Stroudsburg

Garret Brodhead’s “Wheat Plains” farmhouse—an August clean-up project. Come join the fun!

“Wheat Plains,” the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! The DePuy/Brodhead Family Association is having its annual reunion in the Dingmans Ferry, PA, area on Saturday, August 15, 2015. The actual location of the meeting place is still to be determined. For details, contact the Association at 6566 Skywae Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43229, and/or join the DePuy/Brodhead Family Association “Facebook” group page where you can keep abreast of all Brodhead (and DePuy) reunion developments!

Wheat Plains farmhouse clean-up opportunity!: On Friday, August 14, those who are interested in volunteering with the Wheat Plains Farmhouse clean-up project are welcome to join in. You may contact James Brodhead at “jbbrodheadfamily at hotmail dot com” to have a volunteer form sent to you. The Parks Department (“Wheat Plains” falls within the National Park Service system) would like to have these forms in hand at least four weeks prior to the work date.

According to Barbara and James Brodhead, who have undertaken the cleanup of the nearby Brodhead-Linderman Cemetery in recent years and are spearheading this year’s “Wheat Plains” clean-up effort: “More specific times and locations will be forthcoming. All efforts are greatly appreciated. Please note that we are organizing a tour of the Farm House on Saturday the 15th for all those who attend the Reunion.”

Come enjoy a fun weekend of connecting with family near and far, and giving Garret Brodhead’s homestead a much-needed makeover!

Categories: Brodhead, Dingmans Ferry, Linderman, Monroe Co., Pennsylvania, Pike Co., Stroudsburg | 10 Comments

Brodhead Creek postcard, pre-1952

Brodhead Creek postcard

Brodhead Creek postcard

I recently acquired another Brodhead Creek postcard on eBay. The year is not visible, but the one-cent stamp on it indicates that it was mailed before 1952 when the rate went up to an ‘outrageous’ two cents. So here’s another image that would have been nice to include in my post Fly Fishing the Brodhead in ages past.

The message on the reverse side is addressed to a Mr. & Mrs. Charles Mahan, Jr. of Baltimore, Maryland: Dear Arelyn & Charlie, What an ideal place for a honeymoon – it is perfect – the cool mountain air, the water close by and such lovely scenery. Thanks again for Sunday – maybe someday we can repay you. See you all soon. Love, Doris & Bill

US Geological Survey image - Public Domain

US Geological Survey image – Public Domain

In my search for the location of Paradise Creek, I came across the awesome US Geological Survey website. The detail it offers is amazing–obviously they are very good at what they do. Turns out that Paradise Creek is a tributary of Brodhead Creek:

Once again, if anyone out there has any other vintage images of the creek they’d like to share, please send them along and I will post them for you for other readers to enjoy. Have a good Sunday, everybody! (We’re having a two-day cool spell here — low 80’s!!!)

Categories: Brodhead, Miscellaneous, Monroe Co., Nature, Stroudsburg | 4 Comments

Brodhead Creek postcard, 1909

I recently acquired this postcard on eBay—it’s an image of Brodhead Creek taken from a hill above. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, I discovered the card after doing the July 8 post Fly Fishing the Brodhead in ages past. So, I will post the card here for you now. The message on the reverse side is addressed to a Mrs. Steve Reinhart, 729 Ann Street, Stroudsburg, Pa.; the postmark is dated August 24, 1909 (Bartonsville).

If anyone out there has any other vintage images of the creek they’d like to share, please send them along and I will post them for you for other readers to enjoy. Have a good day, everybody! Bye for now.

Brodhead Creek

Brodhead Creek Postcard, dated 1909

Categories: Brodhead, Monroe Co., Stroudsburg | 4 Comments

The Brodhead-Linderman Cemetery: Descendants work on clean up and restoration

This post is devoted to Part II of the cemetery restoration efforts undertaken by James & Barbara Brodhead over recent summers; although they live in Washington State–far from their ancestral roots in Pennsylvania–they have made it their mission to see to it that broken and downed stones of Brodhead family ancestors receive the care and respectful restoration they deserve. As you may recall, the first post was devoted to the repair of Cornelia Dingman Brodhead’s gravestone in the Mauch Chunk Cemetery in Jim Thorpe, PA.

