Author Topic: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???  (Read 22705 times)

J1776

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Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« on: February 09, 2011, 08:25:56 AM »
Hello.
I'm new to the forum as a new friend had referred me to this wonderful site.  I'm really looking forward to learning and making new friends along the way.
Onto my question...

Not sure if I should post this hear or elsewhere, but here we go...

I'm trying to find out what rifles would have been commonly seen and used in the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s. (ie. Wyoming Valley area, etc.)

Would it have been Upper Susquehanna?... Lehigh?...Bucks County?...
or others I've not read or heard of yet?

I know of a few builders in the area but none in the 1700s.....only the 1800s.

Thank you fellas in advance.

Offline G-Man

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 07:22:11 PM »
I would start with Eric kettenburg's website.  Extremely knowledgable gunbuilder, restorer and researcher on the subject.  Good luck.

http://web.mac.com/kettenburgs/Site/Home.html


 

« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 07:27:55 PM by Guy Montfort »

J1776

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 07:38:29 PM »
Any idea?...was this topic moved from Antique Gun Collecting to "contemporary" gun collecting?
I could have sworn I put it in "antique" since it deals with the question of past history rather than those things being made "today" (contemporary)?  Maybe it was just to late when I had posted it and I can't recall? haha
I could not find a historical area of the forum to ask such a question.  I couldn't find the topic today when I looked.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 07:46:44 PM by J1776 »

J1776

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 07:41:35 PM »
Guy,...

Thank you very much.  I'll take a look there.
 :)

Offline Dale Campbell

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 08:11:28 PM »
Depends. Probably smoothbore fowler type guns.  The area was settled by Connecticutters (including some of my ancesters), though there were Pennsylvania settlers up there (more to the west (Muncy/Sunbury?), but claimed by Penn and Conn to the extent shots were fired and people died (see Yankee-Pennamite Wars).  However, some Lancaster folk were on the side of the Yankees and were involved in the Wyoming Vally massacre.  So, a guess would be fowler or Lancaster style rifle.  

That said, that is only conjecture and must be taken as such.  

I have recently seen a period reference to indians distance wise outshooting the settlers because they had rifles (possibly from Eric Kettenburg's site -read it, good stuff) which leads one to infer that the settlers only had smoothbores, and a separate reference where the settlers felt safe by the river because bullets wouldn't carry across.  The Susquehanna is fairly broad in the Scranton Wilkes-Barre area, so that may refer to rifle or smoothbore.

My 2 cents, and worth every penny.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 08:12:36 PM by Dale C »
Best regards,
Dale

J1776

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 08:20:45 PM »
Dale,...
It was settled by those from CT but not long after you had the Dutch there,.. a big Germanic influence,.... this is what I found historically, so I figured maybe you had a lot of the Bucks Co. and Lehigh influence perhaps?

In a book by the name of "Atlas of the North American Indian" in regards to the "Rebellions Against The Dutch" the map showed a wide spread area that looks to be that with which the Dutch traded with the Indians of the PA area as far west as the Pittsburg area and covering PA all the way to "New Amsterdam" (NYC today).

Now in my home town of Nanticoke, PA (Named after the Nanticoke Indians of Maryland who migrated there) the Nanticoke indians migrated there about 1750.  Adopted in 1753 by the Six Nations, they settled at Chenango, near Binghamton, to guard the "Southern Door" of the Confederacy.

A few "firsts" for that town as it took strides forward specifically include the following:

1774  The first school teacher was William McKarrichan.

1776  The first two "great roads," Middle and River Roads, were staked out.

1780  First weekly mail from Wilkes-Barre.

Also, we see "Harvey creek", draining Harvey lake and, going south, falls into the river at West Nanticoke. This is joined by Pikes creek in Jackson township. This lake was named for Benjamin Harvey, who located near its junction in 1775.... now known as "Harvey's Lake".

All seem to point to Connecticut settlers however in that specific area which seems odd as there is such a heavy Germanic influence found in primitive antiques in the area.
There was a fur trade on years beforehand, active as it was, but no specific notes of "settlemets" to speak of other than that of Forty-Fort and others of the area fraught with those from Connecticut?

One interesting thing that I have found however, is an exceept from a book written in 1893. 

