200 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
until November 22d, 1849. During the time he officiated as President of the institution, he managed its affairs with great financial success ; all this time it was in the highest degree of credit, and its notes passed at par throughout the whole country. Indeed, it is but the truth when it is said, that to him the institution owed its prosperity, credit and financial success. From the time Mr. Evans ceased to be the head of the institution, the downfall of this old and reliable bank dated its origin.
James Evans was a man of strict integrity, of irreproachable and upright conduct, and universally esteemed and respected by his fellow citizens. He was a man of a very generous nature, liberal in his charities when worthy objects presented themselves; yet he gave in no ostentatious manner, and sought rather that his gifts should be known only by the recipients thereof.
As a man of business, he was shrewd and penetrating; and it is not too much to say, that he had no superiors as to business qualities in the county, and but few, if any, in the State. In his opinions he was very liberal and high-toned, and never permitted difference of views to mar social relations between himself and his associates. He was no aspirant for public office, and though this was within his reach, he rather shrunk from cares of this character, devoting his attention simply to business affairs. He died October 12th, 1864.
EVANS, ROBERT, brother of James Evans, was born in Little Britain township, October 4th, 1791. His father, John Evans, was one of the early settlers of Lancaster county, having emigrated from Wales about the year 1740. Having received the rudiments of an education, customary in his day, he was apprenticed, on the 24th of November, 1807, to Michael Gundaker, (a leading merchant of Lancaster), to learn the mercantile business ; and, after serving three years, he married Anna Margaret, a daughter of Mr. Gundaker. He set up as a merchant in Lancaster, and continued to follow this business to the end of his life. In 1819 he was appointed by Phineas Ash, Wm. B. Ross and Peter Holl, Commissioners of Lancaster county, to the office of
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 201
County Treasurer, and was twice re-appointed to the the same office, in the years 1820 and 1821. Amongst those recommending Mr. Evans to the office of Treasurer, we find the names of several of the principal leading citizens of ',:ttle Britain township, viz : Jeremiah Brown, sr., William Brown, Jeremiah Brown, jr., John Kirk, Nicholas Boyd, (father of the late sheriff Boyd), Timothy Haines, Isaac Stubbs, William McCulloch, and Slater Brown. Mr. Evans served for many years as a director of the old Farmers' Bank of Lancaster, and acted besides in many fiduciary positions of trust and responsibility, and was esteemed as one of the most useful and influential citizens of his day. He died November 2nd, 1831, aged 40 years and 29 days. The present Robert A. Evans and Walter G. Evans, esqs.,. of Lancaster city, are sons of Robert Evans.
EVANS, SAMUEL, elected Clerk of Quarter Sessions and Over and Terminer, in 1857.
EWING, A. SCOTT, a member of the Legislature in 1849.
EWING, GENERAL JAMES, was born about the year 1736, in Manor township, Lancaster county. His father had emigrated from Ireland at an early day, and settled in Manor township, and when the subject of this notice was but a boy they removed to Helium township, York county. At the age of eighteen he was engaged with his associates in repelling the incursions of the Indians. He served in the campaign under General Braddock, and was a participant in the action near Pittsburg, in which that brave but ill-fated officer was killed and his army routed. James Ewing served his country in the capacity of a brigadier general, attached to the flying camp during the Revolution.
In the character of civilian, he was also a prominent and influential member of society. He was a member of the Legislature for several years, and filled many other positions of public trust. He was a man highly esteemed by his fellow citizens, and died in March, 1806, aged seventy years.
EWING, THOMAS, a member of the Legislature in 1739, 1740, 1741 and 1742.
- 16 -
202 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
- F -
FAHNESTOCK FAMILY.* The Fahnestocks are de, scendants of one Dietrich Fahnestock, who came from Prussia in the year 1724. He had seven sons, viz : Casper, Peter, Dietrich, John, Benjamin, Daniel, and Borieus : of the two latter no record can be found. Benjamin had two sons, George and Dietrich, from whom the druggists of Pittsburg have descended. John had two sons, Jacob and Heniy. Dietrich, who was a physician, had three sous, Samuel, Daniel and John, who were all physicians. Casper had three sons, Charles, Dietrich and Daniel. Peter had five sons, Samuel, Obed, Peter, Conrad and Andrew ; the latter has been a Seventh-day Baptist minister, living at times at .Antietam, and latterly at Ephrata. Conrad was a printer, and published a paper at Harrisburg, during the alien and sedition acts, and being a warm supporter of Mr. Jefferson, was outspoken against the administration of Mr. Adams. He was, in consequence, arrested, with others, :and thrown into prison. It was, however, just upon the eve a the election, and he was released a few days afterwards. He had but one son, Peter, who resides at present at Ephrata. Peter has three sons, Samuel and Reuben, both residing in Ephrata township, and John, residing in Ohio.
There are Fahnestocks residing in Lancaster, and also in Lebanon county, who are no doubt descendants of the same family.
FAHNESTOCK, DR. SAMUEL, a leading physician of Lancaster for many years. He practiced medicine in Lancaster for nearly forty years.
In the autumn of 1777, when the wounded soldiers were transferred from Brandy wine to the village of Ephrata, the subject of this notice, being about fourteen years of age, by his unwearied attention and the coolness he displayed, attracted the attention of General Hand, himself an eminent physician, who advised his father to educate him for a physician. The father accepted the suggestion, and his
*Contributed by I. F. Bomberger, of Litiz.
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 203
future career fully justified. the prophetic spirit of General and Hand.
As he increased in years and practice he became especially distinguished for his treatment of fevers, and the remarkable success that attended the exercise of his skill throughout prevalence of an eventful epidemic, won for him the most flattering encomiums of the distinguished Dr. Rush. His practice, for many years, extended far beyond the limits of Lancaster county. He died December 8th, 1836, in the 73rd year of his his age.
FAHNESTOCK, WILLIAM M., was a man somewhat fond of antiquarian research. In 1835 he published a historical sketch of Ephrata, together with a concise account of the Seventh-day Baptists.
FERREE, ISAAC, a member of the Legislature in 1793, 1794, 1802, 1803 and 1804.
FERREE, JOSEPH, a member of the Legislature in 1770, 1771, 1772, 1773 and 1774.
FERREE, JAMES B., elected Register in 1839.
FISHER, JOSEPH W., was born October 16th, 1814, in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania. He received the simple rudiments of an English education, and when quite young was hired out by his parents to work upon a farm till about the age of fifteen, when he was apprenticed to learn the tailoring business. In this occupation he spent the early years of his manhood. In the year 1840 he removed to Columbia, Lancaster county, where he pursued his trade for several years. In 1848 he was nominated and elected a member of the House of Representatives. In 1850 he was elected a Justice of the peace, and so entirely did he satisfy his constituents, that he was reelected to the same office in 1855, receiving every vote save six. During the time he Was acting in the capacity of justice of the peace he read law, and was admitted to the Lancaster bar in 1856, and was not long in stepping into a fair practice.
He was always an active and leading politician; a Whig during the existence of that party, and upon its dissolution he became a Republican. In the campaign of 1860 he took
204 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
a very active part, and assumed the ground that if Lincoln was elected and war resulted, he would enter the ranks in defence of the flag of the nation. Upon the bombardment of Fort Sumter, therefore, although over age, he enlisted as a private, and was immediately elected Captain of what was afterwards Company K, of the Fifth Pennsylvania Reserves. When the regiment was organized, he was elected Lieutenant Colonel, and served with the regiment through the campaign of 1862, and afterwards participated in the engagements known as the seven days' battles before Richmond, also at Bull Run, South Mountain and Antietam. He led the heroic charge, consisting of a part of the Fifth and Eighth regiments of the Reserves, and killed, wounded and captured the Seventh and Seventeenth Virginia regiments, in which engagement Col. Simmons was killed. Col. Fisher was complimented by Gen. Lemoyne, commanding the division, and recommended for promotion by Gens. McCall, Meade, Reynolds and Lemoyne, to a Brigadier Generalship.
Becoming Colonel, in course, upon the death of Colonel Simmons, at the second battle of Bull Bun, he was not able to command the same, owing to injuries received from the fall of his horse. At the battle of South Mountain he left a sick bed to lead his regiment, and he charged with it up the northern slope of the mountain, and drove the enemy from the summit down the southern and western slopes, and captured a large number of prisoners. He was complimented by. Gens. Meade, Lemoyne and Duryea for the undaunted heroism displayed by him in this engagement, and was again strongly urged by them as worthy of promotion. Being with his regiment in the battle of Antietam, he repulsed au attack during the night, of the Fourth Texas regiment, and drove them in utter confusion.
He was transferred by Gen. Meade from the first to the third brigade, to take command of the latter, which command he retained until the close of the third year for which he had enlisted. He participated in nearly all the battles of hip division until the close of his term of service. At the battle of Gettysburg he led his brigade up and took what is known as Round Top Mountain, and held it. From Gettys-
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 205
burh be crossed, with his brigade, the Potomac, Rappahannock and Rapidan; and left his sick bed, against the protests of his surgeon, to participate in the battle of Mine Run, in November, 1863.
After this battle the army went into winter quarters, and he had command of the post at Manassas Junction, and remained there till April. After the army got in readiness be moved his brigade from Culpepper, and was in all the battles of the Wilderness, and closed his term of service on the 30th of May, 1864, with a brilliant victory at Bethesda church, near where he had participated in his first engagement.
He then left for home, where he arrived about the middle of June, intending to remain. However, upon the invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania by the rebel forces, under Generals Early and Breckinridge, at the urgent solicitation of Governor Curtin, he raised and took command of the 195th regiment, and aided in the defence of the Border States, during the one hundred days. He moved with his regiment up the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, as far as Hedgesville, in West Virginia. Upon the expiration of the one hundred days period of service, he urged his men to reenlist, and succeeded in inducing about 300 of them to do so. He then returned home in November, 1864, and in the following February, was solicited by Governor Curtin to take command of the 300 men, (before stated to have reen-listed) and to raise, if possible, sufficient recruits to complete the full strength of the regiment. This he did, and succeeded in swelling the regiment to 1300 men, of which he was commissioned Colonel on the 25th of February, 1865. He was with this regiment in the Shenandoah valley, up to August of that at year, and being transferred to Washington, there remained in command of his regiment up to January 31st, l866,
when the regiment was mustered out and discharged from service.
During the time he was in the Shenandoah valley, in 1865 he had the command of a brigade, composed of the 192d, 195th and time he was in the Shenandoah valley, in 1865, 214th regiments, and also the 192d and 193d regiments of New York. Being recommended for promotion
206 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
by all the superior officers under whom he served, he served, he was raised to the rank of Brigadier General, in 1865.
General Fisher participated in about thirty different engagements of the war. He was never absent from service without leave of his superior officer, and was never repri. manded for dereliction of duty. In all things he was a faithful and efficient officer, and won the esteem of both officers and men. He was frequently detailed to sit upon courts martial, and was for six weeks president of a board of examiners, to examine officers for promotion. His highest ambition, as an officer, was to saye his men, and he had the good fortune to secure their unlimited confidence and esteem, Although one of the strictest disciplinarians in the army, he nevertheless uniformly treated the men under his command with kindness and respect, and his men were ready to obey and follow him through every danger.