This post focuses on their work in the Brodhead & Linderman Cemetery, part of the Brodhead-Courtright Farm Burial Ground, which is very much off the beaten path, within the territory of what once was Wheat Plains farm. The farm was established by Garret and Jane Brodhead after the Revolutionary War, and here in the Brodhead & Linderman Cemetery lie Richard Brodhead (Garret & Jane’s 3rd son) and his wife Hannah Drake. They and their family members resided in the Wheat Plains house for many years. So, once again, without further ado, here is a description of Barbara and James’ efforts in James’ own words (apart from a few spots where I have left clarifying notes in [brackets]; also, please click on images to see enlarged versions–the tile mosaics can be viewed as slideshows):

"Wheat Plains"

“Wheat Plains,” the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

Lt Garret Brodhead served in the Continental Army and as part of his “bounty” for service he was given a land grant along the Delaware River near present-day Dingman’s Ferry. The farm he established in the 1770s was named Wheat Plains. The farm remained in the Brodhead family until 1865 and then it was purchased back by Robert Packer Brodhead in 1894. Robert’s family held the land until the Federal Government took (some say stole) the land under eminent domain in preparation to build the Tocks Island Dam in the 1970s. The dam was supposed to control the occasional floods [One terrible flood occurred in 1955 with the tail end of Hurricane Diane, killing 75 in the Brodhead Valley, alone], but for several reasons the dam was not built. The lands were not returned to the owners. Many of the homes, farms, and hotels were demolished because of squatters (hippies) living in the then empty buildings. When the project was cancelled the land was turned over to the National Park Service.

The sad state of the Wheat Plains house

The sad state of the Wheat Plains house, 2013

The house at Wheat Plains is one of the few remaining homes in the area. Unfortunately the National Park Service is not maintaining the home and it is destined to be destroyed when it is deemed unsafe. Parts of the original log home are integral to the structure. Garret’s son Richard owned and lived in the home for many years.

Wheat Plains house exterior, 2013

Wheat Plains house exterior, 2013

Across the road and on a rise between the fields and the river lies the Brodhead & Linderman Cemetery. The family plot contains the headstones of Richard (d. 1843) and Hannah (d. 1831). Their son Richard (1st of 2 sons named Richard, d. 1809 @ 2½ yrs. old) and his sister Eliza (d. 1814 @ 10 months old) are also buried there. There is a wrought iron fence with a gate surrounding the plot. “Brodhead & Linderman” is cast into the gate. It is unknown who put up the fence and Hannah’s current headstone, but the inscription on the back states “This sacred memorial erected March 2nd 1869”. Richard and Hannah’s daughter Rachael married Dr. John Linderman. It is logical that the Lindermans were the benefactors. [John purchased the Van Gordon property, adjacent to Wheat Farms, after he got his medical license, and built a house on it in 1817 — see past post].

A foot stone, as found

A foot stone, as found

There are several other stones other than the foot stones, but no marking can be discerned. The plot is too small for many more internments so there was probably no plan for the Linderman family to bury others there.  Next to the family plot on the road side of the hill are buried Van Gordens and others. Moses Van Gorden married Charlotte Newman Easton following the death of her husband Calvin Easton. It is not known how this Moses is related to those interned there. The Moses here may be the father of Charlotte’s husband, Moses. Calvin and Charlotte Easton are the parents of Ophelia Easton who married Richard and Hannah’s grandson Andrew Jackson Brodhead.

We have made two trips to the area. The first was in 2011 and then again in 2013.

Summer 2011

In 2011, we met Leroy and Bobby Cron, longtime residents of Dingman’s Ferry and members of the Dingman’s Ferry and Delaware Township Historical Society. We had sent a letter to the Society and asked for family information. Leroy took us down an access road next to a corn field. He pointed into the woods and stated that the cemetery was in there. He was correct, but nothing was visible from that vantage point.

The cemetery in 2011, as found

The cemetery in 2011, as found

The next day we met with a park ranger who helped us find the cemetery, and using his skills as a former surveyor, he looked at the Park Service map and then said “I am going up there.” And he walked off the road and into the brush. A few minutes later he called out “I found it!” The only thing visible through the brush was part of the cast iron fence.   We had to climb over downed trees and push our way through the brush to get there. The ranger stated that even though the National Parks owns the land, the cemetery is still owned by the family.

James dealing with a fallen tree

James dealing with a fallen tree

There was a tree that had been growing inside the plot that died and fell over damaging the fence. Hannah’s headstone was knocked over by the tree and was broken in half. Richard Jr and Eliza’s head stones had been tilted. According to Leroy a local Boy Scout troop, as a service project, cleaned up the cemetery in the late 1990’s, but the bushes rapidly regrew. The fence showed signs of having been painted.

We had about two hours left in our schedule to do what we could do. The ranger station loaned some tools to us. We started calling the sticker bushes “Grab-me-gotchas” because they were long and ‘viney’ and after cutting them, when we tried to throw them outside the fence the Grab-me-gotchas would somehow wrap around our legs and poke us through our pants. We also cut up the tree.

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Summer 2013

In 2013 we returned with the supplies we needed to do some of the repairs. We ordered a headstone repair kit (medium kit 3-6 stones) from Polymer Concrete Inc. (http://www.tombstonerestoration.com) and had it shipped to Myer Country Motel where we stayed. We had to again find the plot because of the rapid re-growth of the brush.

