Lancaster Intelligencer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania on October 16, 1915 · 5
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Lancaster Intelligencer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania · 5

Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 16, 1915
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H. Frank Eshleman's Address at the Postlethwaite Celebration Address by H Esq., of Lancaster Exercises, October 8, 1915, by Lan caster County Historical Society marking the place of Lancaster county's first courts, in 1729. Frank Eshleman. s In 1721 Governor Keith and members "Now who were those old Oonesto- Bar. at Unveiling of council and 80 horsemon held a j ga neighbors ot Postlethwaite s time." "When the county was created, in 1729, and her first courts were held here, this was not simply a wilder-1 thirty others, held a treaty house, at which a large audience of the Mennonites and other settlers were present, with the Conestogas and Iroquois Indians, and again in 1722. Also in 1728 Governor Gordon and members of council and about here at ness inhaDitea only Dy inuians. Neither were the other valleys and hillsides south, east, north and west, to the edge of the Susquehanna, barren of civilized life and progress at that time. "In 1729, the actual heart or cen-trr or Gid Conestoga the land which our eyes now actually behold, two or three miles in all directions was dotted with homes of civilized man built a dozen to fifteen years before. Off to the east, in Pequea's valley, was the twenty-year-old German-Swiss settlement, with Strasburg "and the house of Andrew Cornish, a mile from Indiantown, and also at Indian town. Thus we see a great deal of activity was going on here before 1729. The Ancient Road "In 1729 an ancient Swede road, from the lower Delaware, reached into Conestoga. The "Great Cones-toga Road," the first great highway from Philadelphia to Susquehanna, stretched out across our new shire over thirty miles, from Octoraro to Conestoga, since 1714, just where it lies today, before your eyes now "Willow Street as sentinels at its j over 201 years old. And for three eastern and western limits. To the i years, the new road from the Earls west, the Conestoga Manor laid out to the head of Pequea, had been in and settled at least ten years before use. Several mills were in operation 1729, was smiling and blooming under I in different sections of the county. the industrial touch and thrifty care , But while all this development had of the sturdy German-Swiss Mennon- ite brethren of that great garden. Off northwest, ten miles, Wright's Ferry, just established a year or two before 1729, was the healthy nucleus of the future Columbia; while farther on, up the Susquehanna, rugged Donegal was well filled at least a decade by the Scotch-Irish pioneers, who worshipped, and watched and worked and warred, while the German-Swiss tilled the interior valleys. The Hempflelds and Manheim had felt the pulse of civilized life a fow short years. The Earls had begun to awaken under the magic of the white man's plow. Lampeter and Strasburg regions had ten years at least of progress. The valley of the Octoraro could boast of over one hundred farms. Old Drumore and Martic, carrying within them their unborn daughters, Little Britain, Fulton and Providence, had throbbed through a dozen years or more with the active and hardy life of the buoyant Scotch-Irish. In fact, in 1729, this region of Susquehanna, Conestoga, Pequea, Octoraro and Chickies, just formed Into a new county, had about 3,500 white inhabitants. "Considerable history was made here before 1729. In 1638 Clay-bourne traded in this section. Forty years before Penn reached Pennsylvania the Sweedes carried on commerce upon Conestoga river with the Indians. About 1684 Penn himself visited this region. In 1090 he laid out plans for a small county on the taken place, as we have noticed, in various sections of the county before 1729, Lancaster town was not yet in existence; all there was of that town then was a house or two, built a year before. This region then was to become, for a little while, the county-seat, because it was about fifteen years older than Lancaster. But Conestoga was soon outstripped when the Hamilton boom took place, where Lancaster now stands. "Who were the Conestoga neighbors in 1729? When did they come here? Where did they live? "The assessed inhabitants of what is now Lancaster county, in 1718, were 129 male heads of families and 12 single men, or 141 in all, about one-third English and two-third Ger man. But there were some welsh of Caernarvon and whites of other sections also here. In 1722 the most thickly settled sections of Lancaster county were known as Conestoga Donegal and Pequea; and they in cluded seven-eighths of all the white people then in what is now our county. Donegal in 1728 had 92 male heads of families; Pequea had 42 and Conestoga had 244, in 1724. Pequea embraced the land about the headwaters of Pequea creek. Donegal included all west of main Conestoga river (principally north of the site of Lancaster), and in it lived a considerable number of German-Swiss, though most of the inhabitants were Scotch-Irish. Conestoga embraced all of our present county from the Susquehanna from and below the