In the fall of 1866 General Fisher was nominated and elected a member of the State Senate of Pennsylvania, from Lancaster county. He removed to Lancaster city during his term of Senator, and again actively engaged in the practice of his profession. In 1871 he was appointed Judge of the District Court for the territory of Montana, for which place he left, with his family, about the first of April, 1871.
¹ FOGLE, GEORGE, The late well-known and highly respected George Fogle, of Sadsbury, was captain of a company of the Lancaster county militia, in the war of 1812. He resided on the. land of the well-known Francis Bailey, (the printer), and farmed the land. He first volunteered as a private soldier, under James Caldwell, esq., o. Bart, but when the company received marching orders, Captain Caldwell was on the retired list, and George Fogle was chosen to take his place, in marching the company to Baltimore. After the close of the war he purchased a farm in Bart
George Fogle was the son of Jacob Fogle, who emigrated to this country from Germany about the year 1765; whose son, Adam, was the well known Adam Fogle, esq., who served many years as justice of the peace in Sadsbury. George Fogle was united in marriage with Barbara, the daughter of Simon and Margaret Geist, of Bart, about the year 1796, and died in the year 1854, aged 84 years. J. M. W. Geist, esq., of Lancaster, is the grandson of Simon and Margaret Geist, of Bast.
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 207
township, on which his grandson, Joseph Fogle now resides. gis son, John G. Fogle, now resides in Christiana. Jacob S. Fogle, the eldest son, is a respected citizen of Columbus, Ohio, where he emigrated many years ago. David H., another son is a citizen of Berrien county, Michigan. Other
descendants of George Fogle are numerous and respectable citizens of the neighborhood.
FONDERSMITH, JOHN, elected Clerk of Quarter Sessions in 1842.
FOREMAN, JACOB, a member of the Legislature in 1840, 1841 and 1842.
FORD, GEORGE, was a leading lawyer of the Lancaster bar. He was elected to the Legislature in 1836, 1837 and 1839.
FORDNEY, WILLIAM B., a retired lawyer, and one who, whilst in practice, ever ranked amongst the ablest of his profession. After his admission to the Lancaster bar, in 1829, his superior abilities soon gave him a front rank in the profession, which he held until his retirement from practice some years since. For several years he acted as prosecuting attorney of Lancaster county. In intellectual capacity he ranked with Gorge B. Porter, Gorge W. Barton, Thaddeus Stevens, Reah Frazer, Benjamin Champneys, and other brilliant stars of the old Lancaster bar.
FORNEY, COLONEL JOHN W., was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the year 1817. His parents occupying an humble grade in society, were not in possession of the means to afford him more than an ordinary English education. At. the early age of thirteen, he obtained employment in a store of his native town for a short time, and then entered as an apprentice the office of the Lancaster Journal, at that period One of the most influential papers published in Pennsylvania- Hugh Maxwell, the proprietor of the Journal, was a man of remarkable ability, and one who wielded the editorial pen with singularly rare force. In this office, the subject of our notice remained until he attained his twentieth Year, when he purchased the Lancaster Intelligencer,¹ a strong
¹ The Lancaster Intelligence was first issued in 1799 by William and Thomas Dixon, as a weekly paper, being at first only a small four column sheet. It was regularly published up to 1823, the time of William
208 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
Democratic paper of the county, from Thomas Feran, esq. A few years afterwards he bought out the Journal and con. solidated the two papers, and made the new paper one of the ablest and most influential sheets of the county, and one that exercised a powerful influence not only in Lancaster county but throughout the whole State. In 1839. he was appointed Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster county, a position he held for a short time. He remained in Lancaster, absorbed in his editorial duties, up to the year 1845, when he received the appointment of Deputy Surveyor of the port of Philadelphia, from President Polk, and re. moved to the last named place, the better to attend to the duties of the office.
Soon after his location in Philadelphia, with that enthusiasm for journalism which has ever seemed in him a leading characteristic, he purchased a one-half interest in the old Penn. sylvanian newspaper, then the leading Democratic organ of the State. This was in the year 1845. He remained associated with the Pennsylvanian until the year 1853.
In December, 1851, he was elected Clerk of the House of Representatives, and removed with his family to Washington. This important and influential position he held during the memorable struggle of 1855 and 1856, for the election of Speaker of the House, and which terminated in the election of Nathaniel P. Banks; During those exciting times Colonel Forney was the presiding officer of the House, and the highly satisfactory manner in which he performed his duties, is attested by a resolution offered by Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, tendering him the thanks of the House, for the ability and impartiality with which he had presided over the House during the contest. The resolution was passed without a dissenting voice.
Dixon's death, and was continued afterwards by Mrs. Dixon, assisted by her son-in-law, Mr. Bedford, and subsequently by Thomas Feran, esq. In March, 1837, the paper passed into the hands of James H. Bryson and John W. Forney, the latter of whom obtained the whole control and ownership within the year. In September, 1839, Mr. Forney bought out the Journal, first established in 1794, and united it with the Intelligeneer, under the title of the Intelligencer and Journal, at the time considerably enlarging it. When, in 1845, Mr. Forney left Lancaster for Philadelphia, the paper passed into the hands of Marcus D. Hol-
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 209
subsequently Col. Forney became one of the editors of the Washington Union, and remained in that position until Jones Buchanan received, at the Democratic Convention held at Cincinnati, in 1856, the nomination for the Presidency. He was then elected Chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee of Pennsylvania, and threw himself this into thecampaign with all his vigor and energy. By Forney had become, and was generally regarded, as one of the shrewdest and, most sagacious politicians in the Democratic party; and located at Washington, as he was, in the midst of the leading political minds of the nation, his influence was of the greatest account in the Presidential contest. He wielded one of the most fertile pens in the whole country; and his efforts were all powerful in behalf of the Democratic nominee. It is, perhaps, but the truth when it be said, that to J. W. Forney, more than to any other man, was James Buchanan indebted for the electoral vote of Pennsylvania, and with it his elevation to the Presidential chair of the United States.
In 1857 Col. Forney was nominated by the Democratic members of the Pennsylvania Legislature, as their candidate for the Senate of the United States, his competitor being Simon Cameron, a politician of great sagacity and adroitness. The contest on this occasion was that of Greek meeting Greek, and the subject of our notice through the political treason of three Democratic Representatives—Lebo, Waggonseller and Manear—was defeated.
brook, as its manager. In the following year, the latter became sole publisher, but in a few months transferred the paper to Franklin G. May. On January 1st, 1848, May transferred his interest in it to Edwin W. Butter, who continued his oonnection with it until July, 1849. Butter was succeeded by George Sanderson, who afterwards associated his son Alfred with him in the publication, and these continued it up to July 18th, 1864. It was then sold to John M. Cooper, H. G. Smith, William A. Morton and Alfred Sanderson, who published it under the firm title of Cooper, Sanderson & Co. November 1st, 1866, it passed into the hands of H. G. Smith and A. J. Steinman, the present editors and proprietors. August, 1864, the Daily Intelligences was started by Cooper, Sanderson & Co., which, with the Weekly Intelligencer, passed Iuto the hands of H. G. Smith and A. J. Steinman. The Daily and Weekly Intelligence yet continues to be published
by them. The Intelligencer is Democratic in politics.
210 - BRAPHICAL HISTORY
It was not long after James Buchanan was inaugurated President, that a coolness between Col. Forney and himself became distinctly perceptible. The rupture was by no means complete, however, for a considerable time, Col. Forney still according to Mr. Buchanan his friendship and sympathy. Indeed, in the first number of the Press, issued August, 1857, he openly and warmly advocated the administration policy. It was not until the Kansas question became prominent, that any serious difficulty took place between them. It was only when, as he conceived, Mr. Buchanan was lending the weight of his official position towards the establishment of slavery in Kansas, that Col. Forney took issue with him, and at once expressed his views of the measure and the questions it involved, in his usual forcible manner.
In December of 1858, Col. Forney was a second time elected Clerk of the House of Representatives. During his residence at the National capital, he started a weekly paper, entitled the Sunday Morning Chronicle, which was subsequently turned into a daily paper, and was one of the most successful journals ever printed in that city.
In 1861 he was elected Clerk of the Senate, a position he accepted and filled with great credit for several years.
During the rebellion Col. Forney was a stern advocate of the principles of the Union party, and a warm supporter of the administration of President Lincoln. Upon the death of the latter, he gave his influence and support to his successor, Andrew Johnson. This course he continued until upon the veto of the Freedman's Bureau bill by President Johnson, it became apparent that the new Executive was swerving from the principles of the party to which he owed his election.
In March, 1871, he was offered by President Grant the position of collector, of the port of Philadelphia, which he at first positively declined, but which at the urgent request of leading men of his party in this and other States, he was afterwards induced to accept. He discharged the duties of this office with marked ability and success. The opinion entertained amongst the business men generally, is, that Philadelphia never before had a more efficient Collector.
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 211
In personal appearance, Col. Forney is a fine-looking man, of medium height, dark brown hair, piercing eye and prominent He has a deep, full voice, which never fails to command the attention of his hearers. He is not an impassioned .orator, but he is calm, fluent, logic and emphatic —qualities of which all others are desirable in a political to speaker. When rising to address a mass meeting, during a is political campaign, his air imposing and his flowing strains of eloquence and captivating declamation leave the impression that he is a man of brilliant conception and rare intellectual ability.
As a journalistic writer he is smooth, elegant and ornate, his sentences presenting a polish and roundness almost rivaling those of a Gibbon ; and yet, at the same time, showing that they are the unstudied first effusions of his pen, no indications of the midnight oil being at all visible in his composition. But few writers equal Col. Forney in this particular. He seems, in a word, to have reached the acme of style most captivating and best adapted for the journalist and newspaper writer. He is a tower of strength in the editorial profession, and his rare mental vigor and complete mastery of the pen, justly entitle him to be regarded and styled the journalistic Achilles of the Western Continent.
FORREY, JOHN, was a member of the Legislature in the years 1816, 1817, 1823, 1825, 1827 and 1828.
¹ FOSTER, REV. WILLIAM, was born in Little Britain township, Lancaster county, in 1740. He was a son of Alexander Foster, who emigrated from the north of Ireland and settled in that township. He graduated at Princeton College, New Jersey, in 1764—having as his. cotemporaries in that institution, David Ramsey, the historian. Judge Jacob Rush, Oliver Ellsworth, Nathan Niles and Luther Martin.
¹ Mr. Foster was succeeded as pastor of Upper Octoraro and Doe Run, by the Rev. Alexander Mitchell, who was born in 1731, graduated at the College of New Jersey, in 1765, was licensed pastor in 1767, and was installed at Octoraro, December, 14th, 1785. He had formerly resided in Bucks county, and came from thence to Chester county. He was Pastor of Octoraro until April, 1796, when his connection with the church was dissolved. During the last of his time, troubles arose in the congregation which continued for several years. He died December
212 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
He was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of New Castle, April 22nd, 1767, and was installed pastor of the Upper Octo. raro church, October 19th, 1768. He also, about the same time, became pastor of the Doe Run Presbyterian church, on the Strasburg road, in East Fallowfield township, where he preached one-fourth of his time. He married Hannah, a daughter of -Rev. Samuel Blair, of Fagg's Manor, and owned and resided on a farm a short distance east of Upper Octo. raro church. This farm he purchased December 15th, 1770.
