William Franklin

William Franklin


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William Franklin was born in York, Pennsylvania, on 27th February, 1823. He graduated first in his class of 39 from West Point in 1843. He fought in the Mexican War where he won two brevets. A specialist engineer, Franklin supervised several construction projects and taught the subject at the U.S. Military Academy.

On the outbreak of the American Civil War Franklin joined the Union Army and was named colonel of the 12th Infantry. He took part in the battles at Bull Run (June, 1861) and Antietam (September, 1862). Franklin led the Left Grand Division at Fredericksburg (November, 1862). Afterwards his performance at the battle was criticized by General Ambrose Burnside and the Committee on the Conduct of the War.

Franklin was wounded and captured at Sabine Cross Roads on 11th July, 1864 by a force led by General Jubal A. Early. He later escaped but did not return to active service. In 1866 he retired from the United States Army and was appointed as vice-president of the Colt's Fire Arms Manufacturing Company and over the next few years was employed by several companies as a consulting engineer.

William Franklin died in 1903.


Franklin and William

U nlike his step-mother and s ister, William was not replaced by a replica of him in London. William had the privilege to travel with his father and to matriculate in a law school in England. Franklin and William shared many similarities such as, clubs and charities. There was a point in time when Franklin was proud of his son's ability and William proud of his father's political skills. So what happen?

The common thread that seemed to interfere in all of Franklin's relationships is work and William was no different from being affected by it. Shelia Skemp states that "the formidable rival for his father's affection was Benjamin's voracious appetite for public affairs." [i] But was he really abandoned? Franklin took his son underneath his wings and travel with him everywhere. When Franklin travel to London in 1757 to perform his diplomatic duties, William was right by his side. When Franklin was making the preparations for his famous kite experiment, William was his confidant. William was a man of charm, and polish, expensively dressed, and well-traveled [ii] thanks to his father. Like Sally, Franklin has a person in mind for William to marry--Polly Stevenson. However, like Sally that plan fell through and William married another young woman. When Franklin returns back to London, it was William who stepped up and filled in for his father and took care of the family. Franklin introduced William to the world of politics. It is believed that because Franklin loved England and loved the empire and he taught his son to do the same. "He had always been proud of his English heritage." [iii] So does this mean Franklin raised his son to be a loyalist? What this also implies is that Franklin deviated from the beliefs he instilled in his son?

Another theory to this whole feud is that it is a result of " the trauma he [William] suffered as a result of his illegitimate birth. " [iv] In other words, William choice to be a loyalist was his way of lashing out about the circumstance of his birth and society's constant reminder of is illegitimacy. Another theory is given by Skemp essay, William Franklin: His Father's Son,

There may well have been a competitive edge to William's relationship with his father, constantly driving him to find some means of achieving respect and standing in the community that would enable him to equal, or perhaps even rival, that already held by his father. Thus William's life was characterized by one long search for autonomy. His marriage represented an attempt to "wean himself from his father." His assumption of the governorship of New Jersey "in spired him to feel that he had come into his manhood and achieved independence at last." William's ultimate declaration of independence came, of course, when he refused to join his father in rebelling against the English crown. Ironically, Loyalism was William Franklin's method of achieving personal autonomy. [v]

Was William just simply acting out? As the years passed and Franklin and William became more and more fervent about the positions they decided to take, their relationship became more damaging. By the time Franklin died, he left William nothing, giving his son, Temple, the majority of the wealth. "William received the worthless claims to the Nova Scotia lands, whatever books and papers and of his father he already held in his possession, and the cancellation of his still outstanding debts to Franklin's estate." [vi] Sounds like a case of love and war.

So are we to fully blame Franklin for the complete obliteration of his relationship with his son? It seems to me that they both let business engulf pleasure. They both allowed their political views and careers take precedence over their relationship. Out of every one in the family, (Sally and Deborah) William had the most access to Franklin. He learned and spent the most time with him. William had more of a control over the fate of their relationship than anyone else. So in the case of William and Franklin they are both guilty.

In light of all the facts and the in-depth look at each relationship Franklin had with each individual in his family, it would be negligent to say that Franklin is solely responsible for all the screw ups in his relationships. In each case, we are able to see technicalities and everyone's stake in the situation. With all this information it is hard to say that Franklin is a saint or fiend. Of course he made bad decisions, everyone does and will. Some of these decision that he made, Franklin recognized that he was wrong and tried to correct them in the he was able to. So the most important thing that I can say about Franklin and his family is DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE! In the case of Benjamin Franklin of being accused as being an appalling family man, I find him.


William Franklin - History

Documents in Early American History

William Franklin, "Your Duty is to Guard and Preserve the Constitution and the Rights of Your Constituents"

Speech by William Franklin, Governor of New Jersey, to the New Jersey Legislature, 1775

Gentlemen of the Council, and Gentlemen of the Assembly,

It would argue not only a great want of duty to his majesty, but of regard to the good people of this province, were I, on this occasion, to pass over in silence the late alarming transactions in this and the neighboring colonies, or not endeavor to prevail on you to exert yourselves in preventing those mischiefs to this country, which, without your timely interposition, will, in all probability, be the consequence.

It is not for me to decide on the particular merits of the dispute between Great Britain and her colonies, nor do I mean to censure those who conceive themselves aggrieved for aiming at a redress of their grievances. It is a duty they owe themselves, their country, and their posterity. All that I would wish to guard you against, is the giving any countenance or encouragement to that destructive mode of proceeding which has been unhappily adopted in part by some of the inhabitants in this colony, and has been carried so far in others as totally to subvert their former constitution. It has already struck at the authority of one of the branches of the legislature in a particular manner.

And, if you, gentlemen of the assembly, should give your approbation to transactions of this nature, you will do as much as lies in your power to destroy that form of government of which you are an important part, and which it is your duty by all lawful means to preserve. To you your constituents have intrusted a peculiar guardianship of their rights and privileges. You are their legal representatives, and you cannot, without a manifest breach of your trust, suffer any body of men, in this or any of the other provinces, to usurp and exercise any of the powers vested in you by the constitution. It behooves you particularly, who must be constitutionally supposed to speak the sense of the people at large, to be extremely cautious in consenting to any act whereby you may engage them as parties in, and make them answerable for measures which may have a tendency to involve them in difficulties far greater than those they aim to avoid.

Besides, there is not, gentlemen, the least necessity, consequently there will not be the least excuse for your running any such risks on the present occasion. If you are really disposed to represent to the king any Inconveniences you conceive yourselves to lie under, or to make any propositions on the present state of America, I can assure you, from the best authority, that such representations or propositions will be properly attended to, and certainly have greater weight coming from each colony in its separate capacity, than in a channel, of the propriety and legality of which there may be much doubt.

You have now pointed out to you, gentlemen, two roads--one evidently leading to peace, happiness, and a restoration of the public tranquility--the other inevitably conducting you to anarchy, misery, and all the horrors of a civil war. Your wisdom, your prudence, your regard for the true interests of the people, will be best known when you have shown to which road you give the preference. If to the former, you will probably afford satisfaction to the moderate, the sober, and the discreet part of your constituents. If to the latter, you will, perhaps for a time, give pleasure to the warm, the rash, and the inconsiderate among them, who, I would willingly hope, violent as is the temper of the present times, are not even now the majority. But it may be well for you to remember, should any calamity hereafter befall them from your compliance with their inclinations, instead of pursuing, as you ought, the dictates of your own judgment, that the consequences of their returning to, a proper sense of their conduct, may prove deservedly to yourselves.

I shall say no more at present on this disagreeable subject, but only to repeat an observation I made to a former assembly on a similar occasion. "Every breach of the constitution, whether it proceeds from the crown or the people, is, in its effects, equally destructive to the rights of both. It is the duty, therefore, of those who are intrusted with government, to be equally careful in guarding against encroachments from the one as the other. But It is (says one of the wisest of men) a most infallible symptom of the dangerous state of liberty, when the chief men of a free country show a greater regard to popularity than to their own judgment."

[Speech, January 13, 1775, Votes and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Colony of New Jersey (Burlington: Isaac Colins, 1775), pp. 5-7]

Documents in Early American History
Documents s elected and edited , and w e b site created and maintained , by F. Thornton Miller


Biography

William Franklin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1730, the acknowledged illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin. He was raised by Franklin and his common law wife Deborah Read, and it is speculated that Read was indeed Franklin's unknown mother, as she would have been shamed had it been known that Franklin was born out of wedlock. He joined a company of Pennsylvania provincial troops in 1746 and fought in Albany during King George's War, obtaining the rank of Captain in 1747. In 1759, Franklin went to London to study law, and he sired his own illegitimate son there.

In 1763, Franklin and his wife moved to New Jersey, and, that same year, Prime Minister John Stuart appointed Franklin Governor of New Jersey to weaken the Penn family. He improved roads and the construction of bridges, secured crop subsidies from England, founded the colony's chancery courts, granted a charter to Rutgers, curtailed imprisonment for debt, pardoned 105 women who were jailed for adultery, hanged two Sussex county men for beheading a prisoner during Pontiac's Rebellion, and established the first Indian reservation at Brotherton in Burlington County.

