institutions in these places. There are about 100 churches of all kinds in Pittsburg and its vicinity. The manufactures of Pittsburg, embracing its localities, are immense, and employ upward of 400 steam engines,
and 15,000 bands. Among them are rolling mills, furnaces, foundries, machine-shops, chemical works, glass factories, breweries, distilleries, planing
Western view of Pittsburg, from Allegheny Hights. The engraving shows parts of the cities of Pittsburg and Allegheny, with their connection by bridges over the Allegheny River, as they appear from the hights near the river on the Allegheny side. The Court House, Catholic Cathedral, the Episcopal and other churches in Pittsburg are on the right. Part of Allegheny City is in front and on the left. mills, etc. In all there are upward of 1,000 establishments. From the character of its products it has been called the “Birmingham of America,”
Situation of Pittsburg and Alley heny. The Monongahela River Bridge and principal Steamboat Landing appear in front. Pittsburg proper is on the tongue of land between the rivers. The City of Allegheny, connected with Pittsburg by four bridge ovor the Allegheny River, is in the distance. and it is probable that this place manufactures a greater amount of heavy irov and steel goods than any other on the continent. Its commerce is co