As follows ***(Note the mention of "Quakers" here in the second paragraph!!)***

History of Luzerne County Pennsylvania
H. C. Bradsby, Editor
S. B. Nelson & Co., Publishers, 1893
CHAPTER II.
1762

"Within a circle of ten miles from the Wilkes-Barre court house, where is now a population of considerably over 100,000, was for fifty years the heart of the battlefield between savagery and civilization, and then came the War of the Roses in contention for the possession and ownership of the soil. The wave of the death struggle swept back and forth; literally charges and retreats and counter charges; captures and expulsions and then recaptures and again repulsed; the swarming immigrant this year, the sad exodus the next: the victory to-day, the bloody massacre almost sure to swiftly follow. The scythe of death mowed its winrows in the ranks and eagerly came others in the place of the dead. What destiny hung in the balance, so long suspended by a single hair! This was something of the alembic that distilled the remarkable manhood that has inscribed high in the temple of the immortals the names of most of the first settlers of what is now Luzerne county. Illustrious men and glorious women, all as brave as death! Your sufferings and your dearly earned triumphs deserve the record of the inspired pen, and that page would be the most luminous in history. Men, real men, develop best under adversity; the weak and inefficient faint and fall by the way, and the fittest survive and stamp their iron qualities upon their offspring, and this natural selection brings us a race of men on whose shoulders may rest a world. Heroes indeed, a race of the world's bravest and best. The simple story of their struggles and, the final supreme triumphs are each and ail an epic that should be written in every living, heart. Let their deeds be immortal! their memories most sacred.

The climax of the struggle came only when it was Puritan versus Quaker over the question of ownership of the soil. This was serious indeed; no men were ever more intensely earnest in the claims on both sides of the question. The law as interpreted by authority was on the side of the Quakers; yet the plain equity was with the Puritans. Both were right and both were, not intentionally, wrong. This paradox only expresses the general phase of the great problems. As a question of the letter of the law the Quaker's triumph was complete, yet to-day from Old Shamokin (Sunbury) to Tioga Point (Athens), this once disputed land is as Yankee in fact as any portion of Connecticut. When these forces were arrayed in armed hostility, the scant records now left us of the communications between the respective leaders, communications offering adjustments, proclamations giving the world the facts in the case; petitions to the Pennsylvania authorities, and statements in the nature of pleas for justice, as well as arguments before courts, show these pioneers from the Nutmeg State mostly as remarkable statesmen, diplomats and broad [p.38] constitutional lawyers and defenders of the rights of man such as are not surpassed in any chapter in our country's history. These men it must be remembered were simple pioneers, the most favored with but sparsest advantages of the schoolroom and none of them really trained to the law, the courts or statesmanship. Yet they rose with the great emergency. Their records were halt and lame in spelling, yet they are the enduring evidences that their minds were strong and nimble."


« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 09:01:51 PM by J1776 »

J1776

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 09:21:42 PM »
Something neat I found in my historical research today!!!
(Wish I could find myself a copy of this book!!)  :(

The Germanic influx into Pensylvania which passed through the Wyoming valley area,which included the Luzerne County area (Are right below Wyoming Valley) on their way tot he Reading, PA area "Tulpehocken".

An excerpt from the book:  A history of Wilkes-Barré, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania 1909

"In the summer of 1752 fifty other Palatine families from Schoharie passed through Wyoming on their way to the valley of the Tulpehocken;..."

"Conrad Weiser,....born near Wurtenburg, Germany,..."
"Weiser's Iroquois alliances, his skill in preventing Maryland and Virgina from becoming involved in an Indian war, his ability in securing the friendship of the Six Nation allies on the Maumee and Wabash stimulated the fur trade in Pennsylvania"

It is important to note that the "fur trade" was routed through the Wyoming Valley area of PA.

Thus, one may surmise that indeed the Germanic influenced rifles coming out of the Bucks co. area and Lehigh would have indeed been seen in the Wyoming Valley area.  As well as the rifles coming out of the Connecticut area as well as the majority of settlers there were "Yankees" (from CT)!

In addition, missionary, David Brainerd" was settled right above the Easton, PA area by 1745.  Of course he was born in Connecticut....no ties to Germanic peoples.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 09:30:02 PM by J1776 »

billd

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2011, 12:17:15 AM »
Very interesting, keep it coming.  My home town too.

Bill

Offline Rootsy

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2011, 12:45:27 AM »
I posted some family letters from the period on the other site which gives a small synopsis of life in the valley around the time of the Revolution.  One is a long biographical dictation.  If interested I could paste them here.  A lot of mention of guns, natives, shooting, scalping, death, disease and plight.  Unfortunately nothing "specific" with regard to guns.

Most of this information can also be dug from the Bradford County Historical Society website.