The American Revolutionary War led to Benjamin Franklin being alienated from his son. Franklin had supported his father's earlier Anglophilia, was a devout Anglican, respected benevolent authority, and sought the post of Governor's salary and prerequisites. He secretly reported Patriot activities to London, and the Provincial Congress of New Jersey incarcerated him in Connecticut for two years. In 1778, he was released in a prisoner exchange and movied to occupied New York City his wife died in Manhattan in 1777 during Franklin's imprisonment. Franklin, regarded as the leader of the loyalists, set up Loyalist units to fight the Patriots. He also supported guerrilla warfare against the Continental Army, but these plans were opposed by Henry Clinton in 1782, he oversaw the capture of the patriot Joshua Huddy, who was later summarily executed by loyalist irregulars. That same year, he left America for London, never to return. He died in 1813, having spoken to his father only once since the war.


William Franklin

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

Day before yesterday, Governor Franklin, of New Jersey, passed through Hartford, in Connecticut, on his way to Governor Trumbull, at Lebanon. Mr. Franklin is a noted Tory, and ministerial tool, and has been exceedingly busy in perplexing the cause of liberty, and in serving the designs of the British King and his minions. The people of the Jerseys, on account of his principles, connections, abilities, and address, viewed him as a mischievous and dangerous enemy in that province, and consequently thought it expedient to remove him, under a strong guard, to Connecticut. He is safely arrived, and will probably have leisure to reconnoitre his past life. He is son to Doctor Benjamin Franklin, 1 the genius of the day, and the great patron of American Liberty. If his excellency escapes the vengeance of the people, due to the enormity of his crimes, his redemption will flow, not from his personal merit, but from the high esteem and veneration which this country entertains for his honored father. 2

1 William Franklin, the last royal governor of New Jersey, was the natural son of Dr. Franklin. He was born in 1731 was appointed governor in 1763, and continued in office until he was sent to Connecticut. On his release he went to England, where he died on the 17th of November, 1813.
2 Constitutional Gazette, July 13.


William Franklin EADS SR


7 comments:

Thanks for listing info and pictures of my great, great grandparents!

My wife's mother was Vera Catherine Eads Yearwood. I have been tracing her family's history for about the last 20 years (not very activly until after I retired three years ago). Her father was Andrew Jackson Eads and they lived in the Mississippi delta when Vera was born. Prior to that I am pretty sure they lived in Tuscalousa County, Alabama. Andrew's father was James A. Eads and his father was John Eads. Some of the family goes back to North Carolina prior to living in Alabama.

Vera died in 2004 from pancreatic cancer.

My wife Jackie is fourth cousin of Tricia Yearwood and her mother told her several years before she died that they were even closer related to Billy Ray Cyrus on her side of the family.

When I discoverd postings for the Eads family with roots in Kentucky I thought that there most likely is a connection to that part of the family. Billy Ray Cyrus's father Ray was a state Senator from Kentucky.


1843 History of Franklin County, Pennsylvania

Franklin County was established on the 9th Sept. 1784, having previously been the southwestern part of Cumberland co., known as the Conococheague* settlement. Length 30 m., breadth 25 area 734 sq. m. Population in 1790, 15,655 in 1800, 19,638 in 1810, 23,173 in 1820, 31,892 in 1830, 35,037 in 1840, 37,793.

The county consists of a broad valley, generally composed of undulating slate and limestone lands, and bounded on the east by the South Mountain, which rises to an elevation of from 600 to 900 feet above the middle of the valley. On the northwest rises the more rugged and elevated ridge of the Kittatinny, or North Mountain, and behind it the still higher ridge of the Tuscarora, which is about 1,700 feet above the middle of the valley. The Kittatinny mountain, hitherto remarkably continuous and regular in its form, seems to terminate near the Chambersburg and Bedford turnpike, or to turn backward while the Cove mountain, a spur of the Tuscarora, diverging immediately west of the termination of the Kittatinny, seems to supply the deficiency, and continues the chain into Virginia. Between these mountains and spurs are several very narrow and fertile valleys, called coves. Path valley and Amberson's valley are of this character. The principal waters have their sources in the mountains on both sides of the county, and nearly all unite in forming the Conococheague cr., which empties into the Potomac. The Antictam cr., also flows into Maryland, and the sources of the Conodoguinet into Cumberland co. These streams supply an immense amount of water-power, of which it has been estimated that not more than half has yet been usefully applied. The limestone lands east of the Conococheague are well watered, fertile, and in a high state of cultivation, estimated at 180,000 acres. West of the Conococheague the slate lands prevail, estimated at 160,000 acres not quite so fertile as the limestone, but more easily cultivated, and abounding in pure streams and luxuriant meadows. There is a strip from one to two miles wide, east of the limestone, at the base of the South mountain, known as " pine-land," which is said to be equal for fertility and certainty of product to any in the county-estimated at 20,000 acres. It is composed of sand, mixed with clay and water-worn pebbles. The mountainous districts, on the eastern and western boundaries, contain about 110,000 acres. The staple agricultural products are wheat, rye, corn, and oats. Some attention has been paid to the cultivation of the mulberry.

* The old settlers pronounce this word Conny-co-jig.

Iron ore is found in a line along the base of the South Mountain, near where the limestone joins the other strata. It is of the pipe and honeycomb kind, and is said, in appearance and in the quality of its iron, to resemble that from which the celebrated Juniata iron is made. There is also a stratum producing iron along the Path valley, perhaps in the same relative geological position as near the South Mountain. On both these mountains are extensive forests, to supply fuel for the manufacture of iron. There is a tradition that the Indians used to get lead in the South Mountain, but the whites have not found it.

White marble is found in various parts of the county. The manufactures of the county are generally those adapted to agricultural districts, flouring, fulling, and sawing with several furnaces, forges, paper-mills, an axe factory, and one or two cotton and several woollen factories. Much has been done to facilitate the intercourse of the citizens with each other, and with those of other sections of the country. Besides the ordinary public roads, there are 63 miles of stone turnpike, and 23 large stone bridges and 26 miles of railroad. A stone turnpike runs from Chambersburg to Pittsburg, another to Carlisle, another to Gettysburg and one runs from Waynesburg to McConnellstown, through Mercersburg. The Cumberland Valley railroad, from Harrisburg, terminates at Chambersburg, whence the Franklin railroad continues the communication through Greencastle to Hagerstown, in Maryland. There are some 40 or 50 churches, in which religious instruction is regularly dispensed and at Mercersburg, a college and theological seminary. A great proportion of the dwellings of the inhabitants are of stone or brick and in the limestone districts nearly all the stables and barns are built of the same material.

The original population of the county was of the Scotch-Irish race, and many of their descendants still remain but the German population, which has more recently come in, is fast gaining in numbers over the descendants of the original pioneers.

"It is a tradition well supported, that a great part of the best lands in the Conococheague valley were, at the first settlement of the country, what is now called in the western states prairie. The land was without timber, covered with a rich, luxuriant grass, with some scattered trees, hazel-bushes, wild plums, and crab-apples. It was then called generally ' the barrens." The timber was to be found on or near the water-courses, and on the slate soil. This accounts for the preference given by the early Scotch-Irish settlers to the slate lands, before the limestone lands were surveyed or located. The slate had the attractions of wood, watercourses, and water-meadows, and was free from rock at the surface. Before the introduction of clover, artificial grasses, and the improved system of agriculture, the hilly limestone land had its soil washed off, was disfigured with great gullies, and was sold as unprofitable, for a trifle, by the proprietors, who sought other lands in Western Pennsylvania. It is now, under German cultivation, the most beautiful and fertile section of the county."

Chambersburg, the seat of justice of Franklin county, is one of the most flourishing inland towns in the state. It is pleasantly situated at the confluence of the Falling Spring and Conococheague creeks, 143 miles west of Philadelphia, 48 southwest of Harrisburg, and 77 northwest of Baltimore. The town was laid out in 1764, but remained a small village until after the peace of 1783, and the establishment of the county in 1784, since which it has enjoyed a progressive improvement. It contains at present about 600 houses, substantially, and many of them tastefully built generally of brick or stone. The population within the borough limits in 1830, was 2,794, and in 1840, 3,239. Its public buildings are, a splendid new courthouse of brick, (erected in 1842,) with an Ionic colonnade in front, and surmounted by a beautiful cupola, a jail, eight churches, a spacious academy, a banking-house of a superior style of architecture, and a Masonic hall of elegant structure. There are also several well-built and well-kept hotels and three weekly newspapers, two in English and one in German.