After cutting our way in, we began cleaning up Hannah’s headstone. When the headstone was originally set, the gap between the stone and the base (tongue and groove) should have been filled with molten lead, but it was not done. The first task was then to clean out the dirt and abrade the surfaces to be joined with a wire brush. Masking tape was put around the joint to protect the other surfaces from excess epoxy. The epoxy was mixed and put on the surfaces with a paint brush and extra epoxy used to fill the gap described. The surfaces of the break in the stone were then abraded. Wood stakes were clamped vertically to the lower half of the stone using ratcheting squeeze clamps. The stakes provided a means to align and secure the two halves. The epoxy was applied and the parts fitted together. The upper half of the stone was then clamped to the stakes. Extra epoxy was pushed into the gaps where the stone had chipped when it broke. A couple of days later we returned to remove the clamps and clean up.

We will be returning this year and will give all the stones a good scrubbing, paint more of the fence, and try to slow the growth of the brush. We may also give some attention to the Van Gorden family stones outside the fence, if our time allows. Below is a description of how to find the cemetery.

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If You Go

Along the trail in 2013

Along the trail in 2013

The access road is located north of the Wheat Plains farm on the east side of Hwy 209. Coming south from Milford or Dingman’s Ferry, just past the Briscoe Mountain Rd, is the McDade Trail Access Road. The road sign is hard to read at highway speeds, so look for the Pocono Environmental Education Center sign.

Turn left on the access road and follow it to the end (locked post). From there walk about ½ mile.

McDade Trail marker; red arrow points to the twisted tree.

McDade Trail marker; red arrow points to the twisted tree.

At mile marker 15.5 (left hand side) stop and look to the right and look for the twisted tree. Enter the bushes between the twisted tree and the tree to the left. You are facing the direction of the cemetery. White paint dots were sprayed on the trees on right and left side of the “trail”.   The cemetery is about 100 yards from the road as the crow flies. Be sure to dress in clothes that cover you, and protect yourself from ticks and other insects. Rubber bands or duct tape and a good bug spray around the bottom of your pant legs acts as a good barrier. We did not find any ticks in the five trips to the cemetery.

We are looking forward to our next trip to Dingman’s Ferry to visit the Brodhead/Linderman Cemetery and Wheat Plains Farm. We feel a special connection to our family there.

How to get there

How to get there

Categories: Brodhead, Brodhead-Linderman Cemetery, Cemeteries, Linderman, Monroe Co., Stroudsburg | 5 Comments

The Hon. Richard Brodhead (1771-1843): “… a man of splendid physique, over six feet tall, and of a stern and serious character”

Garret Brodhead (1793-1872), son of Richard Brodhead (1771-1843) & Hannah Drake (1769-1832)

Garret Brodhead (1793-1872), son of Richard Brodhead (1771-1843) & Hannah Drake (1769-1832)

I think you’ll agree that photos, portraits, and physical descriptions of our ancestors are real treasures. If there is no photo or portrait, as is often the case, at least a physical description gives you some idea, however vague, of what someone may have looked like. So it was quite a thrill to discover some time ago that my fourth great grandfather, Richard Brodhead, was “a man of splendid physique, over six feet tall, and of stern and serious character.” Seeing that description in print made an impression on me. When I subsequently saw a photo of his son Garret, one of my third great grandfathers, I definitely thought the “stern and serious” description applied to him as well. No doubt there are glimpses of father Richard to be found in son Garret.

For this post, I am including some biographical information about Richard that I have found in several publications. Some of the information is redundant, but I will present it here “as is”. For links to these sources, please visit my “Links” page.

History of Pike County, Chapter IX, Lehman Township – Published 1886
“…Richard, who was born at Stroudsburg, July 26, 1771, and subsequently married Hannah Drake, of Stroudsburg, was the person who figured conspicuously during, his life in the history of Wayne and Pike Counties. He was a man of splendid physique, over six feet high and of stern and serious character.

He took great interest in State affairs, regarding it as a conscientious duty, and he looked upon the civil and political duties of man as matters of serious obligation. When Wayne County was organized, in 1799, although not thirty years of age, he was appointed first sheriff of the county by the Governor of Pennsylvania. In a paper written by himself in November, 1842, he thus enumerates the offices he has held as follows:

"Wheat Plains," the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

“Wheat Plains,” the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania; the initial dwelling here was established by Richard’s father, Revolutionary War veteran Garret Brodhead and his wife Jane Davis.