In the Revolution Mr. Foster engaged heartily in the cause of civil liberty, and encouraged all who heard him to to do their utmost in defence of their rights. On one occasion he went to Lancaster to preach to troops collected there previous to their joining the main army. The discourse was so acceptable that. it was printed and circulated, and did much to arouse the spirit of patriotism amongst the people.
Indeed, nearly all the Presbyterian clergymen in. this State, at that time, were staunch Whigs, and contributed greatly to keep alive the flame of liberty which our disasters had frequently caused to be well-nigh extinguished in the long and unequal contest; and but for them it would often have been impossible to obtain recruits to keep up the forces requisite to oppose the enemy.
It was a great object with the British officers to silence the. Presbyterian preachers, as far as possible; and they frequently dispatched parties into the country to surprise and take prisoners unsuspecting clergymen. An expedition of this kind was planned against Mr. Foster.
The British were in possession of Wilmington, Delaware, and sent a party of light-horse from thence one Sunday
6th, 1812, at the age of eighty-one years, and was burried in Upper Octoraro. He left no descendants. The Doe Run church, to which Mr. Foster and Mr. Mitchell had ministered one-fourth of their time, was made a distinct congregation in 1798.
From 1796 until 1810, the Upper Octoraro church was without a regular pastor, and received supplies from Presbytery.
September 25th, 1816, a call was presented to Rev. James Latta, which he accepted. He had been licensed at New London, December 9th, 1809, and was ordained and installed pastor of Octoraro April 12th, 1811. He maintained that relation until October, 1850, period of forty years, and then resigned.
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 213
evening, to take him prisoner and burn his church. Mr Foster received word of it on the morning of that day, ate and hastening home collected his neighbors, who removed his family and library into a house remote from the public road. The expedition after proceeding twelve miles on their way, were informed by a tory that their purpose was known, and that parties of militia were stationed to intercept them, and they returned to Wilmington without accompanying their object.
September 80th, 1780. He had a high standing as a minister, and was held in much estimation by his congregation. They procured a tombstone to be erected over his remains in Upper Octoraro burial ground.
He occasionally received under his care theological students. The Rev. Nathaniel W. Sample, who was the esteemed pastor of several churches in Lancaster county for forty years, was one of his students. After his death, his family continued for a time to reside on his farm already referred to. It was sold by his widow on September 4th, 1790, to Joseph Park, esq., and the family removed to western Pennsylvania. Henry D. Foster, the Democratic candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania in 1860, is a grandson. He is a son of Samuel B. Foster, the eldest son of Rev.. William Foster.
FRANKLIN, COL. EMLEN, youngest son of Judge. Walter Franklin, was born in Lancaster, April 7th, 1827. After passing through the select schools of Lancaster, he entered Yale College in 1845, and graduated in 1847. He thereupon entered the law office of Nathaniel Ellmaker, esq., and after the usual time of study, was admitted to the bar, May 15th, 1850. He immediately began the practice of his profession, and in the autumn of 1854 he elected a member of the House Representatives at Harrisburg; and having served one term, declined a reelection, owing to the shape that parties had, in the meantime, assumed.
In 1859 he was elected District Attorney of Lancaster, and discharged the duties of his office, during his term, with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents.
Upon the breaking out of the rebellion, being at the time.
214 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
the Captain of the old "Fencibles," he volunteered with hia company for the three months' service. In 1862 he raised the 122d Regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers, of which he was chosen Colonel, and which he commanded for fine months, the period for which the regiment had been raised, During this period of his service he participated, in com. mand of his regiment, in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. He returned with his regiment on the 16th of May, 1863; and in June, of the same year, upon the invasion of Pennsylvania by Gen. Lee, in obedience to the urgent solicitation of Gen. Couch, then commanding the department of the Susqnehanna, he immediately raised the 50th regiment of Pennsylvania militia, and in command of one of the brigades, participated in the movements of that campaign. With the restoration of quiet along the borders, these troops were discharged, and Col. Franklin resumed again the practice of his profession. During the fall of 1863 he was nominated and elected register of wills of Lancaster county, which position he filled during his term of three years. During the period of his official service, and up to this time, he has been, and is now, engaged in the pursuits of his profession.
FRANKLIN, THOMAS E., a member of the Lancaster bar, and a brother of EmlenFranklin, has for many years been recognized as one of the leading members of the profession in Lancaster county. He was appointed Attorney-General of Pennsylvania, by Governor Pollock, in 1855. In 1860 and 1861 he was a leading member of the National Peace Convention, convened in order to endeavor to avert the calamities of the impending civil war, which finally deluged American soil with blood.
¹ FRANKLIN, WALTER, was born in the city of New York, in February, 1773. His father having removed, during his minority, to Philadelphia, he there read law, and was admitted to the bar in 1794. In January, 1809, he was appointed, by Governor Snyder, Attorney-General of Penn-
¹ Upon the breaking out of the war of 1812, with Great Britain, the public mind, as always happens in such cases, became instantly crazed,, and insults and contumely were heaped upon those who had the courage
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 215
sylvania, which position he held until January, 1811, when, upon the death of Judge John Joseph Henry, he was appointed President Judge of the Courts of Common Pleas of the second judicial district of Pennsylvania, which comprised the counties of Lancaster, York and Dauphin, and to which afterwards were added Cumberland and Lebanon. This office he continued to fill until his death, February 7th, 1838.
As a judge he was distinguished for clearness of conception, vigor of mind, and eminent integrity. He discharged the uties of his position with great satisfaction to the public. As a jurist, he ranked among the ablest in the State. ne was marked by uniform dignity of manner ; was in deportment unvaryingly correct and courteous ; and his rare gentlemanly bearing rendered him a favorite with all classes of his fellow-citizens.
*FRAZER, BERNARD, was born in Dublin, Ireland, about 1755. When only eleven years old he left his father's house for the purpose of coming to some friends in America, whom, it appears, he never found. Being well educated for a boy of his age, he found employment in a country store, owned by a family in Chester county, named Witherow, with whom he had his home for several years. During this time he acquired a knowledge of surveying and scrivening, a business
to raise their voices against the war. The civil authority was in many places prostrated, and mob law ruled supreme ; the most respectable citizens were insulted, and the offices of the press, opposed to the war, Were in many places destroyed. In the midst of this state of excitement and feeling Judge Franklin delivered a charge to the grand jury of York county, of which the following is an extract :
"The existing state of our foreign relations, and the sensibility of the public mind on all questions connected with it, call for peculiar care in those who are concerned in the administration of justice, to guard against every occurrence which may have a tendency to promote a spirit of popular tumult, or of lawless violence.
" A disposition to riot and commotion may in general be easily suppressed, in its first stages, by a proper firmness and decision on the part of the magistrate ; but if neglected, and suffered to gain ground and extend itself, it soon grows too powerful for the ordinary exertions of chit authority, and bears down everything before it in a resistless torrent I rage and desolation. Fear is said to be the basis of arbitrary govern-
*Contributed by Alex. H. Hood, esq.
216 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
which he practiced to a considerable extent in after-life. In 1776 he volunteered in a Pennsylvania regiment, and was present at Brandywine, where he received a bullet in his leg which lamed him for life, and which he carried with him to his grave. In 1786 he came to. Strasburg, and was employed as a clerk in a store. Soon after this he married Elizabeth, the daughter of Philip Kessler, the result of which marriage was a numerous and highly intelligent family. He died in 1817, and lies in the Lutheran churchyard at Strasburg, His widow died in 1855, aged nearly ninety years. His sons, John, Samuel and Philip, died while yet young men, leaving families. Warren never was married, and died when about twenty-five years old. William lived to be over sixty, and left a family. Of his daughters, Hannah died unmarried in 1845 ; and Mary, the wife of Alex. H. Hood, esq., died in 1851. Two of his daughters, Elizabeth, the widow of Captain
Christian Sherts, resides in Lancaster; and Angelica, a single lady, resides in Strasburg.
Mr. Frazer was a very useful man in his day. He, and all his family, were remarkable for the beauty of their penmanship; and in his section of the county, when anything in that line was to be done, he was always employed. In hunting up old titles, his deeds are often to be found, and they fully justify his traditional reputation. The few who still remember him, speak of his ability as a teacher, a surveyor and a scrivener, in the highest terms. Philip Frazer, of Philadelphia; Christian Frazer, of Austin, Texas; and David T. Frazer, of Venango, Pa., are the grandsons who inherit his name.
ment, and virtue the ruling principle in republics. Laws, and not faction, should bear the sway in every free country. No condition is more deplorable than that produced by anarchy ; and experience has abundantly proved, that of all governments, a mob is the most despotic and sanguinary.
" We are, each of us, deeply interested in avoiding a state of things so awful and calamitous. Let us unite then in Our endeavors to pre vent the most distant approaches towards it, and let us evince our reverence for the principles of the institutions of republicanism, by a faithful adherence to the law, and a strict and impartial execution of it against offenders of every description."
The above are the utterances of sound wisdom, and such as should be observed in all civil commotions. Uufortunately, however, the mass . mankind never are able to live up to them.
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 217
FRAZER, COL. REAH, was, in his day, one of the leading lawyers of Lancaster, and a politician who exerted a controlling influence in his party. He read law in the office of Amos Ellmaker, one of the luminaries of the bar, and was admitted a member of the profession in the year 1825. Being possessed of a very buoyant and impulsive temperament be was not long in establishing himself as one, of the most conspicuous attorneys of Lancaster, and for many years, and indeed up to a short time before his death, he was employed in most of the important cases that came before the courts of his native county.
He was ardent and enthusiastic in all he undertook, and he brought the whole power of his impassioned nature to the investigation and trial of his cases; evincing during the whole of the proceedings the same zealous and passionate ardor as were he advocating or defending his own individual case. His was a nature which knew no moderation. In his speeches in Court he seemed to have the power to carry the day, from his faculty of being able to convince the jury that he himself fully believed all he uttered and advocated. This, in short, was one of the great secrets of his success as a legal practitioner.
For many years he was the leading Democrat of Lancaster county, and was known throughout Pennsylvania as the "Lancaster War Horse." As a politician he was all powerful with the masses, who are ever more swayed by passion than by argument. Wherever he presented himself during a campaign, the occasion was a signal that called forth the huzzas and plaudits of the congregated multitude. He died December 30th, 1856.
In the business of his profession, he was very industrious and persevering ; and he prepared and tried his cases to the utmost of his ability. He would seem, however, to a critic witnessing his impassioned displays before a jury or a political meeting, as unhewn intellectual marble, lacking symmetrical precision and connected systematic cohesion. His efforts were terrific
applause-producing; and he simply bore off the victory by the herculean might of his inflammatory declamation,
- 17 -
218 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
FREY, JACOB F., elected Commissioner in 1856. elected sheriff of Lancaster county in 1866.
