« ZurückWeiter »
tionary services, his great popularity were insufficient to shield him from public indignation, and his hospitable mansion was consumed to ashes in the presence of hundreds who had shared his bounty or had enjoyed his benevolence.
Insubordination everywhere prevailed; all law was disregarded; the peaceable members of society became obnoxious to the mob and their adherents; the mail was boldly robbed, and disclosed letters which added new victims to the lawless rage; the United States marshal was compelled to escape for his life down the Ohio.
At length, so dangerous had become the state of affairs, that President Washington, on the 7th August, 1794, issued a proclamation, commanding the insurgents to disperse, and warning all persons against abetting, aiding or comforting the perpetrators of these treasonable acts, and requiring all officers and other citizens, according to their respective duties and the laws of the land, to exert their utinost endeavors to prevent and suppress such dangerous proceedings.
Washington having ordered out 15,000 militia from the adjoining states, proceeded, in October, to Bedford, whence he gave out instructions to Gen. Lee, of Virginia, who marched his troops to Pittsburg. On their approach the insurgents were awed into submission to the law. In the spring succeeding, a part of the military, who had remained at Pittsburg through the winter, under Gen. Morgan, returned : order had been fully restored, and the law acquiesced in. Some of the insurgents were imprisoned for nearly a year.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES, ETC. William Penn, the distinguished founder and legislator of Pennsylvania, was born in London, in 1644. He was a member of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, as they are usually called, and became a preacher of that order at the age of twenty-four. The territory of Pennsylvania was granted to him by Charles II of England, in consideration of the services rendered the crown by Admiral Penn, his father. William Penn paid the Indians for all the lands which he obtained. The treaty which he made with them was faithfully observed. The respect and affection which the natives had for Penn and his associates was such, that it is said that in all their wars with the whites they never killed a Quaker, knowing him to be such. Penn died in England in 1718.
Robert Morris, à signer of the declaration of independence, and the finan. cier of the revolution, was born in Lancashire, England, in Jan. 1733. His
farther was a Liverpool merchant, connected with the American trade, and who emigrated to America when his son Robert was thirteen years of age. In 1754, Mr. Morris formed
mercantile partnership with Thomas Willing, and they soon became the most extensive importers in Philadelphia. After the bloodshed at Lexington, Mr. Morris took a very active part in the American cause.
He was elected to the general congress, where his business talents were appreciated, and he was placed upon the
secret committee," whose duty it was to manage the financial affairs of congress, which often at that time required great secrecy. When during the retreat through New Jersey the American army under Washington had dwindled down to a handful of ragged and half famished soldiers, Mr. Morris advanced on his own individual responsibility, ten thousand dollars, which gave Washington the means of recrossing the Delaware with that gallant band which won the victory at Trenton. În 1781, Mr. Morris, with others, organized a bank in Philadelphia, which was of immense value in sustaining the public credit. By his expenditures for the public good, he became
in his old age reduced to poverty, and was thrust into prison for debt. There he passed the last years of his life, and finally died in jail May 8, 1806.
Conrad Weiser, the distinguished Indian agent, connected with the early history of Pennsylvania, was born in 1696, in Germany, and emigrated while a child, with his father, to the vicinity of Schoharie, New York. At the age of 18 he was adopted by the Mohawk Indians. In 1729 he moved with his family and settled at Tulpehocken, Berks county. From 1731 until his death, in 1760, he held the office of Chief Indian Agent and Interpreter to the province, and so wisely and honestly conducted the business as to win the regard of all parties. The Indians loved him as a father, and for a long while after his decease, made annual visits to his grave. His journals of his business expeditions have been published at the expense of the state, among the Pennsylvania archives.
Benjamin Rush, a signer of the declaration of independence, was born at Bristol, or vicinity, December 24, 1745. He was educated in Princeton College, N. J.,
took his degree at the age of sixteen years, and selected the practice of medicine as a profession. He espoused the American cause, and was elected a delegate to fill the
place of one of the Pennsylvania delegates who had refused to vote for independence. Dr. Rush signed the declaration on the 4th of August following the 4th of July, 1776. He was eminent as a physician, a philanthropist and a Christian. He remained at his post at the time of the yellow-lever in Philadelphia, in 1793, when most of the other physicians fled from the city. Dr. R. was also distinguished as a writer, and was a prominent member of various literary and philosophical societies. He died April 19, 1813, deeply lamented.
George Clymer, a signer of the declaration of Independence, was born in Philadelphia, in 1739, and was bred to the business of a merchant. He was strongly in
favor of American freedom, and accepted the command of a volunteer corps belonging to Gen. Cadwallader's brigade. In 1776, after two of the Pennsylvania delegation
declined voting for the declaration of independence, and withdrew from their seats, Mr. Clymer and Dr. Rush were appointed to succeed them; and they, without hesitation affixed their names to that instrument. In 1780, Mr. Clymer was a large subscriber and one of the first directors of a bank in Philadelphia, designed for the public good. He was one of the projectors of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was its first president, which office he held at his decease, Jan. 24, 1813.