1. Sheriff of Wayne. 2. Two years in the Legislature (1802 and 1803). 3. Eleven years associate judge. 4. Collector of United States revenue for Wayne County and Pike during the War of 1812. 5. Appointed State commissioner by Governor. McKean, in connection with General Horn, of Easton, to investigate the expenditures of five thousand pounds, granted by the State to David Rittenhouse, to improve the navigation of the Delaware River from Trenton to Stockport. 6. Postmaster seven years. 7. Major of the Second Battalion, One Hundred and Third Regiment Militia. 8. Prothonotary for Pike County. 9. County commissioner. 10. All the township offices, of all kinds, except constable. 11. County auditor. 12. Executor of five estates. And I now, hereby, bid defiance to all heirs, legatees, creditors and others to prove that I have ever wronged any man.

Judge Brodhead, during the greater part of his life, resided on his farm, on the Delaware River, then called Wheat Plains, fourteen miles below Milford, (now owned by Charles Swartout), where he moved about 1791. He had a post-office established at his house called Delaware, which was kept on that spot for nearly half a century. A few years before his death Judge Brodhead moved to Milford, where he died November 11, 1843.

He left quite a large family, and all the sons became quite prominent citizens.”

Commemorative Biographical Record of Northeastern Pennsylvania: Including the Counties of Susquehanna, Wayne, Pike and Monroe (Monroe Co., PA: J. H. Beers & Company, 1900):
“Hon. Richard Brodhead […] was born at Stroudsburg, July 26,1771, and about 1791 removed to Pike county, where he spent his remaining years, his death occurring November 11, 1843. He married Hannah Drake, of Stroudsburg, and had twelve children: Sarah, wife of Col. John Westbrook, member of Congress from 1841 to 1843, from Wayne, Pike, Monroe and Northampton counties; Garrett (1793), who married Cornelia Dingman; William (1795), who married Susan Coolbaugh; Jane, Mrs. Moses S. Brundage; Albert G. (1799) who married Ellen Middaugh; Anna Maria, wife of John Seaman; Rachel, who married Dr. John J. Linderman; Charles, […]; and Richard, Jr., United States Senator from Pennsylvania from 1850 to 1856. The other three children died in infancy. [Hon. Richard Brodhead] possessed a fine physique, being more that six feet in height, and was of firm and serious character. As he regarded it a duty to take an active part in public affairs, he held a prominent place in political circles, as is shown by the following memorandum written by himself in November, 1842, in which he enumerates his various official positions:

Thomas Doughty, American, Delaware Water Gap, 1827, oil on canvas, current location: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Thomas Doughty, American, Delaware Water Gap, 1827, oil on canvas, current location: Philadelphia Museum of Art

1. Sheriff of Wayne. 2. Two years in the Legislature(1802-1803). 3. Eleven years associate Judge. 4. Collector of United States Revenue for Wayne and Pike counties during the war of 1812. 5. Appointed State commissioner by Gov. McKean, in connection with Gen. Horn, of Easton, to investigate the expenditure of 5,000 pounds, granted by the State to David Rittenhouse to improve the navigation of the Delaware river from Trenton to Stockport. 6. Postmaster seven years. 7. Major of the second Battalion, 108 Regiment Militia. 8. Prothonotary for Pike County. 9. County commissioner. 10. All the township offices, of all kinds, except constable. 11. County Auditor. 12. Executor of five estates. And I now, hereby, bid defiance to all heirs, legatees, creditors and others to prove that I have ever wronged any man.”

Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania – Volume I – Published 1906:
“Richard Brodhead, third son of Lieutenant Garret and Jane (Davis) Brodhead, born Stroudsburg, July 31, 1772, died Milford, Pennsylvania, November 11, 1843; married, 1790, Hannah Drake, born November 15, 1769, died July 31, 1832, daughter of Captain Samuel Drake. Richard Brodhead was the first of his family in direct descent from the American ancestor who did not lay claim to a military title or boast of prowess in the Indian wars or the Revolution ; but this was because he was too young to bear arms during the latter contest. He was, however, an officer of the state militia during the second war with Great Britain. He has been described as “a man of splendid physique, over six feet tall, and of a stern and serious character.” He was sheriff of Wayne county, 1798; member of the legislature, 1802-03 ; associate

My family's line of descent

My family’s line of descent

‘judge eleven years ; revenue collector for Wayne and Pike counties, 181 2-1 5 ; postmaster seven years ; major Second battalion, Pennsylvania militia; prothonotary Pike county, 1821 ; county commissioner, 1835-36, and county auditor. Richard and Hannah (Drake) Brodhead had: 1. Sarah, born 1791, married John Westbrook. 2. Garret B., Jr., born December 2, 1793, […]. 3. William, born 1795, married, February 6, 1816, Susan Coolbaugh. 4. Jane, born 1797, married Moses S. Brundage. 5. Albert Gallatin, born 1799, married Ellen Middaugh. 6. Anna Maria, born February 14, 1801, died March 14, 1868 ; married John Seaman. 7. Charles, born August 4, 1805, died September 5, 183 1 ; married Mary Brown. 8. Rachel, born January 5, 1803 ; married Dr. John J. Linderman. 9. Richard, born January 5, 181 1, died September 17, 1863 ; married Mary Jane Bradford. 10. Elizabeth, born 1814, died young. II. Elizabeth (2d), died in infancy.”