FRY, SAMUEL, was born February 12th, 1809, in Ephrata township, Lancaster county. He was a miller by trade, arid carried on the Millport mill for many years. He was a man of rare business capacity, and was often by his neighbors employed in fiduciary trusts. In 1840 he was elected a justice of the peace, and after serving that office for ten years, he was, in 1850, elected Commissioner of Lancaster county, He was one of the board of Commissioners when the new Court House was erected. For many years he stood at the head of the Lancaster County Corn Exchange. He was, for a time, engaged in the commission business, in Market street, Philadelphia, in the firm of Fry, Acheson & Rommel. He died October 23d, 1868, and he lies buried at the Union meeting-house, in Warwick township.
* FULTON, ROBERT. The aid of the historian, or biographer, is hardly necessary to preserve the name of Fulton. He is identified with the age in which he lived, and so long as a knowledge of the power of steam remains, tradition will perpetuate the character and exertions of him who, by his successful application of its power to the purposes of navigation, defied alike wind and tide, and compelled the elements to bow to the genius of man.
Yet, although his memory exists, and will exist until the unsparing hand of time shall have swept away alike the records of his fame and the knowledge of his triumphs, and mental darkness shall again obscure the earth, it becomes not less our duty. to render him the praise which is his due, and to enroll his name in our humble volume among the illustrious worthies of our native land. Lowly in his origin, needy in circumstances, and devoid it his youthful career of the appliances of wealth and the patronage of friends, he possessed a mind and temperament that enrolled him in the ranks of genius, and by his self-dependence enabled him to command the one and disregard the other.
He smoothed for himself the rugged road to power, and
* National Portrait Gallery.
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 219
when standing on its lofty eminence, he relaked not the toils by which he had attained his elevation, but
______ " gazing higher
Purposed in his heart to take another step."
The father of Robert Fulton was an emigrant from Ireland to this country. He married Mary, the daughter of Irish parents by the natne of Smith, then settled in Pennsylvania, and from this union Robert was born in the township of Little Britain, (now Fulton township,) Lancaster county, in the year 1765, being the third child and oldest son. His father dying when Robert was little more than three years old, his means of instruction, which during the lifetime of his parent were small, were still more reduced, and to the town of Lancaster he was indebted for the rudiments of a common English education. The early bent of his genius was directed to drawing and painting, and such was his proficiency that, at the age of seventeen, we find him in Philadelphia pursuing this avocation for a livelihood, and with a success that enabled him, by strict frugality, by the time he had arrived at the age of twenty-one, to acquire sufficient means for the purchase of a small farm in Washington county, on which, with filial affection, he settled his mother.
In 1786 he embarked for England and became an inmate in the family of his distinguished countryman, Benjamin West, where he remained several years, and with whom he formed an intimacy which death alone dissolved.
For some time after leaving the family of Mr. West, he devoted himself chiefly to the practice of his art, and during a residence of two years in Devonshire, near Exeter, he became known to the duke of Bridgewater and the earl of Stanhope, with the latter of whom he was afterwards for a long time in regular correspondence. About this period he conceived a plan for the improvement of inland navigation, and in 1794 he received the thanks of two societies for accounts of various projects suggested by him. In 1796 he published in London his treatise on the system of canal improvement The object of this work was to prove that small canals navigated by boats of little burthen, were preferable to canals and vessels of larger dimensions; and to recommend a mode
220 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
of transportation over mountainous regions of country with, out the aid of locks, railways and steam engines. This he proposed to accomplish by means of inclined planes, upon which vessels navigating the canals should be raised or lowered from one level to another through means of some ingeniously contrived machinery placed on the higher level, by lifting and lowering the vessel perpendicularly. The only ideas in these projects claimed by him as original, were the perpendicular lift and the connection of the inclined planes with machinery.
From England, in 1796, Mr. Fulton proceeded to France and took up his lodgings at the same hotel with his celebrated fellow-citizen, Mr. Joel Barlow. Mr. Barlow afterwards removing to his own house, Mr. Fulton accepted an invitation to accompany him, and continued to reside in his family for seven years. In this period he studied several modern languages and. perfected himself in the higher branches of mathematics and natural philosophy.
The attention of Mr. Fulton appears to have been early directed to the application of steam to the purpose of navigation. It is not claimed for him that he was the originator of the idea, nor that he was first to make the experiment, but it is affirmed, and justly, that he was the first who successfully applied this powerful engine to this branch of human industry, and by his genius and perseverance removed the incumbrances which had hitherto obstructed the path and contributed to those splendid results which we are daily witnessing, and in which its saving of time has shortened space, and by bringing the various sections of our beloved country into more frequent intercourse, has strengthened the Federal compact and joined more closely the bonds of union. This important object was, however, temporarily suspended, and in the meantime, in addition to various other scientific projects, Mr. Fulton embarked in a series of experiments, having for their object the destruction of shills of war by submarine explosion. The situation of France at this period, engaged in a war with nearly all the powers of Europe, and compelled to succumb on the ocean to the naval superiority of Great Britain, gave a universal interest
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 221
cordingly, in 1801 Mr. Fulton repaired to Brest, and there commenced the experiment with his plunging boat, the
to his scheme, and at once invited the attention of the French government to the suggestion. A commission was appointed by Napoleon, then first consul, to examine the planes and report upon the probability of their success. Acresult of which we find detailed by himself in an interest-jug report to the committee, from which, as related in Colden's memoir, we gather the following facts:
"On the 3rd of July, 1801, he embarked with three companies on board his plunging boat, in the harbor of Brest, and descended with it to the depth of five, ten, fifteen, and so on to twenty-five feecbut he did not attempt to go lower, because he found that his imperfect machine would not bear the pressure of a greater depth. He remained below the surface one hour. Luring this time they were in utter darkness. Afterwards he descended with candles, but finding a great disadvantage from their consumption of vital air, he caused, previously to his next experiment, a small window of thick glass to be made near the bow of his boat, and he again descended with her, on the 24th of July, 1801. He found that he received from his window, or rather aperture covered with glass, for it was no more than an inch and a half in diameter, sufficient light to enable him to count the minutes on his watch. Having satisfied himself that he could have sufficient light when under water, that he could do without a supply of fresh air for a considerable time, that he could descend to any depth and rise to the surface with facility, his next object was to try her movements as well on the surface as beneath it. On the 26th of July he thelve ighed his anchor and hoisted his sails; his boat had one mast, a mainsail and jib. There was only a light breeze, and therefore she did not move on the surface at more than rate of two
wo miles an hour, but it was found that she would tack and steer, and sail on a wind or before it as well as any Common sailing boat. He then struck her mast and sails, bo do which and
perfectly to prepare the boat for plunging, required about two minutes. Having plunged to a certain depth he placed two men at the engine, which was intended
222 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
to give her progressive motion, and one at the helm, while he, with a barometer before him, governed the machine, which kept her balanced between the upper and lower waters. He found that with the exertion of one hand only he could keep her at any depth he pleased. The propelling) engine was then put in motion, and he found upon coming to the surface that he had, in about seven minutes, made a progress of four hundred meters, or about five hundred yards. He then again plunged, turned her around while under water, and returned to near the place he began to move from. He repeated his experiments several days successively, until he became familiar with the operation of the machinery and the movements of the boat. He found that she was as obedient to her helm under water as any boat could be on the surface, and that the magnetic needle traversed as well in the one situation as the other.
"On the 7th of August Mr. Fulton again descended with a store of atmospheric air compressed into a copper globe of a cubic foot capacity, into which two hundred atmospheres were forced. Thus prepared, he descended with three companions to the depth of about five feet. At the expiration of an hour and forty minutes he began to take small supplies of pure air from the reservoir, and did so as he found occasion, for four hours and twenty minutes. At the expiration of this time, he came to the surface without having experienced any inconvenience from having been so long under water.
" Mr. Fulton was highly satisfied with the success of these experiments ; it determined him to attempt to try the effects of these inventions on the English ships which were then blockading the coast of France and were daily near the harbor of Brest.
" His boat at this time he called the submarine boat, or the plunging boat; and he afterwards gave it the name of the Nautilus ; connected with this machine were what he then called submarine bombs, to which he has since given the name of torpedoes. This invention preceded the Nautilus. It was, indeed, his desire of discovering the means of applying his torpedoes that turned his thoughts to a submarine
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 223
boat. Satisfied with the performance of his boat, hix next object was to make some experiments with the torpedoes, A small shallop was anchored in the roads; with a bomb containing about twenty pounds of powder, he approached to within about two hundred yards of the anchored vessel, her with the torpedo and blew her into atoms. A column of water and fragments were blown from 80 to 100 feet in the air. This experiment was made in the presence of the prefect of the department, Admiral Villaret, and a multitude of spectators.
The experiments of Mr. Fulton with his torpedoes were subsequently renewed in England, where, in 1805, he blew up in Walmer roads, near Deal, a Danish brig of two hundred tons, provided for the purpose.
On his return to this country he continued his experiments, and in 1807 blew up a large hulk brig in the harbor of New York. These experiments, however satisfactory to himself, were not so to the various governments to which he had offered his services, and his efforts were therefore productive of no further immediate results than to demonstrate the effect of submarine explosions.
We now recur to an important period of Mr. Fulton's life, for the purpose of tracing in a connected point of view those labors, the successful result of which has exercised so beneficial an influence on the destinies of the world and on which rest his own claims to imperishable renown. As early as 1793, as appears by a letter addressed by him to Lord Stanhope,
hope, his attention had been drawn to the practicability of steam navigation. It does not appear that any experiments Were made by him until the year 1803.
Among his papers," says Colden, "are a variety of drawings, diagrams and innumerable calculations, which evidently relate to the subject ; but they are imperfect; most of them are mutilated, and they are without dates, so that they cannot with certainty be assigned to any period. They render it very evident, however, that the application of Water-wheels, as they are now used in the boats which he built in this country, was among his first conceptions of the means by which steam vessels might be propelled."
224 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
It is not our intention to enter into an examination of Mr. Fulton's claims as an originator of this idea; he made no such pretensions. Experiments had been made again and again by different individuals, but without success ; in some instances, indeed, vessels had been moved by the power of steam, but they had only served to prove the fallaciousness of each invention, and to confirm the ignorant in their belief of its impracticability ; and until the attempt of Fulton, we unhesitatingly assert that the practical establishment of navigation by steam was wanting, and that to him is the world indebted for its advantages.
How contemptible is that narrow-minded sectional feeling which in its desire to give credit to natives of a particular country, would descend to calumny and falsehood for the purpose of robbing another of his well-earned laurels, merely because his birth-place was on a different soil.
Genius belongs to the earth at large. It is the property of the universe. It disdains conventional trammels, and like our own free eagle, it soars in the boundless space far above *the clouds of prejudice and envy, regardless of the petty storms beneath.
As well might the claims of Watt, as an inventor, be disputed, becaupe steam engines were in operation before his day, as those of Fulton, because others had unsuccessfully attempted similar experiments ; and yet we are told by Stuart, in his "Anecdotes of Steam Engines and of their Inventors and Improvers," that "there is probably no one whose name is associated with the history of mechanism and whose labors have received so large a share of applause, who appears to have less claim to notice as an inventor than Robert Fulton."