mouth Susauehanna, extending from the ! of Pequea creek up to Columbia, ana mouth of Conestoga, fifteen miles up eastward of that width beyond Stras- the river, in which he designed a model city, to be a second Philadelphia, and drew up a complete plan of government for the same, which he recorded in 1703, in Philadelph . . In 1701 Penn made a second journey to the Susquehanna, coming by way o Chesapeake Bay and going home by traveling up the Conestoga and on to its source and then by French Creek to Schuvlkill and back to Philadel phia. In 1706 Governor Evans and j Conestoga neighbors, we shall try to members of council, etc, made a treaty with the Indians, here and at mouth of Pequea. The next year. 1707, the governor wun uoi. rrencn, Mitchel, Bazelion and others came here to make a second treaty and particularly hold an important meeting at Washington Boro. In 1710 Governor Gookin and French and Worley visited the Indians here in a treaty. In 1711 another Indian treaty was held at Indiantown, partly to get them to agree not to harm the Swiss Mennonites, who had recently settled on Pequea. In 1717, just as settlement by whites here took shape, a great treaty was held at Indian-town, between the governor and coun cil of Pennsylvania and the chiefs of the Conestogas, the Delawares and I While the Pequea colony, at willow the Shawanoes and the Ganawese to Street, were all Swiss Mennonites, keep land matters peaceable. In 1720 j the settlement on Conestoga consisted I James Logan and his party came nero oi a ocotcu-insn anu iiigiisu core, and held an Indian treaty at John bordering on both sides of that river, Oartlidge's house, to prevent these j surrounded by scores of German-Indians joining other Indians in war. I Swiss on all sides. big treaty here at John Cartlidge's ; Who lived within a radius of five or six miles from this place lu the days when our first courts were held here and before? "Of English and Scotch-Irish residents, starting with John Postlethwaite and his grown-up son William, and passing up the Conestoga river to the eastern side dwelling in consecutive order on or near the 'Great Road,' there were: James Hendricks, John Hendricks, Tobias Hendricks, Thomas Baldwin, Thomas Gale, George Gray, John Linville (all owners of parts of the James Hendricks tract). John Farrer, Richard Grist, John Grist. William Hughes Edmund Cartlidge. John Powell, Thomas Doyle. Stephen Atkinson and James Lewis. The Scotch-Irish and English people across from the above Postle-thwaite's, on the Manor side, were: Thomas and Reese Price, Alexander and Samuel Ritchey, Joshua Low, Daniel McConnell and Alexander Beuse practically all of whoso lands adjoined the stream. "On the Conestoga side, goingdown the stream from Postlethwaite's, there were Robert Wilkins, Thomas Wilkins, David Priest, James Dawson, Richard Carter, Patrick Keregan. And somewhat separated from the others and over toward Pequea creek, near Susquehanna, were Peter Kline, Petor Creamer, Francis Worley, Joseph Rebman and Robert Baker. "Going down the stream on the Manor side, there were Samuel Bit chey, Andrew Cornish and John Cart ledge as English neighbors. "Over to the east, on Pequea creek, the English and Scotch-Irish beginning about the neighborhood of Marticville and going down the creek, were: William and Robert Middleton, Albert Hendricks, William Sherrell, David Jones, Samuel Jones John Robinson, John McCreary practically all on the east side of the creek, and David Jones on the west side. "Off to the west, on and near Sus quehanna river, beginning about Wash ington Boro and extending up and down the river, the English inhabitants were: Edward Smout, James Patterson, Moses Comb, Martha Bezelion, James Letort, Thomas and Robert Wilkins, Jonah Davenport, John Hendricks and the Chartler descendants. "About two miles southeast from where we now stand, extending along the northwest bank of the Pequea creek, from the neighborhood of the 'Burnt Mill,' below Marticville, to near the Conestoga township line, there was a small Irish settlement, consisting in succession down stream, of Roland Ellis, Bollum Mc-Quire, John McDonald and Francis McDonald. "And adding both picturesque and weird romance and melancholy to it all, along a dashing run of water, flowing into Conestoga river from the west, on an eminence, about a mile west of John Cartlidge's farm, was the village of the ancient dusky neighbors of these new-comers, the Conestoga Indian town, penslvoly looking across the Conestoga Valley to Postlethwaite's hill and village on the east, Where their civilized successors ana new neighbors were gradually taking the place of these aborigines, who held forth here for centuries, and whose sun was now setting forever. "These then, together with the little Indian town in a loop of the Conestoga, near Atkinson's, up the stream, were the Scotch-Irish and English and aboriginal neighbors of ancient Conestoga, in the center of which we stand and hold our exercises this day. "Who were the German-Swiss neighbors of those English and Scotch-Irish making up the center of this ancient section between and about 1715 and 1729? Off toward sunrise, with its western limit at West Willow, was the Pequea Swiss colony; south of it Amos Strettler's 3380 acres, and southwest of that, Herr and Kendig's 