 

Categories: Brodhead, Drake, Pennsylvania, Pike Co., Stroudsburg, War of 1812 | 2 Comments

Was Maria Lesher Daniel Brodhead Jr.’s First Wife?

View of Bethlehem. Aquatint by Karl Bodmer from the book "Maximilian, Prince of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834" by Prince Maximilian of Wied (Publisher: Ackermann & Co., 1839) Source URL: http://www.gallery.oldbookart

View of Bethlehem. Aquatint by Karl Bodmer from the book Maximilian, Prince of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834 by Prince Maximilian of Wied (Publisher: Ackermann & Co., 1839) Source URL: http://www.gallery.oldbookart

I was recently contacted by Jean Brewer who is hoping to establish that Daniel Brodhead Jr., son of Brigadier General Daniel Brodhead and Elizabeth DuPuy, is her ancestor. With her permission, I am publishing the letter she sent me. If you can shed light on this topic to help Jean, please leave a comment at the end of this post and/or email Jean at ancestortracker2 at gmail dot com. Thank you!

Dear Author of Chips Off The Old Block,

I have looked for years for the correct Daniel BRODHEAD in my family. Yesterday I came across your 11 June 2013 article entitled “Daniel BRODHEAD, Jr.: A Timeline of Life Events.”

After reading your research on this Daniel I feel more strongly that ever this is the right Daniel for my connection. Back in December 1985 Charles SANDWICK also thought this was mostly likely the Daniel I needed. Here are the facts as I presently know them:

Old Moravian Chapel (est. 1751) & dead house (in the foreground). Wikimedia Commons: Image from NYPL collections is in public domain). Image date unknown-between 1865-1875 (?)

Old Moravian Chapel (est. 1751) & dead house (in the foreground). Wikimedia Commons: Image from NYPL collections is in public domain). Image date unknown-between 1865-1875 (?)

1) Abstract of Baptisms from Bethlehem Moravian Congregation, Bethlehem, Northampton CO., PA
Johann and Mar Cath LISCHER
had daughter Maria LISCHER b. 7 April 1761 at Bethlehem, bapt. same day at Bethlehem Moravian Church
{my note: Parents John LISCHER/LESHER and his wife Maria Catherine’s maiden name LOESCH – JMB}

2) 18th Century Vital Records from the Early Registers of the Moravian Church of Schoeneck, Northampton Co., PA, compiled by Charles SANDWICK, Jr.
Dan and Maria (LISCHER) BRADHOT (sic) {Daniel and Maria (LISCHER) BRODHEAD – JMB}
had daughter Anna Maria BRADHOT bapt. 23 Dec. 1781 at Schoeneck Moravian Church {my note: The mother Maria (LISCHER) BROADHEAD would have been about 20 years old. If Daniel BRODHEAD Jr., b. ca. 1756 is the father, he would have been about 25 years old. – JMB)

3) Will of Mary Catherine LISHER, Dated 3 May 1803, Proved 10 May 1803, File #2085, Northampton County Court house, Easton, PA
“I give and bequeath unto my granddaughter Mary BROADHEAD the only child of my daughter Mary, now the wife of Samuel RUSSELL, by her first husband Daniel BROADHEAD, deceased, the sum of ten pounds,…” {my note: Mary Catherine referred to Daniel as deceased – was he deceased or had he abandoned his family and gone to KY, VA, Philadelphia?

4) Will Book E-3, p. 407 Northampton Co., Courthouse, Easton, Northampton Co., PA
“I Mary BROADHEAD, alias Mary YOHE of Lower Saucon, in the county of Northampton, PA one of the granddaughters and legates named in the will of Mary Catherine LISHET late of Nazareth in the county of Northampton, PA the aforesaid the widow and relict of John LISCHER late of the same place, yeoman, deceased, do hereby acknowledge receipt of ten pounds from John LISCHER (uncle of Mary-JMB) and Nathaniel MICHLER, administrators of said will of Mary Catherine LISCHER, 20 Nov. 1803 {my note: In 1803 Mary (BROADHEAD) YOHE, b. ca. 1781 would have been 22 years old. – JMB}

5) In a letter dated 15 August 1985 from Charles SANDWICK – by going over possible Daniel’s he concluded – “I am of the opinion Daniel BRODHEAD, son of Daniel and Elizabeth (DEPUE) BRODHEAD, of whom so little has been recorded, did indeed die soon after his release as a prison of war, but only after a brief marriage with Anna Maria LISCHER.