So also in another part of his work, in speaking of Mr. Fulton's publication on the subject of canals, before adverted to, he says : ‘The character of this book was that of its author, it contained nothing original either in matter or manner." We can hardly return the compliment of Robert Stuart, in reference to his production, as he is certainly entitled to the credit of originality for his idea of Fulton's character, and we may add that in this thought he stands
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 225
alone While Mr. Fulton was yet in France engaged in his experiments with the Nautilus, Robert R. Livingston, esq., arrived in that country as an American minister, and an intimacy at once commenced between them. Chancellor Livingston had previously been engaged in some experiments in that country, and in 1798 had procured from the Legislature of the State of New York, the passage of an act vesting him with the exclusive right of navigating all kinds of boats which might be propelled by the force of fire or steam on all the waters within the jurisdiction of that State for the term of twenty years, upon condition that he should within one year build such a boat, the mean rate of whose speed should be at least four miles an hour.
A boat was accordingly constructed by Mr. Livingston, in accordance with this act, but not meeting the condition of the law, the project was for the time abandoned. His acquaintance with Fulton was the commencement of a new era in the history of science. It was the union of congenial spirits—a junction of minds alike distinguished for capacity, energy and perseverance, and bent upon the same grand design, and from whose embrace sprang into being the mighty improvement which, in its influence on human affairs, has outstripped all other efforts of modern times.
The mind of Fulton was of an order which peculiarly fitted him for this undertaking ; active, inventive and unyielding, towering in stature, it may be aptly compared to that of the bard who saw
____ " The tops of distant thoughts,
Which men of common stature never saw."
Possessing a keen penetration, a mind also of superior mechanical order, and thorough theoretical knowledge of the laws of mechanics, Mr. Livingston was deficient in that practical information which, with the other qualities, was united Fulton; and on meeting with him, he at once perceived the man through whose talents he might hope to a accomplish his valuable designs:
It was immediately agreed between them to embark in the enterprise, and a series of experiments were had on a cale, which resulted in a determination to build an
226 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
experimental boat on the Seine. This boat was completed early in the spring of 1803 ; they were on the point of making an experiment with her, when one morning as Mr. Fulton was rising from a bed in which anxiety had given him but little rest, a messenger from the boat, whose precipitation and apparent consternation announced that he was the bearer of bad tidings, presented himself to him and exclaimed, in accents of despair, " O, sir, the boat has broken, to pieces and gone to the bottom !" Mr. Fulton, who him. self related the anecdote, declared that this news created a despondency which he never felt on any other occasion; but this was only a momentary sensation. Upon examination he found that this boat had been too weakly framed to bear the weight of the machinery, and that in consequence of an agitation of the river by the wind, the preceding night, what the messenger had represented had literally happened. Without returning to his lodgings he immediately began to labor with his own hands to raise the boat, and worked for four and twenty hours incessantly, without allowing himself rest or taking refreshment, an imprudence which, as he always supposed, had a permanently bad effect on his constitution, and to which he imputed much of his subsequent bad health.
The accident did the machinery very little injury, but they were obliged to build the boat almost entirely anew. She was completed in July ; her length was sixty-six feet, and she was eight feet wide. Early in August Mr. Fulton addressed a letter to the French national institute, inviting them to witness a trial of his boat, which was made in the presence of a great multitude of the Parisians. This experiment was so far satisfactory to its projectors as to determine them to continue their efforts in that country; and arrangwments were accordingly made with Messrs. Watt & Bolton to furnish certain parts of a steam engine according to the directions of Fulton. Mr. Livingston also procured a reenactment of the law of 1798, extending the provisions of that act to Fulton and himself for the term of twenty years from the date of the new act. In 1806 Fulton returned to this country, and ht once commenced building his first
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 227
American steamboat. in the spring of 1807 the boat was launched from the ship-yard of Charles Brown. The engine, frorn England, was put on board, and in August she was moved by the aid of her machinery from her birth-place to the Jersey shore. Great interest had been excited in the public mind in relation to the new experiment; and the Wharves were crowded with spectators, assembled to witness the first trial. Ridicule and jeers were freely poured forth upon the boat and its projectors, until, at length, as the boat moved from the wharf and increased her speed, the silence and astonishment which first enthralled the immense audience was broken by one universal shout of acclamation and applause. The triumph of genius was complete, and the name of Fulton was thenceforth destined to stand enrolled among the benefactors of mankind.
The new boat was called the Clermont, in compliment of the place of residence of Mr. Livingston, and shortly afterwards made her first trip to Albany and back, at an. average speed of five miles an hour. The successful application of Mr. Fulton's invention had now been fairly tried, and the efficacy of navigation by steam fully determined. The Clermont was advertised as a packet boat between New York an Albany, and continued, with some intermissions, running the remainder of the season. Two other boats, the Raritan and Car of Neptune, were launched the same year, and a regular passenger line of steamboats established from that period between New York and Albany. In each of these boats great improvements were made, although as yet imperfect.
In 1811-12 two steamboats were built under the superintendence of Mr. Fulton, as ferry-boats for crossing the Hudson river, and shortly after another of the same description, for the ferry between Brooklyn and New York. These boats consisted of two complete hulls, united by a common deck, moving either way with equal facility, and thereby saving the necessity of turning. A painful incident as regards the starting of this boat is as follows: The boat had made one or two trips across the river, and was lying at the wharf at the foot of Beekman street. Some derangement had taken
228 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
place in the machinery, which the chief engineer was engaged in rectifying, when the machinery was set in motion, and coming in contact with the engineer, mangled him in a manner that produced his death the next day. He was removed to the house adjacent to that occupied by the author of this sketch, and well does he remember, the conversation between Mr. Fulton and the attending surgeon in reference to the unfortunate man. After some conversation in relation to
the prospect of his recovery, Mr. Fulton, much affected, remarked, " Sir, I will give all I am worth to save the life of that man." When told that his recovery was hopeless, he was perfectly unmanned, and wept like a child. It is here introduced to show, that while his own misfortunes never for a single moment disturbed his equanimity, the finer feelings of his nature were sensitively alive to the distresses of others.
It is hardly necessary to trace the further progress of Mr. Fulton's. career in regard to steam navigation. Altogether thirteen boats were built in the city of New York, under his superintendence, the last being the steam frigate which, in compliment to its projector, was called Fulton the First. The keel of this immense vessel was laid on the 20th of June, 1814, and in little more than four months she was launched from the ship-yard of Adam and Noah Brown, her architects, amid the roar of cannon and the plaudits of thousands of spectators. From the report of the commissioners appointed to superintend her construction, we extract the following description of this magnificent vessel: " She is a structure resting on two boats and keels, separated from end to end by a channel fifteen feet wide and sixty-six feet wide ; one boat contains the cauldrons of copper to prepare her steam. The cylinder, of iron, its piston, levers and wheels, occupy part of the other. The water-wheel revolves in the space between them. The main or gun-deck supports the armament, and is protected by a parapet four feet ten inches thick, of solid timber, pierced by embrasures. Through thirty port holes, as many thirty-two, pounders are intended to fire red-hot shot, which can be heated with great safety and convenience. The upper or spar deck, upon which
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 229
several thousand men might parade, is encompassed with a bulwark which affords safe quarters. She is rigged with two stout masts, each of which supports a large lateen yard and sails ; she has two bowsprits, so that she can be steered with either end foremost; her machinery is calculated for the addition of an engine which will discharge an immense column of water, which it is intended to throw upon the decks and through the port-holes of an enemy, and thereby deluge her armament and ammunition."
Before the conclusion of this mighty undertaking, it pleased the Almighty to remove Mr. Fulton from the scene of his labors. He died in the city of New York, on the 24th of February, 1815, after a short illness, consequent on severe exposure. The announcement of his death was accompanied with all those tokens of regret which mark the. decease of a great public character. His corpse was attended to its last resting-place by all the public officers of the city, and by a larger concourse of citizens than had ever been assembled on any similar occasion. Minute-guns marked the progress of the procession, and every testimonial of gratitude and respect was lavished upon his memory. Mr. Fulton left four children, one son and three daughters, and we regret to add, in the language of Colden, with no other " patrimony than that load of debt which their parent contracted in those pursuits that ought to command the gratitude as they do the admiration of mankind." In person Mr. Fulton was about six feet high, slender, but well proportioned and well formed. In manners he was cordial, cheerful and unembarrassed ; in his domestic relations eminently happy. A kind husband, an affectionate parent, a zealous friend, he has left behind him, independent of his public career, an unsullied reputation and a memory void of reproach.
- G -
GARA, ISAAC B was born near Soudersburg, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, October 28th, 1821. At the age of sixteen he entered the Examiner and Herald office as an
230 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
apprentice to learn the printing business, the paper at that time being under the ownership of Hamersly & Richards. After remaining in the employ of this firm for about three years, the paper passed into the hands of other proprietors, and the subject of this notice passed out into life and began the publication of a paper in Bellefonte, and afterwards in Lock Haven. For about nine months he edited the semi. weekly Gazette, at Galena, Illinois. The climate of this part of Illinois not agreeing with him, he returned to Pennsylvania and became associate proprietor and editor of the Erie Gazette, a position which he held up to May 4th, 1865. In January, 1867, he was appointed by Governor Geary Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth, and retained the same up to May 1st, 1869, when he resigned the Deputy Secretaryship to accept the office of postmaster of the city of Erie, a position voluntarily tendered him. Hugh S. Gara, of Lancaster city, is a brother of Isaac B. Gara.
GARB ER, CHRISTIAN, (Carver) emigrated from Germany sometime between the years 1700 and 1720, and settled in West Hempfield township, near where the present Jacob B. Garber, his great grandson, resides. He took up and settled a tract of land, and obtained a deed in 1735 for 286 acres, with the usual allowance of 6 acres to the 100 for roads, &c., from John, Thomas and Richard Penn, true and absolute proprietors of Pennsylvania and the counties of New Castle and Sussex, on the Delaware. For this tract of land he paid £46, 11 shillings and 8 pence. The original tract has remained in the family until the present time, and is yet in the possession of Jacob B. Garber and Jonas Garber, also a descendant of the original settler. Jacob B. Garber says : " The house I live in was built by my father in 1812, and is the third dwelling house erected on this farm, besides the squatter's cabin first put up in the wilderness. Previous to the time of my forefather's locating on this farm, several families had penetrated as far as the Susquehanna river and took possession of the ground whereon Columbia is now located." The Garbers have all been of a retiring disposition, devoting their time and attention to farming. The name has been spelled differently—as Karver, Carver, Gerber, Garber.
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 231
Jacob B Garber is an old, estimable citizen, noted for the leading position he has for many years held in county and State Agricultural Societies. He has been a contributor for many years to agricultural journals.
GATCHELL, J. C., a member of the Legislature in 1868 and 1871.
GALBRAITH, ANDREW, a member of the Legislature in the years 1731, 1732, 1733, 1734, 1735, 1736 and 1737.
GALBRAITH, BARTRAM, a delegate to the convention in 1776 which ratified the first Pennsylvania Constitution. He was a Colonel in the Revolutionary war.