The water-power of the creeks which pass through the town drives two flour-mills, two fulling-mills, an immense straw-paper mill, a cotton and woollen manufactory, oil-mill, carding machines, and the machinery of Dunlap and Madeira's celebrated edge-tool factory. The water-power in, and within five miles of, Chambersburg is equal to the propelling 100 pair of stones, furnishing facilities for manufacturing purposes not surpassed by any in the state-except those at Beaver. The town is surrounded by a healthy country, of great fertility, and in a high state of cultivation and improvement. The Harrisburg and Pittsburg turnpike passes through the town, and is joined here by the turnpike from Gettysburg and York, and one from Baltimore. The Cumberland Valley railroad from Harrisburg terminates here and the Franklin railroad, connecting with it, runs on through Greencastle to Hagerstown. The constant arrival of passengers by the railroad going west to Pittsburg by stage, or passing down by the same route, imparts animation to the place.

The annexed view shows the entrance to the diamond or Public Square, on approaching it from the north. The drug-store on the right is the first stone house erected in the place beyond it are seen the stage-office, at Culbertson's hotel and beyond that the bank, with a pleasant yard before it. On the left is another hotel. The tall steeple in the distance is that of the German Reformed church. The new courthouse is not seen, being to the left of the public square. The citizens of the town are noted for their intelligence and steady, industrious, moral, and religious habits, and are not deficient in enterprise.

"During the French war of 1755, the war of the revolution, and the intermediate Indian wars, Chambersburg was a small frontier village, almost the outpost of civilization. A considerable trade was carried on with the more remote settlements on the Pittsburg road, by means of pack-horses. In time of peace some traffic was carried on with the Indians. The vicinity of an Indian frontier is not the purest school of morals- The restraints of law and religion become relaxed. The laws of the provincial legislature were ill suited to the sudden and anomalous emergencies of frontier life, and the people were very apt to make a law unto themselves, and institute a code of morals that would not be tolerated in better organized communities. The rigid discipline of the Scotch Presbyterians was introduced at a very early period into the Conococheague settlements, but it surpassed its powers to curb the wild and lawless spirit of the Indian traders and frontier-men. As a consequence of this state of things, the Conococheague towns were infested during the revolution with a band of desperate marauders and counterfeiters, who bid defiance to all laws. They had an organized line from Bucks county through Chester and the Cumberland valley, into Virginia. The Doanes of Bucks county, Fritz of Chester county, and the men of Conococheague, (whose names might be mentioned if it were thought necessary,) together with other confederates in Virginia and Carolina, drove a brisk trade during the revolution by stealing horses and cattle, and disposing of them to the British. When the British retired, they carried on an extensive trade among themselves, by stealing horses at the south passing them along the line to the north where they could not be recognised, and exchanging them for others stolen at the north thus at that early day anticipating the golden dreams of our modern financiers, by ' equalizing the exchanges.' The long narrow valleys and secluded coves behind the Blue Mountain afforded a convenient route, and secure hiding-places. These were no shabby villains: they wore the finest dresses, sported the best horses, and could display more guineas and jewelry than any others in the settlement and though the source of their sudden wealth was suspected, no one dared to prove it against them. When not engaged in the more important department of the trade, they resorted to counterfeiting continental money, and sauntering around the towns, where they would amuse themselves by putting tricks upon travellers. Wo betide the unlucky Doctor Syntax who in those days hitched his horse in the diamond after night. If fortunate enough to find him at all, he would have great difficulty in recognising him, with his mane, tail, and ears cropped, and possibly a little paint added by way of ornament. And equally unfortunate was any man who resisted or threatened to bring them to justice. His barn or his crops would be destroyed by fire. They thus for a long time defied public sentiment by threats, or eluded justice by concealment. At last two of them near Chambersburg, meeting a man on the highway with a bottle which they presumed to be whiskey, demanded it of him he gave it up without remark, and on tasting they found it to be yeast! They broke it over his head in a rage, and otherwise abused him. This led to their arrest, and the detection of other crimes and they were hung at Carlisle. On being called out to execution, they refused to come but a smoke of brimstone made in the cell brought them to speedy submission."

The following interesting details relating to the early history of Chambersburg, and the other Conococheague settlements, the compiler was kindly permitted to copy from a manuscript sketch, written in 1832, by the Hon. George Chambers.

James, Robert, Joseph, and Benjamin Chambers, four brothers, emigrated from the county of Antrim, in Ireland, to the province of Pennsylvania, between the years 1726 and 1730. They fettled and built a mill shortly after, at the mouth of Fishing cr., now in Dauphin co., on the Susquehanna, and appropriated a tract of very fine land at that place, which was lately owned and occupied by Archibald McAlister though the land-office of Pa. was not open for the sale of lands welt of the Susquehanna, as they were not purchased of the Indians till Oct. 1736, yet the proprietary offices and agents were disposed to encourage settlements west of that river with the consent of the Indians, who were conciliated by the settlers. These settlements were incited and recognised, though without official grants, in order to resist the encroachments of the Marylanders, on what was considered part of the province of Pa. This policy, and the fine country forming that part of the Kittatinny valley extending from the Susquehanna, at the mouth of Conodoguinet, along the waters of the beautiful Conococheague to the Potomac, induced men of enterprise to seek and locate desirable situations for water-works and farms in the valleys of those two streams and of Yellow Breeches creek. These adventurous brothers were among the first to explore and settle in this valley. James made a settlement at the head of Green Spring, near Newville, Cumberland Robert at the head of Middle Spring, near Shippensburg and Joseph and Benjamin at the confluence of Falling Spring and Conococheague creeks, where Chambersburg is situated. These settlements and locations were made about or before 1730. By an arrangement among-the brothers, Joseph returned to their property at the mouth of Fishing cr., and Benjamin, the younger brother, improved his settlement at the Falling Spring. He built a hewed log-house, which he covered with lapped shingles, fastened by nails, a style of building out of the common mode of round logs and clapboard roofs secured by beams. Sometime after, Benjamin being induced to visit the east side of the Susquehanna, left his house unoccupied for a abort time, and on his return, he found it burned to ashes. This was afterwards ascertained to be the work of an unprincipled hunter, who was induced to do it for the sake of the nails, which at that day, in this wild region, were esteemed no ordinary prize.

Benjamin prosecuted anew his improvements, building houses, clearing lands, and soon after the commission from the proprietary government to Samuel Blunston, allowing licenses for the settlement of lands west of the Susquehanna, on 30th March, 1734, Benjamin obtained from Blunston a license authorizing and securing his settlement by a grant of four hundred acres of land at the Falling Spring's mouth on both sides of the Conococheague, for the conveniency of a grist-mill and plantation, then Lancaster county. Having acquired the art and business of a millwright, he built himself, immediately, a saw-mill at the mouth of Falling Spring. This was an important improvement to himself and others disposed to settle in the surrounding wilderness. In a few years after he erected a flouring-mill an accommodation which contributed much to the comfort of the early settlers, and had considerable influence in inducing settlements in the vicinity.

Benjamin Chambers was about twenty-one years of age when he made his settlement on the Falling Spring. He had, when living east of the Susquehanna, been attracted to the spot by a description he received from a hunter, who had observed the fine waterfall in one of his excursions through the valley. He was the first white settler in what is now Franklin County. From his acquaintance with the art and business of a millwright, and the use and value of water-power, his attention was directed to advantageous situations for water-works. He married shortly after his settlement a Miss Patterson, residing near Lancaster, who was the mother of his eldest son James.

He maintained a friendly intercourse with the Indians in his vicinity, who were attached to him with them he traded, and had so much of their confidence and respect that they did not injure him or offer to molest him. On one occasion, being engaged in haymaking in his meadow below Chambersburg, where the foundry and brick-yards now are, he observed some Indians secretly stalking in the thickets around the meadow. Suspecting some mischievous design, he gave them a severe chase, in the night, with some dogs, across the creek and through the woods, to the great alarm of the Indians, who afterwards acknowledged they had gone to the meadow for the purpose of taking from Benjamin his watch, and carrying off a negro woman whom he owned and who, they thought, would be useful to raise corn for them: but they declared that they would not have hurt the colonel.

He used his influence with his acquaintances to settle in his neighborhood, directing their attention to desirable and advantageous situations for farms. His first wife lived but a few years Sometime afterwards he married a Miss Williams, the daughter of a Welsh clergyman, residing in Virginia. She was born in Wales, and brought over to this country when very young. By her he had seven children, viz.: Ruhannah, married to Dr. Colhoun-William, Benjamin-Jane, married to Adam Ross-Joseph, George-and Hetty, married to Win. M. Brown, Esq. Col. Benjamin Chambers was commissioned a justice of the peace, and also a colonel of the militia under the royal government at an early period. As an arbitrator he settled many controversies between his neighbors, and from his reputation for judgment and integrity, he was appealed to for direction and advice by the early settlers. He gratuitously prescribed and administered medicine to many, and as there was no regular physician in the neighborhood, it is said he was called upon to bleed and extract teeth for the relief of his acquaintances.

