Revolutionary War prisoners kept at camp in Lancaster.

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Revolutionary War prisoners kept at camp in Lancaster.  - NOTES AND QUERIES. Historical, Blotcrapliloal...
NOTES AND QUERIES. Historical, Blotcrapliloal and Genealogical. CXLV1I. An Uniqtjb ahd Extbaokdinaby Cabs. There is living to day m an interior town of Pennsylvania a gentleman whose brother fought and was killed in the battle of German town October 4, 1777118 years ago. This gentleman was born in 1812, and is therefore 83 yearB old. His birth occurred thirty - five years after the battle, and the brother who lost his life, aged 18, was the oldtst son of his father, who had twenty - four children, and the gentleman referred to was the yoangest. We are safe In affirming there is not a similar case m Pennsylvania or anywhere else. The gentleman referred to in foregoing ia Moses Chamberlain, Eiq . of MUton, r. (See Linn's "Annals of the Buffalo Valley," p. 440). IHK lUAttCASTBB BARUACK8, ttae British and Hessian Prls - e were Detained Burins the Revolution. For the interesting details which follow, the readers of Note and Queries are indebted to Mr. 8. M. 8ener,of Lancaster. Daring the Revolutionary War Lancaster was a noted station for the detention of prisoners, being convenient to the cap itals, and yet not so close to the scene of the military operations, which would have rendered it unsafe. At one time in 1777 as many as two thousand prisoners were detained at Lancaster, and the farmers became apprehensive lest an outbreak should occur among them, but their fears were never realized. Many of the prisoners were poorly off, some of them lacking shoes and stockings, and the women and children being poorly clad. Bluff Mathias Slough many a time relieved them from starvation when the Government agent became stubborn and had cut off their supplies and rations. The men were quartered at the barracks and the cflacors mostly in private houses on parole of honor. Subsequently, Mr. Slough was remunerated and also commended for his action in feeding the prisoners, by the Council addressing him a letter in which it was stated "as men they have a right to the claims of humanity ; as countrymen, though enemies, they claim something more. You have, therefore, the thanks of Con drees." The parole signed by the officers was as follows: . L , being a prisoner in the United Colonies of America, do upon the honor of a gentleman, promise that I will not go into or near any seaport town, nor farther than six miles distant from Lancaster without leave of the Continental Congress or the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania, and that I will carry on no political correspondence whatever on the subject of the dispute between Great Britain and the Colonies so long as I remain a prisoner." The barracks was located st the northwest corner of Walnut and Duke streets, and the prison or goal in which large numbers were also confined was the sow - back house on Middle street, which was removed when Shippen street extended in August, 1886 This building had originally been erected as a barrack? for General Porbet troops on their return in 1759 from Port Pitt. It was in ibis prison that Captain Andrew Lee was con fined, in disguise, as a British prisoner and discovered tae mannrr of the escape therefrom of a large number of prisoners. General Hazen was in command of the post The men bad been aided in their escape by a half - wilted old woman, who lived near the prison and sold candy and small beer for a living. Lee was subsequently made a major for hia prowess. The fort and stockade were located in the northern section of the borough, and in reference thereto the following letter, which was received by the Provincial Council, is interesting : . "Lanoastbb, December 5, 1755. Hokokbd Sib: The fort we have agreed to build, is as follows : For the stockade, the logs split in the middle, and set on end, three feet in the ground, placed on the north side of the town, between Qieen and Duke streets; with car - tains 100 feet. The planks of the basiiona. 16 feet; and the saws of said bastions, 30 feet each. x ours, c , E. Shiffen. James Hamilton, Esq., BushhiU, Lancaster." In 1776 Captain Huddy had been executed by the British in violation of Military lav, and it was ordered that one of the British officers confined at Lancaster should be chosen as a lex talionis in retaliation therefor. The drawing occirrd at the "Grape Hotel," in the presence of Brigadier General Hazen, by Colonel George Gibson, Captain White, Mr. Wirlz and Major Gordon, of the British prisoners. The lot fell to Captain Asgill, who was the youngest officer among the British prisoners. Through the interposition of Major Gordon and the French Minister, General Washington pardoned Asgill. This Major James Gordon (Earl Gordon, was not exchanged until long after the surrender of Corn wal lis, and Mr. George Steinman. of this city, has in his posse - sion a letter written by bim dated Lancaster, February 11, 1782, in which he begs leave of Brigadier