GEIST, J. M. W., one of the editprs of the Lancaster Express, was born in Bart township, Lancaster county, on the 14th of December, 1824. His parents being persons in straitened circumstances, and having the burden of a large family devolving upon them, the subject of our sketch had not the advantages of more than an ordinary education afforded him. Being, however, of a delicate constitution, superior educational training was given him over and above that received by the rest of his brothers and sisters. He early gave evidence of superior ability in the rapid acquisition of knowledge, and soon distanced his youthful competitors in the various branches of learning then taught in the schools. Finding himself competent to impart instruction, he taught school for some time in Chester county and elsewhere. Whilst engaged in teaching, at the suggestion of friends he read medicine, and in 1843 visited Philadelphia in order to attend medical lectures in that city. An opportunity now presented itself to him to learn the trade of his early choice —printing and stereotyping—and he abandoned medicine, having little taste for this profession. In 1844 he began his editorial career in charge of the Reformer, a temperance Paper of Lancaster. Prior to this he had contributed considerably as a writer for newspapers. His enterprise in Lancaster proving a financial failure, and inducements being held out to him by the State temperance organization to essay the establishment of his paper at Harrisburg, he accepted the offer. The promised aid not being furnished him, he was
232 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
again unsuccessful, and was involved in difficulties which required years of patient toil amidst great discouragement to surmount. In 1846 he edited an anti-administration paper called the Yeoman, supported by a wing of the Democracy in opposition to the administration of Francis R. Shunk Governor of Pennsylvania. Some. time after this, we find him employed in Philadelphia, in the Quaker City newspaper office, for which paper he afterwards contributed a serial story, entitled the " Prayer of Love," supposed to embody much of his own life experience. After this he became editor of the Sunday Globe next one of the publishers of the Sunday Mercury. In February, 1852, he accepted the propo. sition of John H. Pearsol, came to Lancaster and assumed the editorial management of the Weekly Express, then the organ of the temperance sentiment of the county. In 1856 Mr. Geist purchased an interest in this paper, and with his partner, the original proprietor, established in connection with it the Daily Express, and has succeeded in building it up as one of the most influential and independent newspaper organs in eastern Pennsylvania. As an editor of a newspaper, Mr. Geist wields a fertile and vigorous pen, his style being free, easy and euphonious. Although a Republican in principle, he is independent, and no party fealty checks his pen when truth demands the exposure of political corruption. It is this cause which has rendered his paper the powerful moulder of sentiment it has become.
GEIST, PHILIP, elected Commissioner in 1853.
GETZ, GEORGE, was born in the city of Lancaster, July 18, 1789. He learned the printing business in the Lancaster Journal office, under Hugh Hamilton. Afterwards he entered the service of the United States, as midshipman in the navy. He took part, under Captain James Lawrence, in the memorable engagement between the Hornet and the Peacock, and performed active duty in several minor naval engagements. In the latter part of the year 1813 he resigned his post in the navy, and was appointed by President Madison, a lieutenant in the army, in which capacity he served until the close of the war. In 1816 he removed to Reading, Berks county, Pa., where he established the Berks
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 233
and Schuylkill Journal, a paper which he conducted for over sixteen years. In March, 1850, he was elected Mayor of the city of Reading, and was twice reelected, in the years 1851 and 1852. He died February 10th, 1853.
GEST, JOSEPH, born at Bethel, (now Delaware county), in tl1eye ar 1722, was the son of Henry Gest, who emigrated this to country from Birmingham, England, about the year 1700, and who was married to Mary, the daughter of James Clemson. While yet a boy, Joseph removed to Lancaster county, and resided with his uncle, Thomas Clemson ; here he learned the trade of a carpenter, and soon became an extensive contractor, and was engaged in erecting some of the finest buildings among the early settlements. In the year 1764 he purchased 300 acres of land from William Webster, the original patentee, on which his grandson, Jacob T. Gest, now resides; and in the following year he was joined in marriage with Deborah, the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Dickinson. His son, John Gest, was appointed to the office of Recorder of Deeds, for the city and county of Philadelphia, under the administration of Governor Ritner, in the year 1835; and his son, Joseph Gest, was, for many years, county surveyor for Hamilton county, Ohio, and for the city of Cincinnati. He lived to the age of 92 years, and his descendants are among the most intelligent and respectable personages in the eastern section of Lancaster county.
GETZ, PETER. The following notice of Mr. Getz we extract from Barton's Life of Rittenhouse : " Peter Getz was, a self-taught mechanic of singular ingenuity in the borough of Lancaster, where he exercised the trade of a silversmith and jeweler, and was remarkable for the extraordinary elegance and beauty of the workmanship he executed. He was, in 1792, a candidate for the place of chief coiner or engraver in the mint.”
GIBBONS, ABRAHAM, elected Commissioner in 1824.
GIBBONS, MRS. PHOEBE EARLE, a lady of literary tastes, was born in Philadelphia, August 9th, 1821. Her father, Thomas Earle, was a man of great note in his day, and in 1840 Was the first candidate of the Liberty party for
- 18 -
234 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
Vice President. The subject of this sketch was well educated in select schools in Massachusetts, and taught in. Mr. Picot's French school in Philadelphia and elsewhere for some years. In 1845 she was married to Dr. Joseph Gibbons of Lancaster county. In 1861 she began the study of Greek, with Professor William M. Nevin, of Lancaster. A portion of the Odyssey, translated by her was published in the Ladies' Friend of Philadelphia. A small medical work was translated by her from the French, for Lindsay and Blakiston, which was published in 1866. She has also translated a portion of the Herman and Dorothea of Goethe. At different times she has written articles for magazines. In 1872 she published a small volume, entitled "Pennsylvania
Dutch," a portion of which originally appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. Mrs. Gibbons is an active member of the Lancaster Linnaaan Society. She is a lady of varied acquirements and marked intellectual capacity.
GIBSON, GENERAL JOHN, was born in Lancaster city, Pennsylvania, on the 23rd of May, 1740. Having received an excellent education, at the age of eighteen he made choice of a military career as the most congenial to his tastes. His first service was under Gen. Forbes, in the campaign that resulted in the capture of Fort Duquesne (now Pittsburg), from the French. When the peace of 1763 was concluded between the French and English, he settled as a trader at Fort Pitt. Shortly afterwards, war broke out anew with the Indians, and he was taken prisoner by them at the mouth of Beaver creek, while descending the Ohio river in a canoe, together with two men in his employ, one of whom was immediately burned, and the other suffered the same fate on reaching the mouth of the Kanawha river. Gibson, on this occasion, owed his life to the partiality of an aged squaw, who chose him as her adopted son, in lieu of her own whom she had lost in battle. He was necessitated to remain many years with the Indians, where he became immediately conversant with their language, habits, manners, customs and traditions. It has been a subject of extreme regret by many, that he should have held these matters in such slight esteem as to deem his collections unworthy of being transmitted to
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 235
posterity for it is evident that in the present state of antiquarian research, they would throw light upon many questions that are now agitated among scientific men. No man of his attainments and ability to set forth his observations, has had equal opportunities for coming to a correct knowledge of the Indian character, unless his friend, the Rev. Heckewelder, is to be excepted. Upon the termination of hostilities, he again settled at Fort Pitt.
In 1774 he acted a conspicuous part in the expedition against the Shawnee towns, under the command of Lord Dunmore, and was particularly active in the negotiation of the peace that followed, and which restored many prisoners' to their friends after long years of anxious captivity. It was on this occasion that the celebrated speech of Logan, the Mingo chief, was delivered, and the circumstances connected with its delivery are of sufficient interest to account for their recital in this sketch, such as they were detailed by Gen. Gibson himself a short time before his death. When the troops had reached the principal town of the Shawnees, and while active preparations were being made to put everything in readiness for the attack, Gen. Gibson, with an escort and flag of truce, was despatched to the Indians with authority to treat for peace. As he approached he perceived Logan, (whom he had previously seen), standing in the path, and he addressed hini with.the familiar greeting : " My friend Logan, how do you do ? I am glad to see you." To Phis, Logan, with a coldness of manner and brevity of expression which clearly betokened his feelings, replied : " I suppose you are,” and immediately turned away. After explaining the object of his embassy to the assembled chiefs, (all of whom were present except Logan), he found them all sincerely anxious for peace. Whilst the terms of reconciliation were being discussed he felt himself plucked by the skirt of his capote, and turning around he saw Logan at his back, standing with his face convulsed with rage, and by signs beckoning to follow him. What to do he was at first in doubt, but reflecting that he was at least equal to his antagonist, being armed with dirk and side pistols and in muscular strength his superior, and considering, above all,
236 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
that any betrayal of fear in this emergency, might prove detrimental to the negotiation, he followed in silence, while Logan with quick steps led the way to a copse of woods at some little distance. Here they seated themselves, and the stern and fearless chief was instantly suffused in a torrent of gushing tears, but as yet no word was uttered, and his grief appeared inconsolable. As soon, however, as he had regained the power of utterance, he delivered the speech in question, and desired it to be transmitted to Lord Dunmore, in order to remove all suspicion that might be entertained in reference to a treaty, in the ratification of which a chief of his importance had not participated. Accordingly, the speech was translated and sent to Lord Dunmore without delay. Gen. Gibson could not positively say that the speech, as given by Jefferson in his Notes on Virginia, was verbatim as he had penned it ; but he was inclined to think from certain expressions which he remembered, it was so; that it gave the substance, he was confident. Gen. Gibson, however, believed that it was not in the power of a translation to do justice to the speech as delivered by Logan ; a speech to which the language of passion, uttered in tones of the deepest feeling, and with gestures at once naturally graceful and commanding, together with a consciousness on the part of the hearer that the sentiments proceeded immediately from a desolate and broken heart, imparted a grandeur and force inconceivably great. Indeed, as compared with the original, he even regarded the translation as but lame and insipid.
On the breaking out of the revolutionary war, Gen. Gibson obtained the command of one of the Continental regiments, and was with the army at. New York and during its retreat through New Jersey; but during the remainder of the war he was detailed on the western frontier, a service for which his long sojourn among the Indians had peculiarly qualified him. In 1776 he was a member of the convention which framed the Constitution of Pennsylvania, and was afterward appointed a judge of the court of common pleas of the county of Allegheny, and a major general of the militia. In the year 1800 he received from President Jefferson the appointment of Secretary of the
Territory of Indiana, and
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 237
this position he retained until the territory was admitted as State into the Union. Laboring under an incurable cataract, which had for a long time afflicted him, he now retired to Braddock's Field, the residence of his son-in-law, Geo. Wallace, esq., and there died April 10th, 1822, having sustained through life the character of a brave soldier and an honest man.
GILCHRIST, JOHN, was a member of the Legislature in the years 1778 and 1779.
GISH, JACOB was a member of the Legislature in the years 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1809 and 1824.
GLEIM, WILLIAM, was elected Register of Wills in the 1845 year
GOOD, ANTHONY, was elected Recorder in the year 1857.
GOOD, DANIEL, elected Commissioner in 1854.
GOTSCHALK, ABRAHAM, was a member of the Legislature in the years 1867 and 1869.