During the controversy between Lord Baltimore and the Penns, relating to the boundary between the provinces, Benjamin Chambers, who will hereafter be designated as Col. Chambers, was prevailed on to visit England to ansist by his knowledge and testimony in terminating this controversy, which was embarrassing and protracting the settlement of these provinces.

From England he visited Ireland, his native soil, and prevailed on a number of acquaintances to accompany him, with their families, and settle in his neighborhood, having afforded them assistance. As the western Indians, after Braddock's defeat, in 1755, became troublesome, and made incursions east of the mountains, killing and making prisoners of many of the white inhabitants, Col. Chambers, for the security of his family and his neighbors, erected, where the borough of Chambersburg now is, a large stone dwelling-house, surrounded by the water from Falling Spring, and situated where the large straw-paper mill now is. The dwelling-house, for greater security against the attempts of the Indians to fire it, was roofed with lead. The dwellings and the mills were surrounded by a stockade fort. This fort, with the aid of firearms, a blunderbuss, and swivel, was so formidable to the Indian parties who passed the country, that it was but seldom assailed, and no one sheltered by it was killed or wounded although in the country around, at different times, those who ventured out on their farms, were surprised and either slaughtered or carried off prisoners, with all the horrors and aggravations of savage warfare.

A man by the name of McKinney, who had sought shelter with this family in the fort about 1756, ventured out in company with his son to visit his dwelling and plantation, where the Hollowell paper-mill is, on the creek, below Chambersburg. They were discovered, however, by the Indians, and both killed and scalped, and their dead bodies brought to the fort and buried. Col. Chambers was active in organizing the militia, and was of much assistance to Gen. Forbes in 1758, in giving him information and aiding him in the opening of a road, as well as affording him supplies in his march through the valley, and across the mountains, in his campaign. His saw and flour mills were of such accommodation and notoriety in the Conococheague settlement, that they were long known and spoken of for a great distance around as "the milk." The first flour, mill, built in part with logs, was burned, and a stone mill was afterwards erected by the colonel, part of the walls of which are incorporated in those of the fulling-mill and cotton factory of Thomas Chambers.

In 1764, Col. Chambers laid out the town of Chambersburg adjoining his mills. The intercourse with the western country being at that time very limited, and most of the trade and travel along the valley to the south, he was induced to lay his lots in that direction, and the town did not extend beyond the creek to the west. Some of the old trees of his orchard are still standing, (in 1832,) on the west of the creek, on the grounds of Joseph Chambers and Mr. King's heirs. The increasing trade with the western country, after the revolution, produced an extension of the town on the west side of the creek, which was located by Capt Benjamin Chambers, son of the colonel, about 1791. The first stone house erected in the town is still standing at the northwest corner of the diamond, built by J. Jack, about 1770, and now owned by L. Denig, Esq. The first courts holden in the county were in this house, up stairs and, on one occasion, the crowd was so great as to strain the beams, and fracture the walls, causing great confusion and alarm to the court and bar.

Chambersburg remained but a small village until after the erection of Franklin into a separate county in 1784, since which period it has progressively improved.

Col. Chambers had appropriated to the use of the public for a burial-ground a romantic cedar grove on the banks of the creek. This spot still retains some of the beauties of nature and rural scenery. This, with some additional grounds, he conveyed by deed of gift to P. Varen and others, as trustees, on the 1st January, 1768, "in trust for the Presbyterian congregation of the Falling Spring, now professing and adhering to, and that shall hereafter adhere to and profess, the Westminster profession of faith, and the mode of church government therein contained, and to and for the use of a meeting-house or Presbyterian church, session house, school-house, burying-place, grave-yard, and such religious purposes." Of this congregation he was on efficient, active, and attentive member. He also continued a member of the board of trustees until 1787, when, on account of his advanced age and infirmities, he asked leave to resign.

The first settlers who were possessed of farms, were mostly emigrants from the north of Ireland, and members of the Presbyterian church. It would seem that the Falling Spring congregation was more numerous in 1786 than in 1832, though at the latter period the population of Chambersburg was tenfold that of 1786. After the revolutionary war and peace, a German population supplanted the first settlers, and possessed themselves of most of their choice plantations by purchase, and the families and descendants of these settlers moved west of the mountains.

At the commencement of the revolutionary war, in 1775, Col. Chambers was so infirm and advanced in years, bring then about 70 years of age, as to be incapable of the fatigues and exposure of a campaign so distant as the heights of Boston. The patriotic spirit shone forth in his family. His eldest son James raised a company of infantry from the neighborhood, which he commanded as captain, and in 1775 marched, accompanied by his younger brothers William and Benjamin as cadets, to join the American army, then encamped on the high ground of Boston, where the royal army was besieged: (William was about 22 years old and Benjamin 20.) His three sons remained in the army during that campaign James having been advanced to the rank of colonel, and William and Benjamin to that of captain. They were also with the army during the arduous and trying campaigns of "76-'77 in the Jerseys, as well as at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, in 1778. On account of the infirmity of their father, and the embarrassed situation of his property and pecuniary affairs, which had been deprived of the necessary attentions of the young men, the younger brothers, William and Benjamin, returned home, and attended to the farm and mills. They occasionally, however, assisted in the pursuit of Indians who had dared at times to make incursions upon the settlements about Bedford and Huntingdon.

James remained in the army until the close of the revolutionary war, and afterwards was appointed a general of the militia, a brigade of whom, including a number of volunteers, he commanded in the army to suppress the Western or Whiskey insurrection in Pennsylvania in 1794.

Shortly after the peace of 1783, William, Benjamin, and George, erected a furnace in the Path valley, called Mt. Pleasant, the oldest furnace in the county. None of them had any experience in the business, but by industry, perseverance, and judgment, they were successful, and established in the woods an extensive manufactory of iron, which was not only profitable to themselves, but highly advantageous to a considerable extent of country.

Col. Benjamin Chambers, the father of the settlement, died 17th Feb., 1788, aged 80 years and upwards-Jane, his wife, died 13th Jan., 1795, aged 70-Capt. Benjamin Chambers died in Dec. 1813.

Col. James Chambers erected a forge where Loudon now is, shortly after the revolution, and with his son Benjamin and son-in-law A. Dunlap, Esq., erected a furnace about a mile from Loudon.

In 1760 Col. Benjamin Chambers lived in a small log-house near the mill-race, at the west end of the garden of George Chambers, near the alley and race.

From old Henry Snider, aged 75, in July, 1834, Mr. Chambers learned that his father, Peter Snider, came to the county before 1760-That he was born where he now lives in 1759.

A man by the name of Somerfield kept the first store on the northwest corner of Front and Queen streets. Patrick Campbell bought him out, and succeeded him in the store where the brick house of G. Grenawalt is now used for a corner store.

The first tavern was kept by Robert Jack, in the little log-house which stood where the Chambersburg bank now is.

On the northern border of the town, in a spacious and verdant yard, shaded by the tall trees of the ancient forest, stands the Presbyterian Church alluded to by Mr. Chambers. Adjoining the church-yard, in the rear, is the wild and picturesque spot where repose the ashes of the early pioneers. With a taste as rare as it is laudable, the trustees of the church have never permitted the original cedars and other ancient forest trees to be cut down, and the whole cemetery is shaded and overgrown with shrubbery in all the luxuriance and wildness of primitive nature. The annexed view shows the small enclosure containing the monuments

of the Chambers family: several other monuments are seen around it and the rear of the church in the background.

The first Presbyterian church in 1767 was built of logs,-previous to that, it is said, the congregation worshipped in Col. Chambers' saw-mill, which was open at the sides, and permitted the preacher thus to address those without as well as within.

In 1803, the old log-church gave place to the present structure of stone. Rev. James Lang was the first pastor. He continued until 1792, when the Rev. Mr. Spear succeeded him, bat remained only a few years. The Rev. David Denny took the charge in 1800 or 1801, and held it until 1840, when, on account of age and infirmities, he was permitted to retire. He is still living in 1842. In 1842, Rev. Mr. M'Kinley was installed as pastor. The church was incorporated in 1785.

The first corporators named in the act of incorporation of the congregation of Falling Spring Presbyterian church, were Patrick Vance, Esq., Benjamin Chambers, sen., Matthew Wilson, Esq., Josiah Crawford, John Boggs, Esq., Edward Crawford, jun., Rev. James Lang, James Moore, and their successors.

There is a very ancient church, the first in the county, at Rocky Spring, 4 miles north of Chambersburg. The Rev. Mr. Craighead was the first pastor.

Patriotism was a predominant trait among the early Presbyterians of Conococheague, as well as of the whole Kittatinny valley. They were conspicuous among the provincial troops in the old French war and throughout all the Indian wars they sustained nearly the whole burden of defending the frontier. When a new purchase was made, (sometimes before,) they were the first to make an opening in the wilderness beyond the mountains and when the alarm of the American revolution echoed along the rocky walls of the Blue mountain, it awakened a congenial thrill in the blood of that race which years before, in Ireland and Scotland, had resisted the arbitrary power of England. There is, in the records of the old Presbyterian church at this place, a notice of a series of charges presented to the session against a certain member of the church as the grounds of an exercise of discipline and one of the specifications is, that "he is strongly suspected of not being sincere in his professions of attachment to the cause of the revolution."