J1776

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2011, 12:48:19 AM »
I posted some family letters from the period on the other site which gives a small synopsis of life in the valley around the time of the Revolution.  One is a long biographical dictation.  If interested I could paste them here.  A lot of mention of guns, natives, shooting, scalping, death, disease and plight.  Unfortunately nothing "specific" with regard to guns.

Most of this information can also be dug from the Bradford County Historical Society website.

Rootsy,..
that was myself, same question,..saw those family letters,... really great stuff!!!!!! :) :) :)

I was referred to this forum by a friend so I figured I'd share the question here as well.
I'm sure the fellas here would probably like to read the personal accounts of your ancestors as I enjoyed them,... .post away!
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 12:49:09 AM by J1776 »

LURCHWV@BJS

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2011, 10:32:12 PM »
Guy,

   Thanks for the kettenburg link.  I helped my alot.  Found info on a rifle I've been looking for, for sometime now.


     Rich

dyted

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2011, 02:50:01 AM »
     This is a place that was settled  by Swiss and Germans as early as 1709, and some serious gunmakers included. The problem is that none of the guns survived or most people don't accept the guns attributed to these early settler/gunsmiths as legitimate  Dyted

Offline Jim Filipski

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2011, 04:28:55 AM »
I'm right in the heart of the place So it a big part of the History where I live:
 In 1760 you are going to find an influx of New Englanders ( Connecticut settler 1763 & then not again until 1769)  The Susquehanna River brought traveler both from North (New France) and From the South ( Lancaster and the Palatine settlements) So You may see New England fowlers, Germanic Fowlers & Rifles as well as Lancaster & York Influences

Just my two pence
Jim
" Associate with men of good quality,  if you esteem your own reputation:
for it is better to be alone than in bad company. "      -   George Washington

"A brush of the hand
of Providence is behind what is done with good heart."

Offline Jim Filipski

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2011, 04:30:06 AM »
Swiss & German by 1709?
Where in NEPA?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 03:00:10 PM by Jim Filipski »
" Associate with men of good quality,  if you esteem your own reputation:
for it is better to be alone than in bad company. "      -   George Washington

"A brush of the hand
of Providence is behind what is done with good heart."

Mike R

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2011, 05:28:13 PM »
"in the 1700s" covers alot of time.  There were gunmakers in Easton as well as the well known Allentown area, Lancaster, Reading, etc all before the Rev War.  Most white settlers didn't go far north of the Blue Ridge until after the F&I War [1750s-60s], although there were hunters anf traders there.  Most of the firearms would likely come from the places south of the Blue Ridge. Plenty to choose from there!

loco219

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2011, 05:40:35 PM »
It would have been suicide to venture into the upper Susuquehanna valley to settle from 1700 thru The F&I war. Yes their were adventures, hunters, traders, etc, but settlement was not tolerated by the natives. In their last big uprising they pushed out ALL settlers between 1778-80. Our founding father George Washington then struck the deciding blow when he sent General Sullivan on his eradication march up the river. Nothing of native civilization was spared, villages, stored food, growing crops, etc. Yes, there were individuals who made guns, but no one at that time, in that geographic area, had a shop with business hours! 

dyted

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2011, 03:13:01 AM »
  To Jim F.  go to page 4 on this forum under "Swiss gunsmiths with a link to early Pennsylvania" posted by mkeen, also Jacob Dubs Jr. set up a forge at Great Swamp area in 1732.    Dyted

dyted

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2011, 03:29:50 AM »
   Oops! I checked my geography and I was talking early Bucks Co. Sorry.  Dyted

loco219

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2011, 03:52:34 AM »
No apologies, we are all passionate about history or we would not be on this site. In the days you refer to it was not exactly safe to be out and about anywhere on the Susquehanna. When the Brits established Fort Augusta at Sunbury ( where the river branches meet) , travel any farther North was risking your scalp.  You bought your guns south of there for certain.  ;D

Offline Jim Filipski

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2011, 05:37:22 AM »
Have to be a bit more resolute to trip me up on the history of this ( My )  area!
But I'm always open for true historical data...you never know....... Keep an open mind
" Associate with men of good quality,  if you esteem your own reputation:
for it is better to be alone than in bad company. "      -   George Washington

"A brush of the hand
of Providence is behind what is done with good heart."