Based on your research:
1776-78 – Daniel prisoner of war from Nov. 16, 1776 until 26 Aug. 1778
1779 – Daniel retired from Military
1781 – Daniel became a clerk in the office of Robert MORRIS, US Superintendent of Finance
1782 – Daniel fired by MORRIS on 29 May 1782
1782 – Daniel possible with his father in Reading, PA
1783 – Daniel first merchant to arrive in the new frontier town of Louisville, KY
1800-1802 you wrote – “The son appears to have taken a stab at married life,…” “I must say that I feel slightly suspicious that “Christian” may have been second wife since Daniel Jr. would have been between the ages of 47-58 when his six known children were born.”

I have a strong feeling Daniel married my Maria LESHER/LISCHER b. 1761 , fathered daughter Maria/Mary ca. 1781 and then left the family for “bigger and better things.”

Any input you have or ideas for further research are most welcome. Thank you for your time to read through this. My grandmother was the LESHER. I’ve worked on the family some 40 years or more.

Jean (CHRISTIAN) BREWER

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Categories: Bethlehem Northamp Co, Brodhead, Lischer or Lesher, Moravian Church, Pennsylvania, Stroudsburg | 2 Comments

1749 Brodhead document donated to Monroe County Historical Society – PA

See article published in online Pocono Record on May 28, 2013. Click here.

Categories: Brodhead, Pennsylvania, Stroudsburg | Leave a comment

1755: Enter Benjamin Franklin

The reason I picked up the LaBar book, The Reminiscences of George La Bar, the Centenarian of Monroe County, PA., Who Is Still Living In His 107th Year! by A. B. Burrell, which was introduced in the previous post, was because it contained a few references to the Brodheads–as one might expect given their shared early-settler status. The LaBar family is fortunate to have such a wonderful record from that era in their history.

We do know from George’s book that Ben Franklin came in contact with the Minisink Valley Brodheads, and we have evidence of the courtship taking place between Daniel Brodhead (the future Brigadier General, son of Daniel Brodhead and Hester Wyngart) and Elizabeth DePui (Samuel DePui’s daughter), who were married in 1756 when he was 20, and she was 17.

You may recall that it was in 1755 that the Indians’ rampage against the settlers began. That December (10th) they attacked the Brodhead house. Daniel Brodhead Sr. and his sons and daughter repelled the attack, but the Indians went elsewhere, attacking and destroying many settlers. Five hundred troops were sent to the area immediately, to protect the survivors.  Benjamin Franklin (in his late 40s at the time) was commissioned by the Governor to oversee the construction of fortresses in the region and direct all operations. He arrived in Bethlehem eight days after the rampage to begin his work.

I’m not sure when exactly the following took place, since it’s referred to only as being “early in the Indian Wars”, but at some other point, the Governor sent Franklin to go from fort to fort to pay the troops stationed there. Franklin was to report back his observations. At one point per the LaBar book, Franklin stops by Nicholas DePui’s and while there, “a young Brodhead, son of Daniel, was ‘sparking’ the old man’s daughter, and as he (Brodhead son) was a frontier man, he thought the Colony owed him services, as well as the more idle soldiers. Franklin denied the claim, saying it was unnecessary for a man to stand guard over a a woman who lived in a fort.” I assume “sparking” meant flirting.

Some more references to the Brodheads in 1755:

On June 24, 1756, LaBar relates how a Commissary-General recorded the following account:

LaBar’s book also mentions the 389 troops positioned in Northampton Co. in 1758. On page 16 we read that 26 troops under the command of Lieutenant Wetherhold were positioned at the Brodhead house. As an interesting aside, on page 17 we learn that on 6/21/1757, Samuel DePui’s ailing wife (who by then was Daniel Brodhead Jr.’s mother-in-law) was escorted by troops to a doctor in Bethlehem.

In 1757, Daniel Brodhead (would have been Daniel Jr. as Daniel Sr. died in 1755), signed the following declaring unfair dealing during the Great Walk. The William Marshall referred to is the son of walker Edward Marshall:

In 1763, the year George LaBar was born, the book notes the below (pp. 18-19). I’ll finish this post here, but, hopefully I’ve whetted your appetite to read the LaBar book in full. It is a source of great information–in spite of the fact that the author admits that George’s memory for dates was rather unreliable at 107. And to think he survived another five years–amazing!