Mercersburg is situated in the S. W. part of the county, on a branch of W. Conococheague cr., 15 miles from Chambersburg. The town is placed on elevated ground, in the midst of a fertile and picturesque country. The Waynesburg and McConnellsburg turnpike passes through the town. The place contains Presbyterian, Lutheran and German Reformed, Seceders, and Methodist churches, and a college and theological seminary. It was incorporated as a borough in February, 1831. Population in 1840, 1,143.

James Black first built a mill at Mercersburg about the year 1729 or '30. Wm. Smith bought him out, and Wm. Smith's son laid out the town, about the year 1786. Col. James Smith, long a captive among the Indians, was of that family, and an uncle to Hon. Judge Robert Smith, now living. (See Bedford co.) The place was named in honor of Gen. Mercer, of the revolutionary army, who had shown great kindness to the proprietor or to his father, while the army was encamped near New Brunswick, in New Jersey. Gov. William Finley* , who filled the executive chair of Pennsylvania in 1817, was born at Mercersburg, near the west end of the town, about the year 1770. He is still living in Philadelphia.

Mercersburg, in early days, was an important point for trade with Indiana and settlers on the western frontier. It was no uncommon event to see there 50 or 100 pack-horses in a row, taking on their loads of salt, iron, and other commodities for the Monongahela country. About three miles northwest of Mercersburg there is a wild gorge in the Cove mountain, and within the gorge an ancient road leads up through a narrow, secluded cove or glen, encircled on every side by high and rugged mountains. Here, at the foot of a toilsome ascent in the road, which the old trader* designated as "the stony batter," are now a decayed orchard and the ruins of two log-cabins. Some fifty years since, a Scotch trader dwelt in one of these cabins, and had a store in tin- other, where he drove a small but profitable traffic with the Indians and frontier-men who came down the mountain-pass, exchanging with them powder, firearms, salt, sugar, iron, blankets, and cloths, for their " old Monongahela," and the furs and skins of the trappers and Indians. The Scotchman had a son born here, and Jamie was cradled amid these wild scenes of nature and the rude din of frontier life. The father, thriving in trade, moved into Mercersburg after a few years, assumed a higher rank in business, and was able to send his son James to Dickinson College, where he graduated in 1809. Passing over the intermediate scenes of his life, we find him in 1843 one of the most accomplished, eloquent, and distinguished members in the Senate of the United States, and not without some pretensions to a seat in the presidential chair.

The Presbyterian church at this place is one of the most ancient plants in the vineyard. Rev. Dr. King, who was a pastor of the church, has left among the archives a little book containing the names of all the heads of families, with their children, residing within the bounds of his congregation. This list is headed in the quaint Latin of the clergy of that day: Catalogus Familiarum, Nominum que Personarum cuiq: Families pertinentium, in qua que Congregationis Divisione. The names are almost universally Scotch-Campbells, Wilsons, McLellands, McDowells, Barr, Findlay, Welsh, Smith, &c. The following historical sketch of the early history of the church is from a manuscript drawn up by the present pastor, and is inserted in the church records.

This part of the country began to be settled about the year 1736. The land being taken from the proprietaries by those only who designed to settle on it, the settlement soon became numerous. About the year 1738 they formed themselves into a congregation, and enjoyed supplies of preaching from that time. About the year 1740 the congregation divided. The occasion of this at first was a difference of opinion about what was called a revival of religion at that time however, it was what their situation required, the congregation being before the division much too extensive to allow frequent meetings at one place. Having divided, they accommodated themselves with different churches yet often considered themselves so united as that one commissioner frequently represented both congregations in presbytery. The * upper congregation" called the Rev. John Steel, previously of West Nottingham congregation. He was installed in 1754, holding also the charge of "East Conococheague."

In the next year the settlement was greatly disturbed by the irruption of Indians, in consequence of Braddock's defeat. This continued for two years, until the settlement was for a time entirely broken up, and Mr. Steel accepted an invitation to the church at Carlisle. After the people returned to their desolated habitations, they adopted their old form of a congregation, and engaged supplies from the presbytery of Donegal for several years, being in the years 1762 and 1763 again disturbed and greatly harassed by the Indian war. They after this made some attempts to obtain a settled ministry, but were unsuccessful till the year 1768, when they called Mr. John King, then a candidate under the care of the presbytery of Philadelphia. Mr. King was installed August 30,1769, and continued to discharge the pastoral duties for more than forty years. He died in 1813, about two years after retiring from his ministry, having been so afflicted with rheumatism that, while he continued his ministrations, for several years he was obliged to sit in the pulpit during service.

Dr. King was a man of good natural parts, which he lost no opportunity to cultivate. During the intervals of his pastoral avocations he continued to increase his stores both of theological and miscellaneous knowledge. He was proficient in the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and French languages, and had attentively studied the several branches of natural science. In 1792 he was honored with the degree of D. D. from Dickinson College. As a pastor, he was sound in doctrine, kind, sociable, cheerful, and instructive, and steady in attention to his duties. "He left behind him a character without a blot." He was the author of a doctrinal catechism, especially calculated to fortify the young against the spirit of skepticism and infidelity which threatened at that time the morals of youth-of some pieces in the Assembly's Magazine, on the subject of a man's marrying his former wife's sister-and of a dissertation on ^he prophecies referring to the present times, &c. There were about 130 families in the settlement at the commencement of his ministry.

In 1812, Mr. David Elliott, (now D. D.,) of Perry County, Pa., was called to the charge of the congregation, in which he continued about seventeen years, when he removed to Washington, Pa., and subsequently became Professor of Theology in the Western Theological Seminary in Allegheny City. In 1831, Mr. Thomas Creigh, of Carlisle, was installed, and still (in 1843) continues in charge of the congregation. "In February, 1832, the church experienced a gracious visitation, commencing in great power during a protracted meeting, and about 110 were in that year added to the church."

The session was composed of the following members in 1767 :-Wm. Maxwell, Wm. Smith, John M'Dowell, Win. M'Dowell, John Welsh, Alexander White, John M'Lelland. Jonathan Smith, Wm. Campbell, Robert Fleming, Samuel Templeton-names, probably, of some of the more respectable and worthy families in the neighborhood in that day.

Marshall College, Mercersburg

Annexed is a view of Marshall College. The president's house is seen on the right, that of one of the professors on the left. The main building is properly intended for the use of the Theological Seminary, but is used in common with the collegiate department until the new college buildings are erected in another part of the town. Rev. John W. Nevin, D. D., is President, and Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy.

This institution was founded, under a charter from the legislature of Pennsylvania, in the year 1835. It sprang originally out of the high-school attached to the Theological Seminary of the German Reformed Synod, which was removed the year before from the borough of York to the village of Mercersburg. It stands, of course, in intimate connection with this seminary still. The primary object of the two institutions may be regarded as one and the same. The church needs ministers and she is concerned to have them properly educated for their high and responsible work. It is her zeal for this interest which has given birth to Marshall College. Harvard University, Yale College, and Nassau Hall, owe their origin mainly to a similar zeal on the part of the religious denominations by which they were founded.

It is designed to promote the interest of education generally within the bounds of the German Church. At the same time its privileges are not restricted in any way to these limits. Though founded by the Reformed Church, and looking to it mainly of course for patronage and support, its constitution is altogether catholic and free. The church, as such, exercises no ecclesiastical supervision over it, more than the Presbyterian Church does over Nassau Hall. The college, under this view, is a general interest created by the liberal zeal of the German Reformed Church, for the advantage of the community at large, so far as a disposition may be felt to embrace its offered benefits.

It would be hard to find a location more favorable altogether to health. As it respects scenery, it may be described as more than beautiful it is absolutely splendid. At the distance of from two to five miles, the mountains are thrown around it in a sort of hnlf-circle, gracefully irregular and imposingly picturesque, forming a vast amphitheatre, from whose towering side*, in every direction. Nature looks forth, through sunshine or storm, in her most magnificent apparel. Strangers of taste are generally much taken with the situation.

Marshall College embraces in its organization a Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy and of the Evidences of Christianity a Professor of Ancient Languages and Belles-Lettres a Professor of the Natural Sciences two assistant Tutors and a Rector or Principal intrusted with the care of the preparatory department.

A particular interest is felt in the cultivation of the German language. Instruction is given in German regularly, to all who can be persuaded to make it an object of study. Mr. Bernstein (instructor at present in German and Hebrew) is a native of Germany. A society is established also among the students themselves, expressly for the cultivation of the German language.