5,000 acres. "Above Postlethwaite's, and be tween the English on Conestoga river on the west and the Swiss tract and Herr and Kendig on the east, coming down from West Willow and the Londons, or Estaugh tract of over 8,000 acres), toward the spot whore we now stand, where Harnish, and Herr, and Schlagel, and Pretter, and Samuel Gulden and John Burk-holder, and George Kendrlck, and John Miller, and Christ Herr, and a brother-in-law of John Llnvill. Tobias Hendricks and Andrew Cornish were the Conestoga members of the county's first bench of judges. John Grist was tried for attempting to dispossess Indians from their land. Sehlagol. Worley and Atkinson all had mills in the Conestoga. James Patterson could light as well as pray: when his ferry, near Washington Borough wa'i interferred with, M do James Patterson, at 50; James Letort. ' largo regions about this place not Benedict Veurich, and Hans Moyor, clared to defend it, he would at 100; and Peter Ba.illon, at 154 pounds. Among the Palatines, the largest land owners and the wealthiest men in 1721 about Conestoga were Christian Herr, 32 pounds; John Herr. the same: Martin Kendrtokt, 0: Christ Kranciscus, 30: John Huek-waltor, 40; John Line, 55; Jacob Kemlrick. 10; Isaac LoJ'over, 50; and Daniel Kerreo. 50 pounds. FHMM burg, Blrd-in-Hand, the Earls, Eph- rata, etc. "Let us see who the old Conestoga neighbors were. They were, in nationality, Scotch-Irish, English and German-Swiss. They were, religiously, Episcopalian, Quakers, Presbyterians and Mennonites. They were, industrially, farmers, merchants, millers, blacksm ths, wheelwrights and tradesmen. In discussing these old keep within a radius of five or six miles of the spot where we now stand. "Let us draw a picture of this region all about us, within that radius, as it was 186 to 200 years ago. This is the 200th anniversary of the taking up the central tract of Old Conestoga, where we now stand -the beginningof the little group of houses called Com-estoga town, started in 1715 by James Hendricks, who, in that year, secured the right to 1166 acres of land, reaching from Rock Hill up Conestoga river eight miles almost to Wabank and east along the south of " Steh-man's Run' nearly to New Danville, Old Mennonite Church. "This settlement differed from the Pequea settlement to the east. and Melchoir Breneman, and Michael Shenk, and Christopher Franclscus, and Jacob Ashleman, and Tobias Stehman and others. The Gorman-Swiss "The German-Swiss neighbors bo- low Postlethwaite s, east of the Con estoga, across to the Pequea, were: Jacob Miller, Michael Sprongle, Hans Keagy, Frederick Maynard. Benedict and Jacob Eshleman, John Stonenian, Christian Burkholder, Henry Stehman, Abram Burkholder and a few others. "Across the Conestoga, the Manor, as far north as a line extending from Millersville to Washington Borough, had been generally settled for 12 years in 1729, by the Gorman-Swiss. Passing from the Conestoga river westward, In tiers, read from north to south, by great large tracts were: Christian Herr, Abram Herr, John George Seeger, Michael Moyer (whoso farm of 217 acres coincided with the whole of Millersville today west of Manor township, or George street) Henry Kllheffer, Rudy Herr, John Shank, Christian Martin, Jacob Hos-tettor (containing Windom). John Herr, Abram Herr, Michael Shenk, Michael Baughman (whoso farm In cluded Letort), Jacob Brubakor and Michael Moyer (whoso farm of 270 acres In partnership bounded Indian-town on the east), John Shank and Martin Funk's 480 acres (whoso joint tract included Central Manor), Andrew Kauffman and Michael Baugh-man's western farm, which readied to the Indiantown 500 acres, and bounded it on the north. Two other ancient Manor tracts lay on tho west bank of the Conestoga Peter Leman's tract bounding the Cartledge tract on the south, and south of Lemon's, Michael Creiter's tract of 540 acres this last named extending from the road at the upper end of Safe Harbor in Manor, to tho road near the lower end of Safe Harbor leading westward into Manor by the Safe Harbor school house. "The large tract, stretching from Washington Borough to Cresswell, of 3,000 acres, extending eastward nearly to central .Manor ana Letort, was re served by the Penns, prior to 1729. And the remainder of tho Manor, south of Cresswell and west of tho Indiantown (except such tracts on tho river as a few English and Scotch- Irish had taken up) was all vacant in 1729. "Thus we have traced out the Eng lish and German-Swiss neighbors, for several miles in every direction, from Postlothwaite's in 1729; and for a dozen or fifteen years prior thereto. Out of tho 285 heads of families and single male adults in and about old Conestoga, in 1726 or 1728, nearly half of thorn lived them as early as 1718, as the assessments show. There fore, in 1729, a groat portion of tho people who lived round about hero were old residents. Some of them lived there since 1712. "Those desiring more accurate information as to the location of the several tracts and as to who dwell on those tracts today, will be aided by consulting the map accompanying this paper and the key explaining tho same so far as the map includes tho tracts mentioned. "Many interesting personal incidents could bo told about most of those old Conestoga pioneers, if time and the