U - eneral JSdward Hand to go to New York for money for the British prisoners under his care ia the Lancaster barracks. This shows that he must have circulated from Lancaster, always doing good for his fellow prisoners. Probably the first British prisoners brought to Lancaster were those f rem the 7th and 26th regiments, who had been captured at St. Johns, and who. on December 21, 1775, signea a parole of honour. The officers who had signed this parole were Charles Asgill, Francis William Kin - near, T. Newmaich, James William Bail - lie, John Despard, Wm. C. Hughes, George Peacock, M. W. Duff, and Joseph Campbell, of the 26th regiment; John Stronge, D. McDonnell,E. P. Willington, Robert Thomas, and James Gordon, of the 7th regiment; alBO, by Captain Daniel Robertson, of the Royal Emigrants. The same parole was signed in February, 1776, by Capt. J.Livingston and Ed. Thompson, of the 26th regiment, and by Lieut. P. An - struther and Lieut. John Andre, of the 7th regiment. This detachment of prisoners consisted of several hundred , and with them were sixty - six women and one hundred and twenty - five children. Among the officers, It is noticed, were Lieutenant John Andre (afterwards Major) and Earl Gordon (Major James Gordon). As will be noticed later on, in March, 1776, Gordon was sent to York and Andre to Carlisle. Andre was subsequently exchanged and turned up later on in the disgraceful affair with Benedict Arnold, and was hung on October 2, 1780, at Tappan. His remains were removed from Tappan and taken to England in 1821, and a monument in Westminster Abbey tells his sad story. While in Lancaster, Andre was an inmate of Caleb Cope's housu, at Lime and Grant streets, owned by heirs of Hon. A. Herr Smith, deceased. The prole paper of Andre was written by Jndge Yeats, and is in possession of Simon Gratz, Esq , of Philadelphia. While at Cope's.XAndre frequently played marbles with the boys, and also drew a sketch of his English home, which has been pres - rvnd. He took quite a fancy to Thomas p. Cope, son of Caleb. Andre was the arUt who sketched the costumes for the "Mrschianz in Philadelphia. He was only twenty - nine when executed. John Despard, another of the oiisinm was hung in England in 1803 for hiving aided in a movement to murder the King. In January, 1776, it was reported to the General Cmrpiues that the soldier prisoners at Lancaster make frequent applications to be suffered to ealiat with recruiting parties, and that it had been discouraged, but that two mea had been euffjred to enlist with Captain Watson before it was known by the Local Oommiitee. Captain Kinnear, of the Heventh regiment, their former captain, showed considerable warmth and excitement on I heir enlistment. I In March, 1776, the officers and prisoners in Lancaster were removed to Carlisle and York, "for the ereater safety of the I public," as it had been reported that the conduct or some ox me omcers was reprehensible." In pursuance of this order of Congress, Capts. Strong and Livingston, Lieuis. Willington and Thompson, of the Twenty - sixth regiment; Ensign Gordon, Captain Robertson,, of the Royal Emigrants ; Captain Chase, of the Navy, and servants were sent to York on March 19th, the others being sent to Carlisle. Lieut. McDonnell,of the 26th, was in Philadelphia by permission of Congress, as was also Captain Campbell, wtaosu wife was sick in that city. In April, 1776, it was reported that the small - pox had broken out among the pris oners confined at York. Under orders of Congress $2 per week was allowed for the support of each pris - oner. In the latter part of 1776, a number of Hessian prisoners were sent to Lancaster, and in January, 1777, it was represented to President Wharton that they had considerable plunder in their possession. Accordingly, Messrs. Low man, Hnbley and Bansman had the Hessian prisoners paraded and their baggage and apartments inspected, and they reported that they "found nothing bearing the appearance of plunder excepting two or three pieces of old brass desk mounting not worth taking away." tine or mem had a sheet which he had bought at Princeton, and another had a silver spoon which he had brought from Germany, and as it "bore the marks of age and waB of German workmanship," the committee left him keep it. One of the Hessians had given silver watoh, ohain and seal, the latter with the initials "P. W. M." on it, to an officer of the militia to have repaired. Another officer of the militia had purchased an English watch for $29 from a sergeant of the Hessians. Both of the militia officers were directed to keep thce watches until farther orders. About the same time it was decided to have the prisoners paraded once a week and their names called over. - Accordingly lists of them were made out by the sergeants and at the same time the tradesmen were singled oat. There were a large number of these, and they were satisfied "to work for small wages among the residents rather than be kept confined in the barracks." In the latter part of January, 1777. another large number of Hessian and Wal - decker prisoners arrived at Lancaster and were quartered at the barracks. They were brought tinder escort of Captains Jordan and Miller. At the time of the removal of the British prisoners, in March. 