James Smith, a signer of the declaration of independence, was born in Ireland, about the year 1720. He was quite young when his father settled upon the Sus
quehanna River, in Pennsylvania. He was sent to Philadelphia at an early age, for the purpose of receiving a liberal education. He began the study of law at Lancaster, and when
admitted to the bar, he removed westward, to a section then in an almost wilderness state, and practiced both law and surveying. Being in favor of the American cause, he was sent a delegate to the continental congress.
He raised and drilled a volunteer
corps at York (the first raised in the state), which was the commencement of a general organizaticn of the militia in the province. Mr. Smith was quite an eccentric man, possessed of much wit and humor. He died in July, 1806, and is supposed to have been nearly ninety years of age.
John Morton, a signer of the declaration of independence, was of Swedish descent, and was born near Philadelphia, in 1724. When the revolution broke out,
he was sent a delegate to the general congress. When the subject of the declaration of independence was brought before that body, the delegation from
Pennsylvania was equally divided. Mr. Morton was called upon officially to give the casting vote for Pennsylvania. A solemn responsibility now rested upon him, which he met hy voting yes. Mr. M. died in April, 1777, in the 55th year of his age, leaving a widow and a large family of children.
George Taylor, a signer of the declaration of independence, was born in Ireland, and came to this country when about twenty years of age. He was well educated,
but was poor, and performed menial service on his arrival. He became a clerk in the iron establishment of Mr. Savage, at Durham, Pa. After the death of Mr. S., he married his widow, by which he came into possession of considerable property, and the management of a business
by which he acquired a large fortune. He was for some years a member of the colonial assembly, and in 1776 was a member of the continental congress, in which he remained for one year, and then withdrew from public life, and settled in Easton. He died in February, 1781, aged sixty-five years.
James Wilson, a signer of the declaration of independence, was born in Scotland, in 1742, and emigrated to America in 1766. Soon after his arrival he com
menced the study of law, and fixed his residence in Philadelphia. He was a distinguished supporter of the American cause, was active in
framing the federal constitution, and was eventually appointed, by Washington, one of the judges of the supreme court of the United States. He died at Edenton, N. C., Aug. 8, 1798, at the house of his friend Judge Iredell, in the fifty-sixth year of his age.
George Ross, a signer of the declaration of independence, was born in New Castle, Del., in 1730. He was the son of an Episcopal clergyman, and was educated
as a lawyer, and fixed his residence at Lancaster, Pa. He embraced the patriotic cause, and was sent to the continental congress. Mr. Ross ever exercised an active sympathy
for the Indian tribes in his vicinity. He was an advocate for mild measures against the tories, or friends of the crown. He died in 1780, in the fiftieth year of his age.
Charles Stewart, commodore in the United States Navy, was born of Irish parentage, in Philadelphia, in 1778. He entered the navy as a lieutenant, and rendered valuable service in the war with Tripoli. In 1813 he was appointed to the command of the Constitution, with which he destroyed several British vessels. In 1815 he took the British sloops-of-war Cyane and Levant, mounting unitedly 55 guns, after a sharp conflict of 40 minutes. In 1837 he succeeded Commodore Barron in command of the navy-yard at Philadelphia.
Annexed is a view of the residence of Gen. Anthony Wayne, of revolutionary memory. It is a solid structure of stone, yet standing in Chester county, about 25
miles south-west of Philadelphia, and near the old Paoli Tavern.
The fearless courage and desperate energy of Wayne, earned for him the title of Mad Anthony. He was born in Easttown, in Chester county, in 1745, and was educated as a land-surveyor. In 1773 he was elected to the legislature of Pennsylvania, and at the outbreak of the revolution was commissioned as colonel, and soon after became a brigadier. His valor and skill were conspicuous in various actions.
In 1779 he made a night attack upon Stony Point, on the Hudson, and took the entire garrison prisoners. It was one of the most brilliant achievements of the war, and, next to Washington, rendered him the most popular man in the army. After the defeat of St. Clair by the western Indians, in 1791, Wayne made a campaign against the Indians, and achieved a great victory over them in 1794, at the Battle of the Fallen Timbers, near the site of Toledo, Ohio. The next year he concluded a peace with the North-western tribes, and died in 1796, at Presque Isle, now Erie, Pa.
Thomas Mifflin, major-general under Washington, was born at Philadelphia, in 1744, was bred a merchant, and in 1774 was a delegate to congress. When the news of the battle of Lexington was received, he roused his fellow-citizens to action, and was soon in person at the siege of Boston, as a major. At the age of 32 he was appointed a brigadier, and late in 1776, when torpor and discouragement appeared to have seized the nation, he went through Pennsylvania and roused the people by his persuasive eloquence to a new effort. In 1783 he was again elected to congress, and was chosen its president. He was afterward a member of the convention which framed the federal constitution, took an active part in suppressing the Whisky Insurrection, was 9 successive years governor of the state, and died in 1800.