Categories: Brodhead, Franklin, Benjamin, LaBar, Stroudsburg | Leave a comment

Trials of Life in the Minisink Valley

In the last post, I talked about Captain Daniel Brodhead (b. 1693) and Hester Wyngart leaving Ulster County, New York in 1738*, to settle in the Lower Minisink Valley of Pennsylvania. They founded Dansbury (named after Daniel and now known as East Stroundsburg), Pennsylvania. It was there he’d purchased one thousand acres of land (I also read that he was given land for his service in the NY militia) along the Analoming Creek (later referred to as Brodhead’s Creek).  It’s hard to imagine moving to a wilderness with young children in tow to face the complete unknown. One can only imagine what they and their impressionable young children thought as they moved towards a place where nothing but adventure and uncertainty awaited them.

Luke Wills Brodhead, mentioned in previous posts, gives a great account of what life was like for early settlers and talks about the Moravian missionaries, Shaw, Bruce, and Mack, who were in the area trying to convert the Indians of the Delaware–the Lenni Lenape. On a side note, if you look on the Find a Grave website for the Moravian Cemetery in Bethlehem, you can come across graves belonging to Indians whom the Moravians converted.

Daniel was very encouraging of the Moravians’ efforts, and let them build a mission on his land. From what I have read, the Indians and early settlers in that region coexisted rather peacefully for a number of years, until slow boiling grievances led to an outbreak in 1755, at which time Daniel defended his property from attack together with his sons and daughter, Ann, and neighbors who had come to seek refuge there. The surrounding countryside was virtually abandoned in lieu of the safer side of the Delaware River– New Jersey. Peace with the Indians ended in the Minisink Valley, and troubles continued for a number of years, pushing those with less fortitude back to safer havens. Only the most determined and heartiest stayed put to defend their new homeland.

One interesting and worthwhile book I’ve discovered is The Reminiscences of George La Bar, the Centenarian of Monroe County, PA., Who Is Still Living In His 107th Year! by A. B. Burrell (Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, 1870).

George, born in 1763, was a descendant of three French Huguenot brothers who settled very early on (1730) in the Minisink Valley. It was their intention to live in wilderness beyond the official frontier. They chose their spot and built a cabin and developed a  good relationship with the Indians. They were somewhat disheartened to discover the Nicholas DePuy home not long thereafter, but decided that having a neighbor of high caliber was not a bad thing, especially when it came to securing provisions and mutual defense (the DePuys owned a mill).

The eventual troubles with the Indians stemmed from the “Great Walk” of 1737 by Edward Marshall (Marshall’s Creek is named for him), an event that left the Indians feeling cheated out of vast hunting grounds. Prior to 1737 there had been a walk to define the purchase of land from the Indians by William Penn. Penn himself took part, and the idea was that the colonists could have whatever land they could define during a walk within a certain time period. Penn walked unhurriedly and the Indians felt satisfied with the outcome. Later Penn’s agents got the Indians to agree to a second walk that would take place over 1.5 days, but this time Penn’s agents advertised for a professional walker, a path was cut out in advance, and a trial run was made. Edward Marshall was hired and promised five hundred acres of land in return (land that he never received, by the way). On the day of the Great Walk in 1737, Marshall set off and the Indians were flabbergasted at his speed–by the end of Day One, he had exceeded the amount of land they expected him to be able to cover for the whole 1.5-day walk by three hours of walking. The Indians were fed up with what they considered to be a scam–and who can blame them? Marshall finished his walk at the river at Lackawaxen, taking advantage of the curve of the Delaware and thus managing to bring the entire Minisink into the Penn Colony. The Indians’ favorite hunting ground was theirs no more, which led to retaliation against the white settlers with the fiercest fighting taking place in 1755. George’s father described to him the scenes of slaughter he witnessed at that time when two hundred Indians attacked a funeral ceremony taking place by the Marshall home, dispersing most of the settlers across the Delaware River. The Indians had killed one of Marshall’s sons in 1747. This time they shot Marshall’s daughter through the chest, but she managed to escape and survive. They took Marshall’s wife with them and after several miles, killed her. Marshall, who was not home at the time, managed to escape the Indian’s wrath and lived to a relatively old age.

There are many interesting passages in this book, and I will probably carry on a bit in my next posts about some of them. To finish this post, I’ll mention two things that stood out for me:

1) Longevity–George lived to be 112 and was chopping wood at 106/107 when the author visited him. He walked everywhere to the end. Chapter 11 onwards give a good glimpse of who George was and what life was like especially in the early days. In addition, George’s father (also named George), after raising a large family and accumulating property in the Mt. Bethel area, decided to sell everything and move–at the ripe old age of 85(!)–to Ohio. George Sr. took his wife with him but left all the kids behind. He hired George Jr. to drive their cart of possessions. It took two weeks over bad roads to get there. George Sr. was pleased with his new home. His wife died when George Sr. was 98. At 100, he remarried! He lived to be 105. So much for my amazement at Daniel Brodhead and Hester Wyngart moving to the PA wilderness in their 40s!!! These early settlers were very hearty people who were, by and large, thoroughly self-reliant.