GRAFF, HANS, (John), a native of Switzerland, born in 1661, was one of the first pioneers of Lancaster county, who settled in it as early as the year 1717, when the district in which he chose his future home was comparatively a howling wilderness, still inhabited by the tawny races of the new world. He belonged to the pious but persecuted sect of religionists in Europe, the Mennonites, against whom the sword of intolerance was unsheathed ; and it was to escape the destruction that seemed to threaten the devoted followers of Menno Simon, that the subject of our notice was induced, together with his fellow-religionists, to select some portion of the new world as their place of refuge. About the year 1695, Hans Graff had fled from his native home in Switzerland, and taken up his abode in Alsace, a district of France, where he remained until he emigrated to America, and settled at Germantown, Pa. His stay in this latter place was of some duration but finally, induced by glowing descriptions of the fertility and excellence of the soil of the Pequea valley, he removed thither and chose it as his abode, unless one more adapted to his tastes should come to his knowledge. In his wanderings through the new territory he came into a
238 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
finely timbered district of country; and embowered in the midst of beautiful and majestic oaks, he saw a gushing stream of limpid water issuing from its fountain in all its native purity. Fascinated with this delightful elysium of nature, this exiled wanderer for conscience resolved to select the lovely spot upon which his eyes then for the first time rested, and the place where, in coming years, he and his successors might pour out their adorations to the God of their fathers, with none to fear nor make them afraid. his resolution was fixed. Returning to his home at Pequea, he disposed of his effects and immediately took up his journey for the place which he had chosen as his future home and abode. Here he erected a cabin under a large white oak tree, in which he, the partner of his bosom and an only child, spent the first winter. In the following spring, in order to secure himself in this the territory of his choice, he took out a warrant for a large- tract of land, and then built for himself a house of more commodious dimensions and near to the site of his first rude and homely cabin. Fortune favored, in a remarkable degree, this early pioneer of Lancaster's wilds ; and it was not long till his prosperity attracted others of his countrymen, who came and settled around and near him ; and in this manner the nucleus of a flourishing settlement was in a short time formed. For many years, however, the principal persons with whom Hans Graff had intercourse, were the red men of the forest, and this accounts for his great knowledge of the Indian tongue, in which he is said to have discoursed as fluently as in his vernacular German. He was not slow in taking advantage of the circumstances by which he was surrounded, and with the Indians he soon established a trade that resulted to his great profit and advantage. He sold to the Indians milk, vegetables, blankets, and other articles of merchandise which he could purchase in Philadelphia, and obtained in exchange for them furs and other objects of trade, for which he could secure a ready sale, and which, to him, were equivalent to cash. In this way Hans Graff laid the foundation of a princely fortune; and by the time that Lancaster was organized into a separate county, he was already one of the ness of importance was transacted at that early period unless his judgment was first consulted and his consent obtained. Despite the jealousy of race, that in those early times inflamed the antagonistic Irish and German elements of the county, we find the name of Hans Graff often conspicuously appearing in positions of official trust, to which he had been assigned by the Governor and Board of Council of the province; and by the judges of the court of his county. After having served his day and generation, he was followed to his last resting-place by his numerous friends and descendants, who have erected a shrine to his. memory more enduring than the lofty marble monuments reared to princes, kings and emperors.
Hans Graff raised six sons : Peter, David, John, Daniel., Marcus and Samuel. David was married to a Miss Moyer, and died at the age of sixty-two years. His wife attained the age of ninety-two years. David, son of the last named, married Barbara Hirst, and built the house in West Earl township where Levi W . Groff now resides. He died at the age of twenty-seven, and his widow married David Martin. John, (gross Johnny), son of the last, was married to a Miss Wenger. Levi W. Graff is one of his sons, and David G. Swartz, esq., of Lancaster, is a grandson.
GRIEST, ELLWOOD, was born in Chester county, Pa., June 17th, 1824. His parents belonged to the Society of Friends. After receiving an ordinary English education, he this trade, he worked in the capacity of a journeyman was apprenticed to the blacksmithing business, and having learned
in Lancaster, Chester and Delaware counties. He carried on this business in Bart township, and afterwards in Christiana, up to the breaking out of the rebellion. He entered a the service of the United States in December, 1862, as clerk in the subsistence department, in the Third Division,. Sixth Army Corps, Army of the Potomac. In this capacity
240 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
he served up to October, 1863, when he was captured by Moseby's guerrillas, and sent to Richmond. Here he was detained for some months, and after returning home, was detailed for duty to Johnson's Island, in Lake Erie, a depot of rebel prisoners. In August, 1864, he was commissioned commissary of subsistence, with the rank of captain. He was ordered to Gen. Sheridan's army, and placed on his staff as issuing commissary at headquarters. He remained with Sheridan till February, 1865; and when the latter went on his raid in the Shenandoah Valley, Captain Griest was left as post commissary at Winchester.
During the time that Captain Griest was connected with Sheridan's staff, General Alexander Shaler, who knew him well in the Army of the Potomac, and was now 'commanding the post of Columbus, Kentucky, made repeated applications to have him assigned to duty on his staff. These applications were at length referred by the Commissary General of Subsistence to General Sheridan, who returned them with the following endorsement:
HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION, WINCHESTER, Va.,
December 14th, 1864.
Respectfully returned to the Commissary General, with the remark that Captain Griest is an intelligent and efficient officer, whose services at this time, in this department, cannot very well be dispensed with.
By order of
MAJOR GENERAL SHERIDAN.
JNO. KELLOGG, COL. and Chief C. S.
He was afterwards detailed with Sheridan to New Orleans; next to Jacksonville, Florida, at which latter place he remained till mustered out of service in April, 1866, with the brevet rank of Major. Before returning home a lieutenant's commission in the United States infantry was tendered him, which he declined accepting. In the following September, upon his return home, he was appointed County Treasurer by the county commissioners, in room of Samuel Ensminger, deceased. Whilst acting as Treasurer he was engaged by S. A. Wylie to edit the Lancaster Inquirer, then published by the latter. In 1868 he entered into partnership with the latter, a position he retained till the death of Mr. Wylie, in June, 1872. He is still editor of the Inquirer.
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 241
GREY, HENRY, was a member of the Legislature in the years 1852 and 1853.
GRIMLER, BENJAMIN, the editor of the Wahre Americaner, a German newspaper published in Lancaster during the period that it was the seat of government of Pennsylvania. The paper was published by himself and his brother, Henry Grimier. Benjamin was the youngest of a considerable family. His father had emigrated from Wirtemberg, Germany, at an early day, and his mother was a native of Charleston, South Carolina, and an intimate acquaintance of the celebrated Benjamin Franklin, having boarded in the same family with him for some time. Der Wahre Americaner was for a long time the leading Democratic paper of Lancaster county, and looked upon as the political bible of that party. The Messrs. Grimier were employed by the Legislature to do the German printing as long as the sessions of the body were held in this place. Benjamin Grimier went out as lieutenant of a company, raised in Lancaster, to Elkton, Maryland, to assist in keeping at bay the British, who were cruising around the coasts under Admiral Cockburn. His service was not of long duration, and after his discharge therefrom he returned to Lancaster and resumed again the business of civil life. In 1824 he was elected to the lower house of the Pennsylvania Legislature. Benjamin Grimier was a ready writer, in either German or English, and could deliver an impromptu address or pen an editorial upon any occasion. At the time when Captain George Hambright was defeated by the delegates of the Federal party for the office of sheriff, and ran afterwards in opposition to the settled ticket of his party, Benjamin Grimier was successful in inducing the Democratic party to support him, and he was elected. Hambright was supported by the plebeian wing of the Federal party, and also by the Democrats. During this campaign Grimier issued in his Paper one of his masterly addresses, which aroused the masses of the people to the support of his candidates, and insured their triumphant election. He died in 1832, and lies buried in the graveyard of Trinity Lutheran church. The mother of Ron. Henry G. Long was a sister of Benjamin Grimier.
242 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
GRIMLER, HENRY, brother of the above and co editor with him in the publication of Der Wahre Americaner. He was a man of much greater brilliancy of intellect than his brother, and possessed a great fondness for writing blank verse. Some of his productions of this kind evince a high order of intellect. He died at the early age of 36 years.
GROFF, JOHN, a member of the Legislature in 1812.
GROFF, SEBASTIAN, was elected State Senator in 1790. He was, in 1787, a delegate to the convention to ratify the Federal constitution, and was again a delegate in 1789 to the convention held to amend the constitution of Pennsylvania.
GROH, C. L., elected a County Commissioner in 1831.
GROSH, JACOB. In 1745 two families of the name of Grosh, emigrated to this country from Manheim, Germany. On landing at Philadelphia, two of the children were indentured as "Redemptioners," to aid in paying their passage money.
Valentine Grosh, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, settled in East Hempfield, on wild lands purchased on credit from the government, at a shilling (13½ cents) per acre. The houses being built of round hickory logs, the neighborhood was called Hickorytown; afterward Snufftown. After a time Valentine removed to Litiz, being a member of the Moravian church, and gave up the farm to his son John, the father of Daniel and Jacob, and their sisters.
Jacob Grosh, the youngest of these children, was horn January 25th, 1776. Between the ages of eight and twelve years he was sent to school in. Litiz—three months each summer—a daily walk of ten miles. The teacher was Rev. Mr. Grube, grandfather of John Beck, the founder, and for fifty years the principal of the Boys' Academy in Litiz. This twelve months of schooling, all he ever received, was in German ; nor did he learn to read and write English until aided by his second wife. At 12 years of age he was put to "man's work," plowing, felling trees, &c. At 20 be married, and was disowned by his father. He soon went to work, and thus describes his establishment : " Our house
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 243
(rent $7.00 a year,) was built of round logs, the crevices filled with clay mortar. It was 15 by 16 feet, of one-story, feet in the clear,) roofed with straw, and had one window of four panes, 6x8. My wages were good, and we had everything we really needed, a bed, two chairs, two pewter spoons, two knives and forks, two plates, a table of rough boards, a few pots, pans, &c., and suitable clothing in a chest. We were really comfortable and contented, and happy in each other. I had a tender, loving wife, of my own choosing, a healthy, virtuous and agreeable woman." His wife died on Christmas eve of 1796.
His father having married again, came and thus addressed him : "Jacob, your new mother, and, I may add, your new father, want you to come home again. Next Sunday I wish you to go to church with your mother, brother and sisters, and I will acknowledge you as my son as publicly as I disowned you." Their mingled tears washed away all unkind recollections.
In 1799 he made his home with Daniel, his brother, whose wife, "Gretel," (Margaret) was always a beloved sister; laboring on the farm, where he became' acquainted with Margaret, daughter of George Gutedel, (anglicized into Gooderl); but as he could understand no English, and she no German, their intercourse was confined to looks and dumb show. But a marriage resulted, June 13th, 1799. His father now gave him the tenancy of 100 acres of wild land, and became security for necessary stock and utensils. He cleared ten acres, and built a two story log house, 28 by 30 feet, and a double barn, himself felling and preparing all the timber for buildings and fences. His energetic wife was his helper in nearly all the labors in field and barn, in dairy and household, as was then the country custom. Here were born to them Hannah, (who died, aged four years), and Aaron Burt, (Mr. G.'s mother's family name); and afterward, in Marietta, Rufus King, C. C. Pinkney, J. A. Bayard, Malvina, Magdalena, and B. Franklin ¹. Hard labor, exposures, and the anxieties of debt impaired his health, and finally compelled a change. The farm, stock and utensils were sold,
¹ Of these seven children, only the first and third sons survive (1872.)