occasion permitted it. A few can be mentioned however. Postlethwaite died a few years too early to make golden returns out of his land investment. He borrowed 247 pounds on his 496 acres and failed, and it was sold for 500 pounds, and a few years later tho purchaser sold it in parts, receiving over 3,000 pounds for it. Thomas Baldwin was a son-in-law of James Hendricks and his knees. wade Win. this we see that Letort and llazillon i sections. were the best rated men of the taken up. Tin; region of Conestoga Center was not opened up until 20 years later. Much of the land about, shenk's Kerry was not taken up till 1750. Tho Cresswell and Highville region also oponud up late. Coleman-villo and Martic Forge lay dormant also for ten or twelve years after the time of the I'ostlothwalto Courts. The same is true of other adjacent in blood up to Clark, In his will, gave his wife an j Hums here. estate conditioned on "Christian be-1 "In religious profession, as wo have havior." Daniel Proece, in his will, said, Quakers. Episcopalians, l'resby-glves a certain daughter a full share ! terlans and Mennonites flourished if she marries a Dutchman, but only j here. Tho Quakers' leaders were a shilling if she marries an Irishman. James, John, Tobias and Albertus Francis Worley was an lmuortant fac-! Hendricks, Francis and Susanna Wor- tor in all Indian treaties. John Cart- ley and their family, vl. : Rebecca, ledge was given his laud at 20 per: Mary, Caleb. Brosey and Henry Wor-1 cent, otT on condition he looked Art or ; ley, John and l-.dniund cartledge. the weHare of Indiantown. Samuel j Thomas and Elizabeth Gale-, Samuel Gulden was a Swiss Mennonite min-1 Jones. Joshua Low and a few others, ister and also John Estaugh. Herri "These Quakers were the soul hern and Kendig who received tin- 000 branch of the Quaker migration from acres of land, ow ned everything on j old Chester. They were likely, the Pequea creek below Beaver down to j earlier branch arriving ab.nit or before Marticville. They sold it at great i 1718. Tho northern branch followed profit to many holders. John Wright to the Columbia locality "Christopher Franclscus was noted about 1720. Sutllelent proof that for killing panthers and wolves In they came from old Chester lies in the woods and was a reputed giant Mart Mylin started brick making In 1724. "When we turn to tho public activi ties of these early neighbors of Conestoga, we find that 38 of them wore signers of the petition, in 1728, to create tho county of Lancaster, out of 188 signers from the entire county, or over one-fifth. This section furnished more signers according to the area than any other. Jones, tho Hendricks, Postlethwaites, Galos, Swifts, Linvllls, AVorleys, Pattersons, Me-Currys, Bakers, Mlddletons and Wll-klnsos, Hugh Willis Mitchell, Brians, Powells and Ludford representing the English, and Stoneman, Stehman, Ferroo, Bar, Funk, Lemon, HaiiH-paekor, Mlllor and others representing tho German-Swiss, all signed it. "Tho Court of Records in Chester county, as to Conestoga township lu those days, shows that both the English and the Swiss took part in public affairs. Christopher Franclscus was constable In 1722 and '23; John Roberts, In 1724; Benedict Venrlck, In 1725; David Jones, in 1726-27-28 and 29. The constable of West Conestoga, in 1727, was Daniel Ashleman; and William Hughes, In 172S anil '29. Peter Worral. John Baldwin, Robert Carter, Thomas Lindley, Win. Hughes, John Carter, Samuel Lewis, John Baker and others, early Conestoga citizens, served on the grand juries and mado up petit Juries, etc., in 1720 to 1729. "Tho minutes of the county commissioners, from 1729 onward, show-also that Conestoga and her citizens were taking a leading part in the public affairs of the new county. "Tho steady growth of the ancient Conestoga region from the time when tho inhabitants were first assessed here, in 1718, is shown by tho assessments to be as follows: English, 43; single, 12, and Dutch, 8(1; total, 141; male heads and families and adults in 1718; 166 in 1719, the same in 1720; 142 Swiss and .r(i English in 1721, or 198 -06 in West Conestoga. and 148 in East Conestoga, or 211, in 1722. (The assessment of 1723 Is missing.) Two hundred and forty In 1724; 243 in 1725, and 2S5 in 1726. j From 1726 to 1729, when the county was organized, tho assessments of I Conestoga, Donegal and Pequea (all there was of now Lancaster county) are lost or destroyed. Anil since 1729 1 when our new county began its career, the assessments for nearly a score of years of practically the whole county are lost or destroyed and no copy or record of virtually any of them were ever made, except a fow appearing in Evans ami Ellis's history. Kjirly Assessments. "The assessment of 1721 shows tho valuation of the property ownod by the various citizens of Conestoga. In It we find that among the English, John Cartlidge was valued at 60 pounds; Francis Worley, 20; Robert Baker, at 31; John Gardner, at 24; the fact that Worley, Baldwin, Cartlidge. Hendricks, Llnvill, Hughes, Gale, Worrall and others all appear as residents of Chester lu the Chester Con my Recorder'! OfflCC records, from Hi'.m to 1720, ete. "Then, too, the Concord Quarterly mooting of Friends In anil about Philadelphia, in 1722, as shown by their minutes, resolyed that It was 'necessary