Crawford County, Pennsylvania


History & Biography
1850 HISTORY

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[The links below are to Alfred Huidekoper's reply regarding Crawford County.]

T H E   S O C I E T Y ' S   C I R C U L A R .


     The following circular was distributed, in the early part of 1845, very extensively through the state, and the succeeding papers in the volume were received in reply to it.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA.

Hall of the Historical Society,     
Philadelphia, January, 1845.

SIR :
     THE Historical Society of Pennsylvania has instructed us to transmit to you the following letter, with the request that you will reply to it yourself, or exhibit it to such persons in your neighborhood as will probably feel an interest in its contents.
     The object of the Society is to collect whatever written, printed, or traditionary evidence, may be attainable in relation to the early settlement, progress, and present condition of the United States and Territories, but particularly of Pennsylvania.
     It is hoped that persons in possession of any of the materials for history will feel a patriotic interest in contributing to the general purpose, either by favouring the Society with loans or donations, or by giving information in reply to the following questions:
     I.  Can you give any information concerning the first settlement of your township, or section of country, the <page 106> circumstances attending it, and the motives which led to it; or any letters, journals, &c., likely to throw light on its early history?  Also concerning the number and condition of the first settlers, of what nation they chiefly were, and the names of the principal persons?
     II. If there are living in your vicinity any aged persons or others, familiar with either the earlier or more recent history of your county, or of the state, will you please mention their names and residence?  And should such persons not feel disposed to reply directly to the Society, will you hand this letter to some one who would be willing to commit to writing their statement in reference to what they may recollect of past events, and their replies to the following, or any additional questions which may be suggested, and to transmit the same through you to the Society:
     A.  Do you know of any old or remarkable house formerly or now standing in your neighborhood?
     B.  Can you give any information respecting the number of houses or inhabitants in any of your towns or townships at different times since the first settlement?
     C.  Have you ever heard of any papers of historical or local interest in the possession of any individuals in your county?  If so, can you mention the names of such persons, or say whether or not such papers, &c., are yet in existence?
     D.  What was the character or appearance of the country as far back as you can remember, and what improvements in any respect have you since noticed?
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     E.  What wild animals do you remember to have seen in your county?
     F.  Have you ever heard your grand parents or others describe their views of things as they found them at the first settlement?
     III.  Are there any persons in your county, who, feeling an interest in the history of our state, have made collections of historical papers, letters, commercial letter-books, documents, &c., of date either prior or subsequent to the Revolution, or who possess any
     G.  Ancient books or relics;
     H.  Legal or judicial papers, opinions, &c., illustrative of the history of our courts of law or of our jurisprudence;
     I.  Ancient state or county maps or charts, or other maps, &c.;      J.  Medals or coins, particularly money struck prior to 1800;
     K.  Sermons, magazines, pamphlets, old newspapers, or volumes of modern newspapers, or any extracts from newspapers, which are of historical or local interest;
     L.  Drawings, &c., of any private houses, public buildings, &c., and drawings or plans of fortifications, battle-grounds, or battles;
     M.  Drawings, prints, portraits, of any of the governors, judges, or other prominent men of our State, or of those connected in any way with the settlement or history of our state or country;
     N.  Copies of records, manuscripts or printed laws, and proceedings of any public bodies, of a political, <page 108> religious, literary, or other character, that have at any time existed among us;
     O.  Accounts of universities, colleges, academies, schools, and charitable institutions, the date of their establishment, and the history of their origin, endowment, and progress;
     P.  Topographical descriptions of cities, towns, boroughs, counties, or townships.
     Q.  Accounts of the population, births, longevity, deaths, endemical or local diseases, facts relative to climate, soil, products, natural resources, meteorology, or general employment of the inhabitants of each district;
     R.  Biographical notices in manuscript or print of any eminent persons, or of any persons in respect to whom remarkable events may have happened.
     IV.  Are there any tables of family descent of those connected with the settlement or history of the county or state, which the proprietors would be willing to communicate?
     V.  What public libraries have you, and what number and description of books do they contain, and what is the extent of their resources?
     VI.  What newspapers, magazines, or periodicals, have been or now are published in your county, and when was the first printing press or newspaper established, and by whom?
     VII.  What poems or other compositions are in existence written by persons in your county, and which illustrate its literary history?
     VIII.  What histories of any of your towns or townships, <page 109> or of your county have been published, or has any one collected material for such a purpose?
     IX.  Is or was there once standing any ancient church in your neighbourhood?  If so, will you please state the date of its erection, and, as far as you may be able to ascertain them, the naems of the clergymen who have successively officiated, with the dates of their removal by death or otherwise; and whether there are or were any ancient inscriptions on the walls of the church or on the tombstones in the grave-yard, and of whom; or any other facts of interest relating to the subject of this question?  Possibly if this letter were submitted to the clergyman at present the pastor or rector of such church, he might be able to transmit through you every information, and be induced to write a history of his church.
     X.  Are there any ancient dockets, records, or documents, of historical or local interest, in the public offices at the county town?
     XI.  Is there any peculiar legal custom connected with the administration of the law, or any peculiar notion, custom, or superstition, prevailing among the people of your township or county?
     XII.  Mention any interesting civil or criminal trials which have taken place in your county, and state whether or not an account of them has been published, or what persons can furnish an account of them.
     XIII.  Are there any Indian graves, mounds, or battlegrounds, in the neighbourhood, or those who recollect when Indians lived in your vicinity, or who are in possession of relics of them, or of anecdotes or narratives relative to wars or treaties with them, and of the general inter- <page 110> course between them and Europeans, or among the Indians themselves; the Indian names of mountains, rivers, creeks, flats, valleys, towns, or other places, &c., and the origin of such names; vocabularies, or other indications of Indian language, accounts of missionaries, public messengers, and travellers among the Indian tribes; or any other information respecting them or their origin?
     XIV.  Are there any soldiers of the Revolution, or those who recollect it, living in your county, and who are disposed to communicate through your their recollections; or persons who are in possession of any revolutionary songs, ancient ballads, letters, papers, narratives, orderly books, journals, &c., either written or printed, relating to that period, or of any well-authenticated information of the men, battles, or incidents of the Revolution?
     XV.  If there are any persons in possession of letters and other materials for history described in the foregoing questions, could they be induced to part with them under the pledge that the Historical Society will carefully preserve them in its archives, with becoming acknowledgments for the donation; or it not, would they give the Society permission to copy such of them as might be deemed particularly important or interesting?
 