244 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
debts paid, and a surplus of $1,000 obtained. The town of Waterford and New Haven (now Marietta), had just been laid out at Anderson's ferry, on the Susquehanna, and thither they moved in March, 1806, and built (of brick) the seventh house in the place, and opened it as a tavern. The land, lady's tact and skill made it successful, but it was disagree, able to him. One day while his wife was on a visit, he cut down the sign-post, and closed the tavern. Thus ended a few brief months of tavern-keeping. He entered next into the lumber business, which he continued for fifty-three years, This led him into new associations, and somewhat into dissipation.
In 1811 he was nominated for the House of Representatives, and having overheard his wife and a friend expressing their fears of the result, he inwardly resolved that hence. forth he would not forfeit the public confidence, nor blast the hopes of his family and friends, and from that day to the close of his life he never gambled in any way. And during his first winter at Harrisburg, by the representations of an aged room-mate, (Col. Erwin, Senator from Bucks county,) he vowed that he would never taste intoxicants while engaged as a legislator. In after-life he often gratefully reviewed the many snares he had escaped by observing these resolutions. He was reelected to the Legislature for the sessions of 1813, 1814 and 1816. In 1818 he was elected to the State Senate, and served four years, making his legislative service eight years, four in the House and four in the Senate.
As a legislator he was noted for his close attention to his duties, his intimate acquaintance with rules and usages, his sound judgment, strict integrity, and readiness to attend to all proper calls for aid and information. He was conscientiously opposed to the war of 1812-15. He believed that it should not have been declared until the country was put into a condition to make it effective. The early disasters of our army and pecuniary distress of the government confirmed these views ; but when Washington city was captured, the capitol and its records burned, aid other cities threatened, his blood boiled within him and he contributed liberally to send
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 245
a company of drafted men to Baltimore. Soon after, Goy-r Snyder issued a proclamation calling for volunteers, and sent a copy with a letter, appealing to Mr. Grosh to give it his influence. He at once hired the town-crier to go the streets, read the proclamation, and call a town through
meeting that evening. At the meeting he made a warm appeal and called for volunteers. Over eighty gave their names on the spot, uniform and name (" Marietta Greys ") were agreed on, and money subscribed to equip the men and provide for needy families. The principal work and cost soon rested on Mr. Grosh, who was unanimously chosen Captain ; John Pedan, 1st Lieutenant ; John Huss, 2d Lieutenant ; and J. Albright, Ensign.¹ On the fourth day after receiving the Governor's proclamation, 107 men ² were uniformed and marched for their destination. They were mustered in as " 9th Co., 2d Reg., Pa. Vols., L. Inf.," commanded by Col. Lewis Bache. As cold weather came on the captain purchased 100 blankets at $8.00 a pair, for which he never made any claim on the government. While in camp, commanding men who were associates and friends, and some his social superiors, he lived on the same fare and bore the same privations and restraints, and thus secured their cheerful obedience to his orders and submission to the hardships of camp.
During the speculation ³ fever Mr. G. (in 1813) bought 48 acres of land, east of (now in) Marietta, at S13.00 per acre, and laid it out in lots. In two months all were sold, at $500 each, and, in February following, when titles were given, were held at $600 and upward. He bought back many lots at these prices, and a farm of 133 acres, seven miles from town, at $250 per acre—merely to invest his money. He also built a first-class three-story brick house
¹ The women of Marietta assembled in a school-house, and made garments and knapsacks for the volunteers in Captain Grosh's company, so that when the men left their homes to march to Marcus hook, they went fully equipped. –Sypher’s History of Pa., pp. 339, 240.
² Of these 107 men but one now (1872) survives, Jacob Jones, of Delaware.
³ Few persons now living have any definite idea of the speculations that desolated so many homes and ruined so many fortunes in Marietta during and after the war of 1812-15, when property fell in successive,
246 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
in the new town, costing over $10,000. In those days of abundant paper money, all felt rich, and indorsing was for every man was "abundantly able to meet all his engagements ;" so that when Mr. G. went to camp, in 1814; he was bail and indorser for more than $55,000, beside his own heavy debts. By 1819 every man for whom he had indorsed, was bankrupt; his absence had necessitated new indorsers, and thus saved him ! On his return, he freed himself from other entanglements, barely in time to meet the coming storm. For when his property fell to one-tenth in price, while debts contracted in paper money had to be paid in coin at about quadruple value, he found himself utterly bankrupt save that no one knew it only his wife suspected it. Once, when sued as bail on a bond, for $2,960, by selling his entire stock of lumber at a sacrifice, he escaped an execution ; and the free use of his brother's credit stocked the yard again.. In the family, the merest and cheapest necessaries only were used.¹ Thus through ten years of agonizing debt, Mr. G. slowly emerged into comparative comfort, still limited in means, but free from fears of the sheriff.
His faithful wife sunk into consumption, and died December, 1823, aged 36 years, leaving six children, the youngest about five years old.
When the Marietta Bank became insolvent Mr. Grosh and six others were appointed trustees to settle its affairs. Its notes were bought up at a heavy discount by brokers, who • hoped to sell them at great profit when the bank's debtors
values and debts pressed inexorably, until everything except indebtedness went down under the sheriff's hammer for almost nothing ; and fathers and husbands were dragged to jail .by unsatisfied creditors, leaving families without the necessaries of life, which the imprisoned men were thus prevented from earning. Nor were the sufferers few. Up to 1822, out of 2,000 souls in Marietta, only four men escaped insolvency ! Houses sold for less than the cost of the mortar in and on their walls ; one, that cost $16,000, sold for $1,100 ; lots brought one per cent. of former prices ; even farms, five or six miles from town, sold for only one-sixth of their cost !
¹ Rye coffee, without sugar ; rye, corn and potato bread, generally without butter ; cheap meat, twice a week ; home-spun clothing for the children's every-day wear, &c.
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 247
were pushed for payment. But in 1823 the bank was robbed of all its evidences of debt, and its notes rendered worthless. the trustees could be made liable for them, or responsible for the robbery. Hence, civil suits were against them for over $400,000, the U. S. Bank leading the way, and the Legislature of 1824-5 induced to cite them to appear before it for trial. Mr. Grosh promptly refused to appear, and Mr. Shannon, Sergeant-at-Arms, was sent to compel attendance. He found Mr. Grosh entrenched in his chamber, armed for resistance unto death. In vain Mr. Shannon urged (among other considerations,) that a refusal would be considered proof of guilt. Mr. Grosh acted on principle, and was therefore regardless of people's opinions, and Mr. Shannon went to summon a posse. He returned after a time, saying that not a man would aid him, even as Mr. Grosh had predicted. So, after dinner, (which Mr. Grosh had ordered prepared, but did not preside at!) he departed, bearing to the Legislature Mr. Grosh's protest, which stated—that the Constitution vested all government in three departments (legislative, executive, judicial,)—that neither department could exercise powers vested in the others that in citing the trustees for trial the Legislature usurped judiciary powers, in violation of the Constitution and of the right of citizens, for if it had a right to try the trustees for alleged bank robbery, it had a right to try any other person for any other alleged crime, (robbing a hen-roost, for instance !) He concluded with assurances that he refused, not out .of disrespect, nor fear of conviction, but out of duty to resist a precedent so dangerous to the prosperity of government and the rights of its citizens, and pledged ready obedience to the summons of any lawful criminal court. These events excited much feeling and various comments on all sides ; but the result was, that the Legislature dropped the matter, and never afterward undertook any similar flair ; no criminal suit was ever brought ; and, after much maneuvering and costs, even the civil suits were decided against the plaintiffs or quietly dropped. Many years afterwards a worthy townsman, on his death-bed, informed Mr. Grosh that he and others had robbed the bank to save them-
248 - BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY
selves from the utter ruin which must have ensued }lad bank collected its claims.
He found, in the Litiz " Sister House," a lady every Way suited to make him happy, and was married November 2d, 1824.
In 1822 his oldest son embraced Universalism. Owing partially to surmises long entertained, he was induced to consider the subject of religion more earnestly, reading books and periodicals on both sides, and studying the Scriptures so thoroughly that few were better acquainted with their Con. tents, and thus he became (as he afterward lived and died) a Universalist Christian.
Mr. Grosh had been reared a Federalist. But the war of 1812-15, and the Presidential contest between five candidates in 1824, gradually effaced party lines. He voted for Mr. Adam in 1824 and 1828 ; but before 1832 Gen. Jackson's views on nullification and the United States Bank so fully accorded with his own, that he thenceforward acted with the Democratic party, until, in 1857, his life-long hatred of slavery led him to vote with the Republicans. In 1832 he again became an active politician. In 1840 Governor Porter nominated him to the Senate for Associate Judge. Both Lancaster Senators being ardent Whigs, opposed the nomination, alleging that he was incapable, superannuated, an infidel, (because a Universalist), and a Sabbath-breaker, in that he held Universalist meetings in his house, and attended temperance meetings on Sundays. Only 101 persons could be induced to thus remonstrate, but he was rejected, 15 to 18, by a strict party vote. In 1841 Governor Porter again nominated him, stating that many of both parties desired it; that careful inquiry proved him fit and capable; and that religious prejudice should not be heeded, &c. He was confirmed-18 Democrats and 4 Whigs for, and 9 Whigs against. When, five years later, he was again nominated, nearly all of the bar requested it, and the Senate unanimously confirmed it.
Shortly after Mr. G.'s appointment, Judge Dale died, and Judge Chimneys resigned his seat upon the bench. Before Mr. Shaeffer had taken Judge Dale's place, Judge Grosh was
OF LANCASTER COUNTY - 249
alone on the bench. Yet he opened the court, qualified the new associate, charged the juries, and presided at trials; the first instance an associate judge had so officiated in the county. On the first day he thus presided, Thaddeus Stevens, who bad lately removed to Lancaster from Adams county, came to him, at noon, and said, " The settling of the docket was forgotten this morning." The judge replied that that would be attended to next Mcinday, the first day of Common Pleas. Mr. Stevens remarked, " This is the proper day ;" and added that he had taken judgment in two cases, naming them. The judge said that where both terms were held the same week, (as in Adams county,) the first day might be proper, but if Mr. Stevens would consult some old member of the bar he would find that it was not the rule here. Mr. Stevens fiercely replied that he knew his own business, and would impeach any judge who dared alter that entry on the docket. When the court opened the judge calmly said, " Mr. Prothonotary, Mr. Stevens (in a mistake, the Court presumes,) entered judgments by default against — and ____ ; and, as he declines striking them off, the Court now directs you to do it." It was done, amidst great suppressed excitement in the bar, Mr. Stevens looking pale and vexed, but from that day he and Mr. Grosh were friends,
despite their political differences.
Another lawyer, presuming on Mr. Grosh's timidity, was unruly and speaking " out of order." He was told to take his seat, but heeded it not. The judge mildly said, " Sit down, or the Court will be compelled to commit you for Contempt," to which the lawyer saucily replied, " Your Honor had better try your hand at that !" " Sit .down, sir !" said the judge, in such stern tone and with flashing eye, that the lawyer literally dropped into his seat. That was the last attempt to browbeat him on the part of any attorney at the bar: The greatest pain was suffered in deciding cases of fugitives from slavery, not one of whom, however, was ever remanded into bondage by him or Judge Shaeffer. One case only is here noted. Before the law of 1848, which debarred all State officers from acting in slave cases, fugitives could be tried by a single judge, "in chambers."
- 19 -