There are two rival literary societies established among the students, bearing the names Gathean and Diagnothian, which by appropriate exercises endeavor to advance their own improvement. Each has established already a handsome library, which is increasing from year to year. These libraries contain altogether, at this time, about 2,800 volumes. In addition to the use of their own libraries, the students have access also to the library of the Theological Seminary, which comprises, in addition to many valuable works in theology, a large amount of miscellaneous literature. It contains about 6,000 volumes. A general library has begun to be formed also for the college itself. This is intended to be almost exclusively scientific.

There is a law department connected with the college, at the head of which is the Hon. Alexander Thompson, lately presiding judge of the district. In 1843, the number of resident graduates was 11 law students, 4 under-graduates, 74 preparatory department, 75 total, 165. In January, 1843, at a special meeting of the Synod of the General Reformed Church, called with particular reference to the vacancy in the German professorship of the Theological Seminary, created by the death" of the late Dr. Rauch, it was determined to invite, by a special mission, the Rev. P. W. Krummacher, D. D., of Elberfield, the distinguished author of Elijah the Tishbite, &c, to fill the place of Dr. Rauch, and at the same time have a connection with Marshall College. It was stated, in the course of the discussions, that informal encouragement had been given that this distinguished divine would accept such a call.

Greencastle is a flourishing borough, situated on the railroad to Hagerstown, 10 miles south of Chambersburg, in the midst of a fertile and highly cultivated country. It contains a Methodist, Lutheran, German Reformed, Presbyterian, and Moravian churches. Population in 1840, 931. The place has been improved by the railroad. The town was laid out in 1784, and first settled by the Irwins, McLanahans, Watrous, and others.

Waynesburg is a large borough 15 miles southwest of Chambersburg, in the midst of a rich limestone region. A turnpike runs from this place through Mercersburg to McConnellstown. Population in 1840, 799. Churches, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and German Reformed.

There are also the towns of Louden, Campbellstown, and St. Thomas, which have sprung up within a few years past on the western turnpike. Louden was formerly the site of one of the line of frontier forts during the old French war.

Fannetsburg is a small village in the secluded but fertile Path valley. Strasburg is at the foot of the Blue mountain, on the sources of the Conodoguinet and Green Village is on the Chambersburg and Carlisle turnpike.

Snowhill, on Antietam cr., near the South Mountain, is now, since the decline of Ephrata, (in Lancaster co.,) the principal settlement of the Dunkers, or Seventh-day Baptists. They keep up the institution as originally established at Ephrata, and the settlement is said to be in a flourishing condition. Dr. Fahnestock, in his history of Ephrata, says-

They [the Dunkers] have nearly a thousand pieces of music-a piece being composed for every hymn. This music is lost entirely, now, at Ephrata (not the music books, but the style of singing) they never attempt it any more. It is, however, still preserved and finely executed, though in a faint degree, at Snowhill. Their singing-which is weak in comparison with the old Ephrata choir, and may be likened to the performance of an overture by a musical box with its execution by a full orchestra in the opera house-is so peculiar and affecting, that when once heard it can never lie forgotten. I heard it once at Ephrata, in my very young days, when several of the old choir were still living, and the Antietam choir had met with them. And some years since I sojourned in the neighborhood of Snow hill during the summer season, where I had a fine opportunity of hearing it frequently and judging of its excellence. On each returning Friday evening, the commencement of the Sabbath, I regularly mounted my horse and rode to that place-a distance of three miles-and lingered about the grove in front of the building during the evening exercises, charmed to enchantment. It was in my gay days, when the fashion and ambition of the world possessed my whole breast but there was such a sublimity and devotion in their music, that I repaired with the greatest punctuality to this place, to drink in those mellifluous tones which transported my spirit, for the time, to regions of unalloyed bliss-tones which I never before nor since heard on earth, though I have frequented the English, the French, and the Italian opera : that is music for the ear the music of Beissel is music for the tout-music that affords more than natural gratification. It was always a delightful hour to me-enhanced by the situation of the cloister, which is in a lonely vale just beyond the South mountain. During the week I longed for the return of that evening, and on the succeeding morning was again irresistibly led to take the same ride, (if I did not let it be known in the evening that I was on the ground-for whenever it was discovered, I was invited and kept the night in the cloister,) to attend morning service-at which time I always entered the room, as there was then preaching. But as often as I entered, I became ashamed of myself for scarcely had these strains of celestial melody touched my ear, than I was bathed in tears : unable to suppress them, they continued to cover my face during the service nor, in spite of my mortification, could I keep away. They were not tears of penitence, (for my heart was not subdued to the Lord,) but tears of ecstatic rapture, giving a foretaste of the joys of heaven.


* Gov. William Finley
The original test was incorrect. The name should be Gov. William Finlay.

From Elizabeth Findley Fabritius

I am quite interested in the history of Franklin County and even more so in the development of the history of the Cumberland Valley as a very early frontier. I presently live in Scotland, Franklin Co. and have traced several lines of my family heritage through this area beginning in the later 1700s.

It may seem a minimal concern but I am constantly bothered by the confusion of two historical men, both great party players in the areas history. Both seemingly had the same name, although the spelling of their Scot-Irish surnames could and should define them.

I did notice a misspelling of the Governor's name in the article submitted by you ( p17, 1843 History of Pennsylvania ) Hopefully you can correct or point out the need for correction in the article.


Ray City History Blog

In the 1840s and 50s, Reverend William Brauner Cooper was pastor of the Missionary Baptist churches at Troupville and Thomasville, GA, and at Monticello, Florida. His sister Rebecca Perrill Cooper and her husband, Berrien M. Jones, were pioneer settlers and prominent citizens of Lowndes County, GA, Berry Jones being among the largest stockmen in the region.

The American Baptist Register of 1852 shows in that year Reverend Cooper had 40 church members at Monticello in Jefferson County, Florida, 29 at Ocklocknee Baptist Church in Thomasville, and 22 church members at the baptist church of Troupville, GA which was then the county seat of Lowndes County, GA.

Rev. W. B. Cooper was a minister of culture who labored successfully to build up [the baptist] denomination in Florida… For meekness, prudence, and humility he was hardly ever excelled and not often equaled…. He was a very earnest minister, and the people loved to hear him. His style of preaching was very instructive. He was a leader in all moral, religious, and denominational works, and he frequently presided over Associations and Conventions. In Hamilton, Columbia, Madison. Jefferson, and other counties he did a grand work for Jesus and for his beloved denomination. – 1881 Baptist Encyclopedia

Wm B. was a farmer and slaveholder, owning considerable acreage at various times in Madison, Hillsborough, and Jefferson Counties in Florida, as well as a “claim” in Texas. He was a great great grandson of Benjamin Franklin

William Brauner Cooper was born 26 Apr 1807 in Abbeville, South Carolina, a son of Joseph Perrill Cooper (1777-1842) and Sarah Ann Franklin (1788-1874). His father served in the War of 1812, in Captain Zachary Meriwether’s company, Austin’s Regiment of the South Carolina Militia. This regiment was mustered from drafted men called into service at the very end of the war. Joseph Perrill Cooper enlisted for 60 days but left his unit after 43 days of service. After his death his widow’s pension claim was rejected ” by reason of insufficient service & personal abandonment.”

[William Brauner Cooper’s] father Joseph, born in Winchester, Virginia, of Quaker parents Jeremiah Cooper and Rebecca Perrill, and his mother Sarah Ann believed to have been born in Maryland of parents William Temple Franklin and Abigail Brauner, came to the Abbeville/Laurens area before 1805, settling on acreage near the Rabons Creek Quaker Meetinghouse. It was here that William B. Cooper and his fifteen siblings would receive their early education and religious training (Huxford Magazine, Vol 27).

William’s father, Joseph Cooper, was a man of rare culture and intellect, and the early education of the son was under his father’s training (1881 Baptist Encyclopedia). [William’s] father was always very much interested in politics, was an ardent states rights man, and an intimate friend of John C. Calhoun. He, at one time, was a candidate for the state legislature, but whether elected, I am not certain. He had been a carpenter by trade, but taught school in the then thickly settled community, including Greek and Latin in the curriculum of the country district. I have heard my Mother tell how the classes studied out under the trees, and the discipline must have been in keeping more with modern ideas than the switch and ferule of that day, for the kind-hearted Quaker ruled without severity. He was much honored by his family, although he died in 1842, leaving a large number of his children to be brought to maturity by their energetic Mother. The majority of the five sons secured a college education,… (Findagrave).

In 1828, William B. Cooper attended an academy near his home, which was then in Laurens District, SC. On leaving the academy he went to a [baptist] theological school [Furman Theological Seminary, now Furman University] at a place called High Hills, in Sumter District (1881 Baptist Encyclopedia). The school was named for Richard Furman, a clergyman considered the most important Baptist leader before the Civil War. His son, James C. Furman, became the first president of the Seminary and was the owner of 56 enslaved people. At that time, the school had two professors and about 30 students the library had 1,000 volumes.