Offline Jim Filipski

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2011, 06:07:39 AM »
I fear that this is moving way beyond the original question: but the heck with it I will move the path a bit.
If you were to pick the "wyomink area" as the center of the NEPA ( it may not be but who wants to measure it...don't mention the "golden means")
You are talking wilderness..... White intrusion comes about 1762 from Connecticut by 1763 they are heading back north ( what was left of them!) then We have the Pontiac Rebellion  so no whites are coming back until 1769 & when they do they are New Englanders again.  So If we go early; say 1742 -54 you are talking voyagers ( french) & maybe some traders but they are trespassing in and about an Iroquois "Penal colony" of sorts Where the Delawares are now their subjects along with a number of other tribes under the 5 nations watchful eyes....... So Trade guns=that early ...you bet most likely French. Supposedly Brulle came through the area very early in the 1700 ( I doubt it)  So before 1763 Trade guns ( mostly French) 
Obviously The Poor Connecticuts lost some guns & their lives about the (63) ( NE Fowlers) 1769 More NE Fowlers. In to the 70's PA rifles coming up the Susquehanna with the Pennamites to take back PA from New England.... Then by mid 70-80 a real melting pot starts. In with the Germans.
 If you need more history let me know....but that should give you an idea of what was here. and no there wasn't a "gunshop" locally at that time  You went down the river to York or Lancaster if you were a Pennamite & if you were a Connecticut you went northeast  to the  Delaware settlements
" Associate with men of good quality,  if you esteem your own reputation:
for it is better to be alone than in bad company. "      -   George Washington

"A brush of the hand
of Providence is behind what is done with good heart."

J1776

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2011, 07:15:40 AM »
It would have been suicide to venture into the upper Susuquehanna valley to settle from 1700 thru The F&I war. Yes their were adventures, hunters, traders, etc, but settlement was not tolerated by the natives. In their last big uprising they pushed out ALL settlers between 1778-80. Our founding father George Washington then struck the deciding blow when he sent General Sullivan on his eradication march up the river. Nothing of native civilization was spared, villages, stored food, growing crops, etc. Yes, there were individuals who made guns, but no one at that time, in that geographic area, had a shop with business hours! 

Actually there was already a school in Nanticoke, PA (In Luzerne, Co. right there in the lower part of the Wyoming Valley) by 1774,.... so, there had to be more going on before 1774 for there to have been a school by 1774?  Maybe not much before 1774, but a few years I'd presume?

Where's a time machine when ya need one!! :o

J1776

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2011, 07:16:28 AM »
  To Jim F.  go to page 4 on this forum under "Swiss gunsmiths with a link to early Pennsylvania" posted by mkeen, also Jacob Dubs Jr. set up a forge at Great Swamp area in 1732.    Dyted

If I'm correct, the Great Swamp area was in the Quakertown, PA area....

J1776

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2011, 07:19:24 AM »
I fear that this is moving way beyond the original question: but the heck with it I will move the path a bit.
If you were to pick the "wyomink area" as the center of the NEPA ( it may not be but who wants to measure it...don't mention the "golden means")
You are talking wilderness..... White intrusion comes about 1762 from Connecticut by 1763 they are heading back north ( what was left of them!) then We have the Pontiac Rebellion  so no whites are coming back until 1769 & when they do they are New Englanders again.  So If we go early; say 1742 -54 you are talking voyagers ( french) & maybe some traders but they are trespassing in and about an Iroquois "Penal colony" of sorts Where the Delawares are now their subjects along with a number of other tribes under the 5 nations watchful eyes....... So Trade guns=that early ...you bet most likely French. Supposedly Brulle came through the area very early in the 1700 ( I doubt it)  So before 1763 Trade guns ( mostly French) 
Obviously The Poor Connecticuts lost some guns & their lives about the (63) ( NE Fowlers) 1769 More NE Fowlers. In to the 70's PA rifles coming up the Susquehanna with the Pennamites to take back PA from New England.... Then by mid 70-80 a real melting pot starts. In with the Germans.
 If you need more history let me know....but that should give you an idea of what was here. and no there wasn't a "gunshop" locally at that time  You went down the river to York or Lancaster if you were a Pennamite & if you were a Connecticut you went northeast  to the  Delaware settlements

That is a great surmise of the facts,.. a good factual-based idea to what most likely would have been.  Just what I was looking for!
Thank you!  ;)

Bob Smalser

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Re: Rifles of the Northeastern Pennsylvania area in the 1700s???
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2011, 08:59:02 AM »
Yeah, but that 1770-1780 melting pot melted as fast as it had congealed with the Wyoming Massacre of 1778, wiping out all white settlement for some time.

One of the largest Indian incidents ever in Pennsylvania.  302 scalps taken and over a thousand homes burned.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming_Massacre