to visit those Friends that are removed to Conestoga, etc.' " The Episcopalian branch was represented by John and William Postlethwaite and others. The society for the piiipegatlon of the gospel to foreign ports aided their movement to these regions. The Presbyterians living lu this old Conestoga region wore James Patterson, the Middle-tons, tho Wllkens, the Carters, tho l.indloyH, the Atkinsons, the Linvllls. the Evanses and others. "The Mennonites were the Gciinan-Swtss of the Manor anil In fail the other scores of them on all sides. "Somewhere In these valleys did these religious ancestors wordhip as early as 1718. The Mennonites worshipped here in some sort, of meeting house before Masonvllle church ground wivs given them out of the Michael Baughman trael before they received tho New Danville church grounds out of the Samuel Gulden tract; before Hans Boyer gave them " Beyer-land" and before Benedict Eshleman gave them "River Corner." "As to the Episcopalians, Hazard's Begister, Vol. 5, p. 21, tells us that, an E DisCO n a church was built In Conestoga In 1732. That may moan the Episcopal church at Ohurchtown, far UP the Conestoga valley. "The minutes of the Donegal Presbytery of 1732 and other records from the year 1725 onward, make reference to the Presbyterians of 'Conestoga;' and ministers were more or less regularly sent to them, at these dales. Somewhere here surely the Presbyterians i have mentioned worshipped. They did not, (except one or two) worship at Donegal, because Donegal itself refers to them as Presbyterians of 'Conestoga,' and sent, ministers to them. It, seems likely that, wherever they worshipped, thai, they were the predecessors and ancestors of the First Presbyterian church of Lancaster and moved in or began to worship there after the county government and other public county activities moved in from Conestoga, It Is certain that the calls for ministers by the 'Presbyterians of Conestoga' cease and tho calls for ministers by the 'Presbyterians of Lancaster' begin simultaneously, 1711 2. "As to the Quakers (who, next to tho Mennonites, were tho strongest sect, here, In earliest, times), ll seems they worshipped, either at Wright's Ferry (now Columbia), or at Bird-In-Hand, or both. These were their first known meeting houses near here. " I may stop long enough at this point to say that, In 1729, there were "I must stop also to observe the Influence of early land boundaries upon the public roads of today. In many cases tho division lines of the ancient tracts were used as roads and finally became the public highways, and are so today. Thus when you spin along those old highways, pray do not forgot that the roads became fixed whore they are simply because at tho beginning that road on which you pass (as well as other roads) nappe Red to be the dividing line between two large 500 aero farms, etc. The surveyor ran those lines as they are, so as to make tho first tracts abut properly on the great streams; and the whole plan of our principal roads grew from it. Such was the Conestoga neighborhood from 1715 to 1729 such the movements and activities and Incidents, In tho opening years of civilized life hero - and such were the old Conestoga neighbors, English, Scotch-Irish and Gorman-Swiss. I '.ngllsli Came. i "Very early in their careers, the English and Scotch Irish began moving up the river to Donegal, and Joined their brethren who first landed there. Pattersons, and Mlddletons, and Mitchell, and Hurts, and Gardners, and Wilkinson, among others moved (here from Martic and Conestoga before 1726. They continued moving out of Conestoga, out of Donegal, moving westward and south-westward; and by 1750, they and their descendants dwelt, numerously In the Cumberland Valley In now Went Virginia, In Western Pennsylvania, and along the Ohio. By that time, too, very few of thorn wore to bo found In Conestoga. Those Scotch- Irish and English followed tho frontier Hue as It moved westward they followed the political officers wherever they newly opened they followed and managed political affairs and public affairs. Ami thus it, happened that, they loft. Conestoga entirely. Not mm Scotch Irish or English Quaker name exists in the Conestoga or Manorreglon today. The race that, founded tho settlement and first managed Its affairs are now all gone; and no physical evidence remains today that this region ever had a Scotch-Irish and English admixture In Its origin. But. on the other hand, the C,erman-Sw i la who wore, practically, contemporaries of the Scotch-Irish and English who held the plow while the latter hold the Offices are hero in their descendants to I Ills day, Very early they began Inlying out their English and Scotch-Irish neighbors, and many patents issued to Gorman-Swiss settlers lor land warranted to Scotch-Irish and English holders, attest this fact. "And now our task Is done, leave these ancient Conestogas, Wo Scotch-Irish, English and (lornian-Hwlss neighbors and also their dusky Indian friends; who lived In peace. one with another for many years. The Indian anil tho Scotch-Irish, both have gone from Conestoga. Tho one to the 'Happy Hunting Ground,' and t ho other to regions whore tho Ger-man-Swiss did not hamper them. VOW knowledge of history and of tho Scotch-Irish character must help you determine where