G E N E R A L   R E M A R K S .

     In communicating information with regard to any book or manuscript, &c., please furnish the following particulars:
     Title, name of writer, date, and general nature of the book or document.
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     Do not omit in your reply anything of local or historical interest, because it may seem trivial or unworthy of notice, or may not be embraced in the foregoing questions.  Collect all you can; whatever it may be, it will be clear gain.
     If you are unable to answer any particular question or branch of a question, please designate it merely by its number, &c.
     Leave a margin of about an inch at both sides of the page of your answer, in order that it may be properly bound with others which may be received.
     The names of donors, and of those who acknowledge the receipt of this letter, or communicate any information, will, unless it shall be otherwise requested, be properly noticed, and also preserved upon the journals of the Society.
     All donations of manuscripts will be carefully preserved in the fire-proof of the Society.
     In order to avoid the heavy expense of postage, be pleased to request those who may be disposed to reply to this letter to send their communications through you, as postmaster, to the Society.  Private opportunities for the transmission of donations, would be preferred.
     Please address your communications to the Corresponding Secretary, No. 99 Spruce Street, or to the Recording Secretary, No. 108 South Fourth Street, or to any other of the officers of the Society.

     This occasion is embraced earnestly to entreat all persons to prevent, as far as it may be in their power, the loss of letters or documents which have bearing upon the history of our state or country.  Many papers of great in- <page 112> terest must have been already lost through the indifference of their owners, but we hope that no one whom this appeal shall reach, will fail to assist us in the emdeavour to preserve the evidence of our history.
     In concluding we would say, that the motives of the Society in sending you this letter, are of a public nature, and that whatever collections shall be made will be for the benefit of the people of Pennsylvania.