David Ritten house, the eminent mathematician, was born in Roxborough, near Philadelphia, in 1732, and was apprenticed to a clock and mathematical instrument maker. At 28 years of age he went to Philadelphia, where he pursued his mechanical business, giving his leisure to mathematics and astronomy. On the death of Franklin, he was chosen president of the American Philosophical Society. His fame was now world-wide. In 1792 he was appointed first director of the mint. He died in 1795, aged 64 years. On one occasion he had calculated the transit of Venus across the sun. He stood watching the event, when, as the disks of the two planets touched at precisely the calculated moment, such was his excitement that he fainted.
Peter Muhlenberg, major-general in the revolution, was the son of Dr. Melchior Muhlenberg, founder of the Lutheran Church in America, and was born at Trappe, in Montgomery county. At the outbreak of the revolution, he was pastor of a church in Woodstock, Va., where he entered the pulpit for the last time to preach upon the duties men owe to their country. In the course of his sermon, he told his hearers that "there was a time for all things—a time to preach and a time to fight, and now was the time to fight." After the sermon, he stripped off his gown, showed his commission as a colonel, and ordered the drummers to beat up for recruits. He had no difficulty in forming his regiment—his parishioners crowding to his standard in great numbers. He was in service all through the war, being in several battles, and conducting himself with the warm commendation of Washington. After the war he was elected vice-president of Pennsylvania, and served in various high offices—was senator in congress, collector of the port of Philadelphia, etc. He died in 1807.
Hugh Brady, major-general in the United States army, was born in Pennsylva nia, in 1768; entered the army and was an ensign in Wayne's Indian campaign. He was a colonel at Lundy's Lane and Chippewa, and there distinguished himself. He died at Detroit, in 1851, aged 83 years.
Stephen Decatur, commodore in the United States Navy, says Fennimore Cooper, "was a Philadelphia bred sailor.” His grandfather was an Italian, who emigrated to Newport, Rhode Island, in the palmy days of that old city. His father was a native of Newport; but his distinguished son was born in 1779, on the eastern shore of Maryland, whither his mother had retired during the occupancy of Philadelphia by the British. His exploits in the wars with the Barbary powers, are well known, and "gave him rank among the noblest spirits of the age. Among all the heroes which our navy has produced, the memory of Decatur is probably cherished more than that of any other in connection with the idea of heroic dar. ing and chivalrous impulse. He fell in a duel with Commodore Barron, in 1819, at the early age of 40 years. The personal appearance of Decatur was so strking that he at once riveted the attention of every one who saw him. "He was below the middle size, but of a remarkably compact and symmetrical form. He was broad-shouldered, full-chested, thin in the flank: his eye was black, piercing, and lit with a spark of fire: his nose was thin and slightly hooked; his lips were firm, his chin small, but smartly developed. His whole face was long and bony; his complexion swarthy, his hair jet black, and twisted in ropy curls down his forehead and over his ears."
James Biddle, commodore in the United States Navy, was born in Philadelphia, in 1783; entered the navy as a midshipman, and was one of the captives in the frigate Philadelphia, taken by the Tripolitans. In the war of 1812 he rendered valuable services to his country. In 1845 he ratified a treaty with China, as United States Commissioner; visited Japan in the Columbus, 74; and commanded the squadron on the west coast of Mexico during the Mexican war. He died in 1848.
Joseph Reed was born in Trenton, in 1741 ; educated at Princeton, and settled in Philadelphia. In 1775 he was the aid and secretary of Washington; in 1776 was adjutant-general of the American army; in 1778 he was a member of congress, at which time he uttered to a British commissioner these memorable words: "I am not worth purchasing; but, such as I am, the king of Great Britain is not rich enough to do it!" From 1778 to 1781, he was president of Pennsylvania, and died in 1785, at the age of 44 years.
Hugh Breckenridge was born in Scotland, and at five years of age came with his father to the barrens of York county. He was educated at Princeton, and obtained a license to preach. In 1777 he was a chaplain in the army; lived in camp, preached to the soldiers, and went with them to battle, as in the time of the Covenanters. He afterward became a lawyer, and in 1781 crossed the mountains to Pittsburg, and soon rose to the head of the bar in western Pennsylvania. He took an active part in the Whisky Insurrection, siding with the insurgents so as to keep them within the bounds of the law. He eventually became a judge of the supreme court of the state, and died in 1816. Mr. Breckenridge was a humorous writer, and a man of great strength and brilliance of character. His Modern Chivalry, a comic and satirical work of a political nature, gained him considerable reputation.
Robert Fulton, the first inventor who succeeded in convincing mankind of the practicability of steam navigation, was born of Irish parentage, in Little Britain, Lancaster county, in 1765. At the age of 21 years he went to London to receive instruction in portrait painting, from Benjamin West. Abandoning the profession, he turned his attention to civil engineering, and resided in Paris, with Joel Barlow, seven years. With the pecuniary aid of Robert R. Livingston, he navigated the Seine with a steamboat in 1803; and coming to America under his patronage, he built a steamboat on the Hudson, in 1807, called the Clermont, which made the voyage from New York to Albany in 36 hours, against wind and tide, and thus completed his triumph and secured his fame. He died in 1815, aged 50 years.