History of Chester County, Pennsylvania

Although Chester was the earliest of the counties organized in the Province of Penn, and has ever been deservedly ranked among the fairest and most prosperous and intelligent of those districts, she has nevertheless been somewhat strangely neglectful of her history and of the worthies within her borders, who aided in the noble enterprise of planting a Christian colony and establishing a home for human freedom, and who have brought her to her present high position. Many good men and true have lived among us, but they have nearly passed into oblivion for want of vigilant and faithful chroniclers.

As nearly two centuries have elapsed since the establishment of the county, it is meet that such of her history as has escaped the ravages of time and can now be related should be placed on record for preservation and for the information of the people, so that they may know what manner of men their fathers were.

The authors of this volume being "native here, and to the manner born," and having for some years a lively interest in the history of the county, and of her citizens who have devoted themselves to the public service and the cause of human improvement, have essayed to perform the laborious, but to them delightful, task thus indicated. How well they have succeeded it is not for them to say. They submit their work to the judgment of the good people of this ancient bailiwick, regretting that it is not more complete, and only asking that, in passing judgment upon it, the difficulties surrounding the preparation of such a history will be borne in mind.

This is not, however, the first effort that has been made in that direction. In 1824, Hon. Joseph J. Lewis then a student at law wrote a series of "Letters on the History of Chester County," which were printed in the columns of the Village Record, and in 1858-61, Dr. William Darlington and J. Smith Futhey contributed a series of historical papers, which were published in the same journal, under the title of "Notse Cestrienses." Neither of these publications was issued in book form, and they are now very rare. They contained much valuable material, of which the authors have availed themselves.

The "History of Delaware County," by George Smith, M.D., embracing as it does the early history of the entire original county, has been freely drawn upon, and the authors hereby acknowledge their indebted- ness to Dr. Smith for his kind permission to use such portions of his valuable work as were suited to their purpose.

Major Isaiah Price has also kindly permitted the use of his valuable and complete "History of the 97th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, during the War of the Rebellion," and the authors acknowledge their obligation to him for that portion of this volume relating to the history of that regiment and its officers and men.


Table of Contents


General History 9-144
Proprietary Interests and Land Titles 144-166
Boundary Lines 156-161
Townships and Boroughs, etc 162-229
Religious Organizations 229-301
Educational and Literary 302-335
Agricultural 335-342
Mills, Iron Manufacture, etc 343-351
Internal Improvements 351-362
Civil and Judicial Lists 362-386
Miscellaneous 386-435
Natural History, Topography, Geology, etc 435-460
Biographical and Genealogical 461-782
Appendix i-xxxvii


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Charles II., being restored to the throne of Great Britain, granted to his brother James, Duke of York, the territory embracing the whole of New York and New Jersey, and by a subsequent grant that which now comprises the State of Delaware; to all of which the right of the Dutch had never been acknowledged. The duke fitted out an expedition, consisting of four men of war and four hundred and fifty men, which he placed under the command of Col. Richard Nicolls. They reached the mouth of the Hudson in the latter part of August, 1664, and on the 8th of September New Amsterdam surrendered without the firing of a gun. Sir Robert Carr was then dispatched to the Delaware with a sufficient force to effect a conquest. Arriving there on the last day of September, he sailed past the forts, "the better to satisfie the Swede, who, notwithstanding the Dutches persuasion to ye contrary, were soone their frinds." After three days' parley, the burghers and townsmen yielded to the demands of the English, on terms favorable to themselves and the Swedes, but the Governor, D'Hinoyosa, and soldiery refused every proposition, although the fort was in a bad condition, and defended by only fifty men." Whereupon," says Sir Robert in his official dispatch, " I landed my soldiers on Sunday morning following, and commanded ye shipps to fall down before ye fort within muskett shott, with directions to fire two broadsides apeace uppon ye Fort, then my soldiers to fall on. Which done, ye soldiers neaver stoping untill they stormed ye Fort, and sae consequently to plundering ; the seamen, noe less given to that sporte, were quickly within, and have gotten good store of booty." The loss on the part of the Dutch was three killed and ten wounded; on the part of the English, none.