While at the institution William B. Cooper was converted, under the preaching of Daniel Mangram, of Newberry District, and was baptized by him at Mount Pleasant church, SC….He remained two years [at Furman]… (1881 Baptist Encyclopedia).

William B. Cooper first appears in Florida in Hamilton County, which then encompassed all of the land in the fork of the Suwanee River and the Withlacoochee River, and bounded on the north by the Georgia state line. According to the Florida Baptist Historical Society, William B. Cooper then participated in the organization of the Baptist Church of Christ Concord at Tiger Swamp Meeting-house about one and a half miles south of the community of Wall, FL (now Jasper, FL). Among the founding members were Edmund and Unity Mathis, John Lee, Jesse and Sarah Lee, Perry G. Wall, John L. and Lenora Stewart, Philemon Bryant, Elihu Morgan, as well as William B. Cooper.

Edmund and Unity Mathis were primitive baptists from Lowndes County, GA where they were members of Union Church having been received April 12, 1828, by letter from Fellowship Church. On June 12, 1830, Edmund Mathis was ordained a deacon in Union Church and continued as a deacon the remainder of his life. Their son, Bunyan Mathis, had brought his family to Hamilton County about 1829. In fact, “a group of Georgians in search of new farm land migrated to Tiger Swamp located in middle Florida’s Hamilton County. Having established a settlement, several of the Baptists, led by Edmund and Unity Register Mathis, sought the help of Union Church of Lowndes (now Lanier) County, Georgia, to sponsor an “arm” (mission)… Mr. And Mrs. Mathis joined others of the Union Church in a request for that church to establish an “arm” at Tiger Swamp Meeting-house in Hamilton County, near their homes… The group requested the Union Church to provide a ministerial presbytery to help organize and constitute a churchThe request was granted.

According to the Florida Baptist Historical Society, On June 9, 1832, with the assistance of Elders Elias Knight, John Tucker and William B. Cooper, the Baptist Church of Christ Concord as it was then called, was organized. The church called Elias Knight to serve as pastor. The next year the “arm” became an independent church named “Concord” and Deacon Mathis and wife were among charter members.

William B. Cooper led the church from 1833 to 1836 (Hamilton GenWeb), although in the latter part of this period he was apparently absent pursuing further education. In the spring of 1835 William B. Cooper entered Columbian College, Washington, DC. His choice of institutions may not have set well with some of his church members. Primitive Baptists favor informal training of preachers and consider theological seminaries to have “no warrant or sanction from the New Testament, nor in the example of Christ and the apostles.” There was already a growing “anti-missionary” sentiment among the primitive baptist, and the origins of Columbian College were decidedly missionary.

Columbian College (now The George Washington University) had been planned as “a college and theological institution under the direction of the General Missionary Convention of the Baptist denomination in the United States.” While the charter granted by Congress emphasized that the college must be non-denominational, it remained in the control the Baptists. The college provided some scholarships for “promising young men…especially if they expressed an interest in becoming ministers of the Gospel.” “Requisites for admission included an acquaintance with English grammar and arithmetic, a thorough knowledge of geography, and the ability to read and write Latin. The prospective student had to be able to translate, with a high degree of competence, Caesar’s Commentaries, and the works of Virgil, Sallust, select orations of Cicero, and the New Testament in Greek. A candidate for advanced standing from another college had to pass examinations in all subjects previously taken and had to show that he left the other institution in good standing. No one was admitted without satisfactory credentials of good moral character.

When Columbian College was founded in 1821, the Baptist church and Congress hoped that it would be a national university. But Columbian College quickly got the reputation as a southern institution. There were students from northern states, but the largest contingent of students came from Virginia, then D.C, and to a lesser extent from other southern states on the eastern seaboard….Columbian College existed in a city where human slavery was legal for over forty years prior to emancipation…There are no records of students at Columbian College bringing enslaved people to campus. But the students had opinions about slavery and often freely shared them. In student publications from the time, one common target was abolitionists who the students argued threatened both slavery and national unity. There were also examples found in the pages of these student newsletters of outright support for slavery and by the 1850s, as the sectional crisis advanced, the southern cause. There were also examples of opposition to slavery among the students. The most well-known was Henry J. Arnold, who in 1847 was removed from the school for assisting two men, John R. Smith and a man known only as Abram, who were owned by the college steward. While a student at Columbian, Arnold provided Abram with a letter intended for an attorney and $14 so that he could file a lawsuit to potentially win his freedom in court. For this, he was immediately removed from the student body and the campus by the faculty, an action later approved by the trustees.

Although there is no indication that the college itself ever owned slaves, from the beginning of the college, important leaders and financiers were slave owners and profited from the slave economy. The records also reveal that enslaved people had an almost constant presence on campus working as servants or laborers. Some of these enslaved men and women lived with presidents and stewards on campus while the college hired the labor of others from their masters…The enslaved people that stewards brought to live on campus would have worked as servants (that was their official title) who cleaned and did laundry for the students, prepared meals, and maintained the upkeep of the college building and lawn. We know that enslaved people worked alongside white workers (native and immigrant) and possibly free African Americans…at least 51 of the Board members likely owned slaves at one time or another. A few of the Baptist board of trustee members in slave-owning states (the college was founded and controlled at this time by Baptists), such as Iveson Brooks and Richard Fuller, not only owned slaves but authored influential theological tracts in defense of slavery (GW Libraries). Richard Fuller (April 22, 1804 – October 20, 1876) became one of the founders of the Southern Baptist movement, which split [in 1844] from the Northern Baptists over the issue of slavery in the United States, which Fuller and the Southern Baptists refused to oppose. Northern Baptists held that enslaving people, in and of itself, disqualified a man for missionary service.

The Historical Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of the Columbian University, Washington, D. C., 1821-1891, shows that William B. Cooper graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1836. He received a Master of Arts from Columbian University in 1839.

After his graduation he went to Augusta, Ga., where he was ordained. His first ministry was at Hamburg, South Carolina where he is reported to have experienced a rheumatic condition, causing him to seek a milder clime to the south (Huxford Magazine, Vol 27). He removed to Florida… and located at Madison Court-House, FL (1881 Baptist Encyclopedia).

1845 Florida map detail showing Madison County, FL

While William B. Cooper was away attending college in Washington, DC., hostilities had broken out at home in Florida between Native Americans and white settlers. During the period called The Second Seminole War, from 1835-1842, the remaining Native American inhabitants of Georgia, Alabama and Florida forcibly resisted removal to western lands. The summer of 1836 had erupted into a string of violent encounters. In Lowndes County, GA Levi J. Knight led a company of men on or about July 12, 1836 in a skirmish at William Parker’s place. In subsequent days, engagements were fought at Brushy Creek, Little River, Grand Bay, Troublesome Ford, Warrior Creek and Cow Creek in Lowndes County. In September, 1836, Gen. Jesup ordered Maj. Dearborn with about two hundred United States regulars, into Lowndes county, for the protection of that and the surrounding country against the depredations of Indians. Dr. Jacob Rhett Motte, a Harvard educated Army surgeon in Dearborn’s command journaled about their duty at Franklinville, GA in Lowndes County, GA and in Madison County, FL. In January, 1837, Dearborn’s force moved into North Florida. About February 23, 1837 Dr. Motte and the troops encamped at Warner’s Ferry on the upper Withlacoochee River, close to the boundary line between Georgia and Florida:

While there [Warner’s Ferry] we built a stockade, for the protection of the neighboring inhabitants, when [after which] we should have left, as a place of refuge for them.

In consequence of an alarm at Hickstown, caused by a body of Indians attacking a plantation in the neighbourhood, on the 1st of March [1837] we crossed the Withlacoochee and marched to the relief of its inhabitants. The swarthy devils, however, had made themselves scarce by the time we got there so all we had to do was, as the Scotchman says, “to coome back agen.”

We visited San Pedro, which is seven miles from Hicks-town. In truth the latter was nothing but an extensive field, which had once been the site of an important Indian town but at the time we saw it presented not the least vestige of its former life and bustle or indeed of any life at all. San Pedro was a County-town [county seat], and we found it was the resort of many fugitives who had left their desolated homes to escape the rifles and scalping-knife and were dwelling in miserable shanties that could scarcely protect them from the slightest shower. The few settlers on the road we traveled on our return, who had not deserted their clearings, were suffering very much from alarm of Indians, who were known to be concealed somewhere in the vicinity for they would frequently, when prompted by their necessities, leave their lurking place, in the swamps, and commit depredations, and then retire with impunity loaded with their plunder.”