those regions are. Both those races are gone. But the stocky, steady Gorman-Swiss Is horo today -guarding tho graves of their fathers helping to feed the world fr,om tho soil heightening the glowing sunset ovor Conostoga's valley by reflecting upon the sky the lustre of their golden corn and "holding fast to that which Is good.'" II. FRANK ESHLEMAN. ." Address of Judge Charles I. Landis at the Postlethwaite Celebration Judge Landis in discussing "Postlethwaite's and the First Courts," .said : "Mr. President, and Ladles and Gentlemen: "Tfhe positive location of historical places and the narration of the public events which have arisen in md around them should always excite, our interest, and their value cannot be over-estimated by us. A full description of whatever peTtaina to our local history fixes it in permanent form for future reference, and thereby preserves facts, likely to b soon forgotten, for the generations yet to come. The members of tho Lancaster Historical Society merit commendation for the valuable work which they have acomplished lrt this direction, and now the good people of this vicinity, who have co-operated and aided in this celebration, are entitled for their efforts to a full operated in this celebration, are en-is upon this spot that the legal history of the County had its birth, ana that in the house within your sight the courts likely first undertook to administer justice, is it not fitting that the place be marked by a stons which will stand with the everlasting hills, upon which Is placed in tablet form the record of this important happening? By What Right? "By section 11 of Article I of the Constitution of Pa., it is declared that 'all courts shall be open; ana . every man for an Injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice administered without sale, denial, or delay.' In the history of the world, no matter whether a monarchlal or democratic form of government has been supreme, the preservation or liberty and property has ever boen vested in legal tribunals. The legislative branch of the government may pass ls.wn, but none of thos laws execute themselves. It is the courts who aire brought in to render legislative enactments effective, an the constitution itself must be Interpreted by judicial power. The courts are, therefore, the sheet anchor of the people's rights. Men may at times scoff and criticise, they may deride and censure the occunanls at judicial places, but they can never J escape the authority which has im-j posed In the judges the power to I supervise and control everything I they hold dear, even to life Itself. It is true that occasionally judges have abused their functions and have cruelly and unjustly administered tho law. Rarely, however, have such instances arisen. The history of our own and every other countiry is marked by upright lawgivers, who, like beacons on the shore, have given notice of the rocks and shallow.-, which lie along the way. Tho establishment of t.h0 courts in this county was, therefore, the most important event which has occurred within its history. "At the time of which we speak the judges were not necessarily lawyers, that is, men learned in tne law. Everything done by them was, however, conducted according to the well-known forms of the common law, as brought to the Provinco from England. A compotent number of justices were nominated and authorized in each county by the governor or lieutenant governor, and any three of them wero empowered to act. Under the act of May 10, 1729, which was entitled, ' An Act for erecting the upper parts of the Province of Pennsylvania lying towards Susquehanna, Conestogoe, Donegal, etc., into a county,' It wjis provided 'That all and singular the lands within the province of Penn- ! sylvania lying to the northward of I Octorara Creek and to tho westward I of a line of marked trees running from the north branch of the salu ; Oetoruira Creek northeasterly to the river Schuylkill, be erected into a county, and the same is hereby j erected Into a county, named and from henceforth to be called Lnncas-ter county; and the said Octorara Creek, the line of marked trees and ths river Schuylkill aforesaid shall be (the) boundary line or division between the said county and the counties of Chostor and Philadel phia.' By the second section of the Act It was declared that 'the said county of Lancaster shall have ana enjoy all and singular the jurisdictions, powers, rights, liberties, privileges and immunities whatsoever which any other county wltVIn tho province of Pennsylvania doth, may or ought to enjoy by any charter of privileges or the laws of this province or by any other ways or means whatsoever, excepting only in the number of representatives to serv in the general assembly.' And by the fifth section it was further enacted 'That the several courts of general quarter sessions of the peace ana goal delivery and the courts of common pleas for the said county of Lancaster shall be holden and kepr on the first Tuesday in the months of February, May, August and No- i vember in every year at some proper I place within the said county until a convenient court house shall be built I and when the same is built and I erected In the county aforesaid the J said several courts shall then bo j holden and kept at the said court house on