1776. a few were left at Lancaster on account of being sick, and in January. 1777, they were removed by order of the Council, as the rooms they had occupied were needed for the Heesiaos. Thoe removed with the rear guard of Colonel McCoy's battalion were Oliver Whittle and John Whittle, of the 26'.h regiment, and Robert Ross, James Roes and William Boodey, of the 7th regiment ; Mary Boodey and Mary Stewart, women ; Mary Boodey, Ann B ddcy, James Boodey, Mary Stewart, Thomas Whittle, Sarah Whittle, Margaret Whittle and Catharine Whittle, children. Daring the same month of January, 1777, e ght hundred and thirty Hessians also arrived in charge of Captain Murray. They were placed in the barracks, seven teen in a room, and carpenters were put to work to lay flooring ia other buildings to accommodate them. The Revs. Helmath, of the Lutheran church, H&ltenstein, of the Calvinists, acd Heyney, of the Mora vians, were appointed to preach sermons to them. THE KVASS FAMILY. I. John Evans, the pioneer settler, acd head of this particular family, was sup - rosed to be a native of Radnorshire. Wales. He ha.1 considerable means, aad he brought with him a family of skven persons, namely, iiis father, mother, wife and daughter, brother and sister. The names of none of these psrtie. esc - pt John, the juneer, is certainly known to his dascendanls. Tbe family were Btptis's. Tnev arnvd in Philadelphia ia the year 1695 He rented a house on iba 'west side of the Schuylkil', amosz soma Welsh families. whtre he intended t temmn until ho pur chafed a plant - ti.!n. His Welsh neifhbr nc ;mmended the Welsh Se - .t'.emeat, afterwards embraced within the limits of sh? 8 ate of Delaware, bear " the boundary line of Pennsylvania and Maryland This was a Bipist sa tlemeni.. where they had a church of that denomination, to which church tbe EvanB belonged. He rode on horseback down to this settlement from the Schuylkill. He purchased two hundred acres of land, upon which was a small dwelling and some other improvements. Ia the spring of 169S he moved his family to and took possession of his ntw purchase. Hia brother, who was a carpenter, was of great assistance in enlarging his dwelling and adding othei improvements. Shonly after he settled there his daughter and only child diedi In the year 1700 a son was born, which he named John About the year 1714, Mr. Evans purchased four hundred acres of land along White Clay cretk, in London Britain township, Chester county, Penn 'a. About one - fifth of this tract was meadow land. which laid at the lower end of his purchase. The balance of the land, which laid on both sides of the creek, was very hilly and heavily timbered, and but a very little part of it was tillable at that time. The meadow spoken of was sometimes overflowed by the cretk. About the center of this meadow he erected a substantial - dwelling and a grist and saw mill , close to his hoaee, as early as 1714, and perhara a few jears earlier. His brother also assisted in the erection of the mill. The location, as it appears now, to any other person than a native of the hills of Wales, must have been a most uninviting one. He left a comparative level f vm and easily cultivated one ia the Welsh tract for this wild and dreary bdoi. He controlled the water power of White Clav creek on both sides wh:cn anorata mill sites, which may have had something to do with hi selection of the land. His son, John, fl700) when he grew to manhood was of great assistance in the management of the farm in the Welsh Tract, acd the farm and mill on White Clay creek. The settlers in the Welsh tract in Pan - cader, Delaware, built a Baptist church at Iron Hill in tbe year 1725. After John Evans purchased land at White Clay creek a number of the Welsh settlers in Pancader moved to London Britain, Chester county. Pa. Their settlement being about nine miles from Iron Hill, the members of the latter place concluded to build another church at White Clay creek to accommodate the settlers in that vicinity. On August 4 1725. Mr. Evans donated several acres of land, a few hun dred yards west of hia mansion and griet mill, upon which there was a number of magnificent oak trees, still standing. Tbe first church building was doubtless constructed of logs taken from the surrounding forest, and was erected about or pricr to the year 1730. The present structure of stone as represented iu the above piotare. KumftuimTHCus.niuiiflHiajRiiiniJiEi'jm WE AHER1CM TOBACCO COMPMY. SliCCESSCa WtW YOWH A. ABSOLUTELY PURE THE OLD RELIABLE SWEET CAPORAL CIGARETTE Has stood the Test of Time M OR f JHN.. A LL OTHER BRANDS COMBINED mm

Clipped from
  1. Harrisburg Telegraph,
  2. 27 Apr 1895, Sat,
  3. Page 3

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  • Revolutionary War prisoners kept at camp in Lancaster.

    oldisbest – 26 Dec 2013

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