There is a legend that during this period, while the baptist church was still at Hickstown, “Indians on the war path approached the church and [saw] through the windows the settlers kneeling in prayer.” “Their plan was to massacre the entire assemblage,” according to an old letter reported by State Librarian William T. Cash (1878-1954), “The Red Men then said to each other, ‘They are talking to the Great Spirit and He will be very angry with us if we kill them.” The letter said the Indians then slipped away quietly, but one of them was captured later and told the whites how narrowly they had escaped being massacred in the Hickstown church.” “ A picture of this incident hangs in the vestibule.” – Middle Florida Baptist Association, 1995

The Florida Militia was also patrolling the Florida-Georgia border during this time. From William B. Cooper’s own Baptist Church of Christ Concord, deacon Edmund Mathis and his son Bunyan Mathis were among those enlisted in Captain John J. Johnson’s Mounted Company of the 2nd Regiment of East Florida Volunteers. According to military records, the Mathises provided their own horses and were issued U.S. Army muskets, as were other men of the company, The officers of the company provided two horses and each officer brought an enslaved person as a personal servant. Such enslaved officers attendants were a Southern institution By the Civil War , “Camp slaves, or body servants…performed a wide range of roles for their owners, including cooking, cleaning, foraging and sending messages to families back home.” Others were enslaved as “cooks, butchers, blacksmiths and hospital attendants, and slave owners remained convinced that these men would remain fiercely loyal even in the face of opportunities to escape…” –Diaries of Confederate Soldiers, Smithsonian Magazine

On April 21, 1838, the family and the enslaved African Americans of circuit riding Methodist minister Tilmon Dixon Peurifoy were massacred by Indians near Tallahassee, FL. Attacks at Old Town on the Suwanee River and in Alachua County, FL were reported in the same news accounts.

Reverend Cooper returned in 1839 to the Baptist Church of Christ Concord in Hamilton County, Florida where he became embroiled in the baptist controversy over the appropriateness of missionary work.

Like so many other Baptist churches of the period, the Concord Church in 1839 was confronted by the anti-missions movement. The primary anti-mission proponent was Elder [Elias] Knight, who was still affiliated with the Union Church in Lowndes County (now Lanier), GA.

Serving as the pro-missionary apologist was Hamilton County probate judge and ordained Baptist minister William B. Cooper. The discussion of the pros and cons of the missionary movement continued over a series of monthly church conferences. Finally, Elder Knight told the congregation that the church would take a vote. He explained that whichever faction was in the majority would grant to the opposing faction letters of dismissal so that the departed members could organize another church. The pro-missions’ faction won the standing vote by a slim majority. The missions’ proponents reportedly voted to provide letters of dismission to the anti-missions group, sang a song, shook hands with each other and said their good-byes. The anti-missions’ faction departed and eventually organized the Prosp ect Baptist Church, which subsequently became a Primitive Baptist congregation. [The Primitive Baptist movement embraced many of the theological positions and faith practices of the early hyper-Calvinists.]

During this contention, Deacon Edmund Mathis and his wife, Unity, were of the anti-missionary sentiment. Upon receiving letters of dismission, they returned to Lowndes County, where they were received back by Union Church by letter from Concord, Sept. 6, 1839. Bunyan Mathis and his wife, Elizabeth, went with the anti-mission faction that formed Prospect Church. Although they were at theological odds, William B. Cooper served on the initial presbytery for the organization of Prospect Primitive Baptist Church. Prospect Primitive Baptist Church was located on a bluff overlooking the Suwanee River 17 miles east of Jasper, FL.

It was apparently about this point that William B. Cooper’s Missionary beliefs caused him to abandon the Primitive tenet, and… take a pastorship at newly constituted Hickstown Baptist Church in nearby Madison County (Huxford Magazine, Vol 27).

Hickstown Baptist Church

Portrait of Tukose Emaltha, a chief of the Miccosukee Indians, who was known by the english name John Hicks.

The Hickstown Baptist Church was constituted around 1832 to 1835 at the village of Hickstown, about six miles west of present day Madison, FL. The village was named for John Hicks, a chief of the Miccosukee tribe whose Indian name was Tuckose Emathla. Hicks had moved his tribe to this region after Andrew Jackson’s 1818 punitive expedition against Miccosukee villages east of Tallahassee, FL (Jackson’s forces included friendly Indians from Chehaw Village, GA, which was massacred by Georgia Militia troops while the warriors were serving with Jackson in Florida.) Hicks came to realize that the government’s intention to move the Indians to reservations was inevitable and supported peaceful negotiation between the Native Americans and the government. Hicks was among the chiefs signing the 1823 Treaty of Moultrie Creek, under which terms the Native Americans were relocated to a reservation in central Florida. By 1826 Hicks’ tribe of Miccosukee Indians had removed from Hickstown.

In Madison County on US Hwy 90 a historic marker commemorates the Hickstown site with the following text:

The Miccosukee Indian chief, John Hicks, (English name for Tuckose Emathla) was a prominent Indian leader in the period between the First and Second Seminole Wars (1818-1835). It is believed that after General Andrew Jackson destroyed the Miccosukee towns to the west of here in the 1818 campaign against the Seminoles, John Hicks relocated his village near this site. This village, Hicks Town, was evacuated by the Indians by 1826 as Seminoles were removed to a central Florida reservation. John Hicks died in the winter of 1833-34 after a decade as a major spokesman for his people in treaty councils in which important decisions about the future of the Seminoles were made. White settlers occupied the site in the late 1820’s, and in 1830, Hickstown Post Office was established. By the late 1830’s, the village had disappeared as a center of population due to the Second Seminole War and the creation of an official Madison County seat at San Pedro.

Hickstown Historic Marker, located on US Highway 90 in Madison County, FL. Image source: https://www.waymarking.com

It was around this time that the Hickstown Baptist Church relocated from Hickstown to the community of Madison, which by 1838 had become county seat of Madison County, FL

——————♦——————

“From that time on William B. Cooper’s story is that of a heroic worker and missionary. Neither dangers from the Indians nor toils of the road deterred W. B. Cooper. Throughout the Florida counties of Madison, Leon, and Jefferson, and the Georgia counties of Lowndes and Thomas, he prosecuted his labors with zeal unabated. In the face of bitter opposition from anti-missionary elements, he espoused the cause of missions” – A History of Florida Baptists

Assuming a commanding role in the Florida’s Missionary movement along the Florida/Georgia corridor, he next became the first pastor of Little River/Troupville Baptist Church near present day Valdosta, Georgia, [The baptist church in Troupville was constituted in 1840.] In consort with Georgia’s Baptist leaders [he] strove to turn the tide [that was] against the Missionary movement, becoming known in the annals of Florida Baptist history as “the first Missionary Baptist preacher of Florida” (Huxford Magazine, Vol 27).


William Franklin (Ireland)

Sir William Franklin was an Irish politician and soldier of the seventeenth century.

A landowning Protestant with property in and around Carrickfergus, Franklin was a leading opponent of the Catholic King James II and his Irish deputy the Earl Tyrconnell. When Protestants in Ulster began organising resistance against James following the 1688 Glorious Revolution Franklin joined the Council of the North, which assumed control of the resistance movement. Ώ] As the growing rebellion developed into the War of the Two Kings, the Council raised regiments of Protestant volunteers who formed the Army of the North. Franklin was chosen to lead an infantry regiment. Although Franklin had planned to go to England, he stayed to assume his military duties. ΐ] He was one of the leaders of a failed attempt to seize Carrickfegus from its Irish Army garrison in February 1689 Α]

After the heavy defeat suffered by the Army of the North at the Break of Dromore, Franklin went to London where he appealed to Parliament for support for the Irish Protestants. However he testified that the Army of the North was much stronger than it actually was. Β] During the summer the Protestants were besieged in Derry with the Enniskillen garrison the only other to hold out. The same year a relief force under General Percy Kirke came to the aid of both Derry and Enniskillen. Shortly afterwards an expeditionary force under Marshal Schomberg was able to capture Carrickfergus. The remains of the Army of North was incorporated into the Williamite army, although Franklin appears to have received no position in it.

His house in Carrickfergus was chosen as William of Orange's residence in 1690 when the King landed at the town before beginning the campaign that led to his victory at the Battle of Boyne. Γ] He now has multiple descendants in county Limerick which is data gathered from the Irish census of 2001.


William Franklin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin, a leading figure in the city. His mother's identity is unknown. [2] In 1750, Ben told his own mother that William was nineteen years old, [3] but this may have been an attempt to make the youth appear legitimate.

William was raised by Benjamin Franklin and Deborah Read.

As a young man, William became engaged to Elizabeth Graeme, daughter of prominent Philadelphia physician Dr. Thomas Graeme [4] and granddaughter of Pennsylvania's 14th Governor, Sir William Keith.

While in London, Franklin sired an illegitimate son, William Temple Franklin, who was born 22 February 1762. His mother has never been identified, and he was placed in foster care.

Later that year, Franklin married Elizabeth Downes on September 4, 1762 at St George's, Hanover Square in London.

William Franklin completed his law education in England.

Governor of New Jersey Edit

In 1763, William Franklin was appointed as the Royal Governor of New Jersey, due to his father's influence with the British Prime Minister. He replaced Josiah Hardy, a merchant and colonial administrator. As governor, Franklin signed the charter for Queen's College, which would develop as Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.


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