the days before mentioned.' Caleb Pierce, John Wright, Thomas Edwards and James Mlt-i chell, or any three of them, were : authorized to purchase a piece ot ; land, to be approved by the gover-; nor, In trust and for the use of the said county, and thereon to erect ana build, or cause to be erected ana built, a court house and prison suf ficient to accommodate the publle service of the said county. For defraying the changes of purchasing the land and building and erecting the court house and prison, the commissioners and assessors of the sala county, or a majority of them, were required to assess and levy so much money as the trustees, or any thro j of them, should judge necessary! provided, however, that tho sum to bo raised should not exceed three ' hundred pounds, current money ot the province. By a Rubsoqucrrt Ac:, i passed February 6, 1731, the com- , misloners and assessors were auth orized to raise an additional sum or 500 pounds in the same manner, for the same purposes. Just a Court. "It must not, however, bo understood that the building and spot which wo are now marking was trio one to which this money was appll- i ed. 'While it is said in Rupp's His- j tory of Lancaster Coun'y that e temporary court house of logs was erected at Postlethwaite's, It would I appear more likely that the tavern 1 was so changed as to make It con- I venlent for the purpose of holding the courts, and this conclusion, has, i think, been generally adopted. 1 find in tho minute book of tho Com. niiwsloners of Lancaster County, tin. dor date of February 4, 1720, the toU lowing entry: 'Ordered that John I boundaries of the 'ownshlps, met at I Postlethwaite be allowed the sum o 11 19s lOd, being for his attendant; and provisions on the commissioners appointed by Governor and Council Postlethwaite's, and their report, which was presented to the justices at that same place, on August 5, 1 1 729, was confirmed. Postlethwaite for the running of the division line' was, in 1739, an Indian trader, as ho between the County of Chester and ! received a license for that year. He the County aforesaid. 11 19s 10a. was one of the commissioner 'hat And likewise the sum of 7 to be , ran the preliminary line, between paid him out of the next assessment, Maryland and Pennsylvania in May, being the full allowance for bulldtnfe 1739, and he was one of the over-a court house for the county service j seers of the poor in 1743. He was a until such time as another shall be I member of the grand Jury in 178$, built by the, commissioners appointed for that use, 7.' The sum thus appropriated would appear to be Inadequate, even in that day, to cover the cost of a building suitable for this purpose. "John Postlethwaite was an EJng- 1737, and 1740. lie was also a mem her of St. James Episcopal church, at Lancaster, and one of Its first wardens, lie must have died nomo-tlmo between 1748 find 1750, for It. Is recited in a deed from Benjamin Price, goldsmith, and Susanna, his lishman by birth. He settled in Che.i- wife, to Joseph Pugh, dated April ter county, Pennsylvania, some time j 16, 1762, that a certain tripartite in-between 1709 and 1713. It is said t donture had been made on the sev-that ho was the son of George Pos. I enth day of Oecember, 1750, between tlethwaite, of Millom, Cumberland j William Postlethwaite, eldest son County, England. He kept an ordln- and heir at law of John Postle ary near the Conestoga on the Great , thwalto deceased, John Miller and Road, which led from Philadelphia Hen Price, and also that John Postle. through the Cap to the Indian town won, William postlethwaite, a tract in the Manor. In 1718 Conestoga of land on the Conestoga Creek, con-Townahip was laid off, embracing al taining 120 acres. I have not oeen that part of what is now Lancaster j able to learn where he is buried. County between Octorara Crook ana j There was an old graveyard on the; the main branch of the Conestoga. original tract, not far from "ho Pos- j Postlethwaite must have come to tlethwalte house, but all the tomrt-Conestogoe after that date, because ! stones have long since disappeared his name docs not appear in the list j and there Is no means now of prov-of taxables of that township for the I Ing whether or not his remains He year 1 7 1 8. His name, however, does j burled there. Seeing the lmpor'anoo j appear in the lists for the years 1724, of obtaining the county seat, he In-1725 and 172G. In August, 1727, hln vited the magistrates and some ot name appears In tho list of license ! the prominent settlers to meet at granted by the Court of Quarter floe- his ordinary, to consider the subject. lonw of Chester county, and on and he tJiere provided the tempor- June 29, 1728 he gave his bond with Andrew Cornish and Michael Mleh- ary quarters In which to hold the courts. His tavern was widely known ty, It was regarded by many, on that. account as being the most eligible location aelson, in the sum of 20 each. Our In that day, and, as It was very near records show that he was licensed j the center of population of the eoun- ny the court of Quarter Sessions of Ijxncaster from 1729 to 1736, Inclusive. In those early days it was not the custom to present a formal pe- ; for the seat of Justice. Otner places were also urged. Among these was Wright's Ferry. So confident was Ttobert