2) Revolutionary War–while we know the Brodhead sons threw themselves into the war efforts against the English, many of the inhabitants of the Minisink Valley resisted involvement in the cause because they were exhausted from the blood and carnage of the Indian troubles. Some went to New Jersey to avoid what they believed would be a disastrous rout in their Pennsylvania lands, others joined the British, some even joined the Indians to keep out of the reach of authorities wanting them to take an oath of allegiance to the new government. Some were even arrested.

 

*Some sources say 1737, e.g., The Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys by Hayden, Hand and Jordan (pub. 1906)

Categories: Brodhead, LaBar, Moravian Cemetery Bethlehem PA, Stroudsburg | Leave a comment

You Have to Wonder

Photo of portrait of Capt. Daniel Brodhead (1693-1755), husband of Hester Wyngart, only child of Capt. Richard Brodhead & Magdalena Jansen, and grandson of Capt. Daniel Brodhead & Ann Tye Current location: Senate House, Kingston, NY; www.senatehousekingston.org

IMAGE COPYRIGHT: BARBARA & JAMES BRODHEAD. Used with permission. Photo of portrait of Capt. Daniel Brodhead (1693-1755), husband of Hester Wyngart, only child of Capt. Richard Brodhead & Magdalena Jansen, and grandson of Capt. Daniel Brodhead & Ann Tye Current location: Senate House, Kingston, NY; http://www.senatehousekingston.org

Recently I received an e-mail from a volunteer photographer from Findagrave that he had photographed Daniel Brodhead’s grave in the Moravian Cemetery in Bethlehem, PA. I had made the photo request a very long time ago, so I was very surprised and pleased to hear this news. Daniel had died in Bethlehem in 1755 after traveling there for medical treatment. He was only about 62, not nearly as long-lived as his father Richard, but this should probably come as no surprise given how stressful his life must have been over the previous 18 years, a period during which he was actively engaged in settling what initially was Pennsylvania wilderness. He would have made numerous trips back up to the Kingston area during those years to sell goods, taking advantage of the rough “Old Mine Road,” a route that started out as an Indian trail circa 10,000 BC and is today known as State Rd 209.

I am still in awe of Daniel (b. 1693, son and only child of Richard Brodhead and Magdalena Jansen, who were both mentioned in the post of 15 April 2011) and Hester Wyngart Brodhead, in their early forties, going off to the wilds of the Lower Minisink Valley of Pennsylvania in 1738 with all their young children in tow. Their children, Richard, Ann, Charles, Garret, and Daniel (future Brig. Gen. Daniel Brodhead mentioned in the 13 April 2011, post), and John, would have been aged roughly 12, 11, 9, 5, 2, and 1. Children Luke and Ann (the first Ann died before 1743 when this Ann was born) were born in the Minisink Valley.  Evidently very little is known of any early settlers who might have been in this area of Pennsylvania prior to 1725. The only ones around when the Brodheads arrived in those parts were the DePuy and Van Campen families. Luke W. Brodhead gives details about them in his book (see again the aforementioned post of 15 April). Luke also talks about the Strouds who settled in there in the late 1760s. 

What time of year did the Brodheads arrive? Spring or summer?–to get a house built in time for winter. The children weren’t really old enough to be of too great assistance. What did they eat? Where did they secure provisions? Easton to the south was not settled until 1739. What kind of hunting did they do? What was the fishing like in the Delaware? Every day would have been a new adventure filled with discovery and possible dangers. The valley must have been extremely verdant, peaceful, and beautiful, as it still is in many places. Hard for us to fathom a world without electricity, communications, medical facilities, and other modern conveniences. One thing is for sure–they worked a lot harder physically than most of us do today, and they surely would have had the slim waistlines to show for it. The word “calorie” was probably not in their vocabulary! Yesterday I stumbled upon some old Colonial recipes and could not help but try one, which I share below and can recommend. I wonder if it is one that Hester would have made for the family in her Dutch oven?

Swamp Yankee Applesauce Cake

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup raisins
1 tsp soda, dissolved in warm water (just enough to do the job)
1 cup cooked applesauce
1 3/4 cups sifted flour

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a bread pan. Cream sugar and shortening. Add salt, cloves, nutmeg, and raisins. Add soda that has been dissolved; stir in the applesauce. Beat until well mixed. Add flour. Mix. Pour in loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Cover with white frosting if desired.

Categories: Brodhead, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Moravian Cemetery Bethlehem PA, Stroudsburg | Leave a comment

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