Barber, the first sheriff: of tho county, who resided at that place, that It would be selected, hat ho had a strong wooden bulld- tltlon every year, but those who nre- vlously obtained licenses gave their names to the clerk for a renewal, and, If (here were no complaints, the licenses v ere continued as of course. Tlho I ),,ds were probably renewed. That he was an Intelligent and Influ- ( ing put up near his rewldenco, whlen 1 ential settler is evident, because he I was intended for a county Jail. Tho was chosen as the first Treasurer OS tho County, find In 1746 ho was one of tho Justices. The newly appointed magistrates, when a meeting was called to determine the names and minute book of tho commissioners (No. 1 ) shows that on February 4, 1729-30, it was 'ordered that Tloberr Harbor bo allowed the sum of 6, by order ot count, fur building a, prison for the aforesaid county service, with a further allowance out of tho next assessment as the coml'uioners and assessors shall nee meet; the treasur-er to pay the same.' Again, In 1730, it was 'ordered thai Robert Barber be allowed the Hum of 3 toward the building of the new Jail at his house. There was also a place called (,lh-son's Tavern which was advocated and which ultimately succeeded In carrying off the prize. This place was where tho town of Lancaster was soon after laid out. First Court. "The court met for the firt time in the county on the first Tuesday in August (August 5), 1729. George II was then king, for George I died in 1727, while on a journey to Kan-over. No. 1 docket of the court of common pleas opens as follows: 'At a court of common pleas held at John Postlethwaites in Conestogoe tne first Tuesday in August in the third year of the Reign Of our Sovereign Lord George King of Great, nrltam, Franco and Ireland Defender of the Kalth, etc., 1729.' The justices who sat were John Wright, Tobias Ifen-d ricks, Andrew Cornish, niomas Hoed and Samuel Jones. John Wright presided. The first suit brought was by John Hrubaker, plaintiff, against John Jones, defendant, and judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiff for 10. Tho records show that suit No. 5 was by John Taylor against 'hlcsconleon, who wivs likely an Indian. The court Hat at Postlethwaite's during August and November Terms, 1729, and February, May and August terms, 1780. To August term, 1729, eleven cases wore brought; to November term, 1729, thirteen ra-ses; to Feh-ruary term, 1 7 30, seven coses; to May term, 1730 eighteen cases, and to August term, 17 30, fifteen cases. At the November term, 1729, the Justices who sat Were John Wright, Tohla.s Hendricks, Thomas Ed Wards, Andrew Cornish and Andrew Gn!-braith j at the February term, 1730, Tobias Hendricks, Andrew Cornish, Samuel Jones, Caleb Peareo and Andrew flalbrnlth; at the May term, 1 730, John Wright, Tobias Hendricks, Thomas Kdwards, Thomas Head, Andrew Galbraith, Samuel Jones and Caleb Peareo; and at the August term, 1730, Tobias Hendricks , Andrew Cornish, Caleb 1'oaroo, Andrew. QalbraltU and Sam- j uel Jonos. Whenever John Wright I was present ho presided and, at j the terms In which ho was absent, j Tobias Hendricks presided. I suppoee that they occupied tho presidency ot tlhe court according, to the seniority of their commissions. At the February term, 1730, John Postlethwaite altered an action of attachment against John i'hlpps, and, under It, a horse belonging to the defendant I wow sold by the sheriff, and the money arising from tho sale was ordered to bo produced by him nt I the next court. At May term, 1730, ; Postlethwaite brought an action against Nowcomat, and, at tho Aug ust term., Judgment was entered against the defendant. There appears to May term, 1732, an action, brought by Postlethwaite, as assignee of Christian Mayer, against Walter Thedford, and another ac-tlon, us assignee of Peter Chartler, against James Smith. He was also, the plaintiff In an action against George Knasley, to August term, 17 32. On the docket to November ternia 1729, there appears a cose ot Isaac Miranda against John Law-ronce, and to August term, 1730, a case of James Logan against James ; Letort. In the latter suit Letort np- peared In open court and signed th docket confessing Judgment In favor of the plaintiff for 484 18s 6d, with costs. Isaac IMranda wn.s an Indian trader. He settled on Conoy creek in 1715. He died in 1 732. His daughter, Mary, Is said to have married Governor James Hamilton, the founder of Lancaster, but the weight of tho testimony is, I think, con'rary to this contention. Isaac Miranda in his will, dated June 20, 1732. left Hamilton a large tract of land, if he married his daughter, but I have found no proof that the governor accepted the proposition, and that the mas. rlage actually took place. James Logan was evidently the well-known secretary of tho Province, and he re-Sided in the City of Philadelphia up o the time of his death. His life has been written by others, and it is unnecessary to go into any ddtaii concerning it, Jnmes Letort wag the son of Captain Jacques Letort and his wife, Annie Letort. Captain Letort and his wife were Hugenot refugees, who came to Pennsylvania from Iondon in 1686 . In March, 1704, Madame Letort lived at Con- CCoaUnuq on bmi b.) ,.r.

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