Author Topic: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking  (Read 68553 times)

Offline spgordon

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2012, 06:35:31 AM »
From the Northampton County Committee of Observation Minutes (15 July 1775):

"It being represented to the Committee that several of the Soldiers who have enlisted in the Company of Rifle men now raising in this County are not supplied with Rifles and by a calculation made this day it appears that nineteen Rifles are yet wanted for the use of said Company..."

I don't know, honestly, how many men were in the Northampton County rifle company. But I think there were nine PA rifle companies that went to Cambridge, and when they arrived there were some 800 men. So perhaps each company had about 90 or so men? So 19 rifles lacking... means 80% of the men had rifles.

*******
Oh, and it's not fair play to suddenly revert to the claim that "my focus on weapons shortages is 1763"! You offered the quotation from Frank Fox (regarding 1775) when I asked for evidence beyond that Burd letter from October 1763!
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 02:34:33 PM by spgordon »
Check out: The Lost Village of Christian's Spring
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Bob Smalser

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2012, 07:08:36 AM »
I don't know, honestly, how many men were in the Northampton County rifle company. But I think there were nine PA rifle companies that went to Cambridge, and when they arrived there were some 800 men. So perhaps each company had about 90 or so men? So 19 rifles lacking... means 80% of the men had rifles.

Thompson's Battalion had 743 with 189 Germans.  Morgan's Rifle Company attached to him from Virginia and Maryland (and a few from western Pennsylvania) had 93, with 21 Germans for a total of 836.  

Miller's company from Northampton had 80 with only 16 Germans.  

But some Northampton men enlisted in other counties.  My forbearer walked to Harris Ferry to enlist in Smith's company, probably because Smith was a famous Indian fighter (or murderer, depending on your point of view) and this youngster's family had been burned out in 1755 with fatalities.

So the bulk of the frontier riflemen, even in Northampton, were Ulster Scots, not Germans.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 07:19:57 AM by Bob Smalser »

Offline spgordon

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2012, 07:28:49 AM »
I've lost track of the point here.

First you cited Fox's claim that in May 1775 there weren't 50 "arms" (not rifles) in Northampton County.

We know this is wrong because at least 61 riflemen showed up in July. There were obviously far more arms possessed by individuals in Northampton County than showed up for the rifle company. But we know, at the very least, there were 61! Other evidence (supplied by Fox himself) indicates that there were additional arms, likely quite a few.

Now you propose (with a "probably," admittedly, but why even probable?) that the men who showed up without rifles must have been the 16 Germans in the company of 80 men. I think you would have to admit that this is entirely made up. There is no evidence whatsoever to make this "probable." You're trying to keep your contention that Germans didn't own arms afloat. [ADDED LATER: Bob, you removed this point from your previous post once I wrote this! Again, not fair!! Guess I need to do the quoting thing to make sure you don't adjust the record!!]

We have come a far way, in any case, from the original contention, based on Frank Fox's remark (which the rest of his own text undermines), that there were few arms in Northampton County (because Germans couldn't afford them) in 1775. That claim can be retired.

It is irrelevant (even if true) that "the bulk of the frontier riflemen, even in Northampton, were Ulster Scots, not Germans." ALL the frontier riflemen could be Ulster Scots and the Germans in Northampton County might still have two longrifles per home and a starter rifle for each child.

I refuse to re-engage with you on any subject that includes the word "Moravian," so I will just say that many Germans may have owned rifles and chosen not to join militia companies. That German communities in Lancaster County and I believe in Northampton County were "disarmed" (as non-associators) suggests strongly that they possessed arms.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 02:36:06 PM by spgordon »
Check out: The Lost Village of Christian's Spring
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And: The Earliest Moravian Work in the Mid-Atlantic: A Guide
https://www.moravianhistory.org/product-page/moravian-activity-in-the-mid-atlantic-guidebook

Bob Smalser

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2012, 08:02:29 AM »
 

First you cited Fox's claim that in May 1775 there weren't 50 "arms" (not rifles) in Northampton County.

We know this is wrong because at least 61 riflemen showed up in July. There were obviously far more arms possessed by individuals in Northampton County than showed up for the rifle company. But we know, at the very least, there were 61! Other evidence (supplied by Fox himself) indicates that there were additional arms, likely quite a few.

Now you propose (with a "probably," admittedly, but why even probable?) that the men who showed up without rifles must have been the 16 Germans in the company of 80 men. I think you would have to admit that this is entirely made up. There is no evidence whatsoever to make this "probable." You're trying to keep your contention that Germans didn't own arms afloat.

It is irrelevant (even if true) that "the bulk of the frontier riflemen, even in Northampton, were Ulster Scots, not Germans." ALL the frontier riflemen could be Ulster Scots and the Germans in Northampton County might still have two longrifles per home and a starter rifle for each child.

I refuse to re-engage with you on any subject that includes the word "Moravian," so I will just say that many Germans may have owned rifles and chosen not to join militia companies. That German communities in Lancaster County and I believe in Northampton County were "disarmed" (as non-associators) suggests strongly that they possessed arms.


1)  Fox’s claim included the complete kit, not just the guns. 

2)  I was kidding about the 16 Germans accounting for the shortage of rifles.

3)  I have the rosters.  While there may be some “Smiths” and the like who in actuality were “Schmidts” or Schmiegs”, Captain Smith of Harris Ferry certainly wasn’t one of them, so I’m pretty close on the number of Germans.  Not many from Northampton, given their density there.

4)  If I remember Fox correctly, Northampton Moravians were fined by some unscrupulous officials in Easton, but their possessions weren’t confiscated.  The province’s intent (and directives) were to allow pacifists to contribute to the effort in other ways.

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2012, 01:33:18 PM »
I'm rapidly losing track of the point here myself.  And the time period:  1763 and 1775 are two entirely different periods; almost to the point, one might say, of being two entirely different worlds in Northampton County.  Can we stick to applying Burd's quote to the TOWN of Northampton at the specific time that the letter was written?  To interpret it as being possessive of broader implications for the entire - if I dare say, friggin' - county, or any other time, is ludicrous and speculative in the extreme.  

When Burd's letter was written, the Bethlehem Moravians had already seen fit to construct and establish a dedicated GUN shop at Christian's Spring.  Why would they have done this in the preceding couple of years if it was not profitable?  Furthermore, the invaluable research that Bob Lienemann has shared with me for many years now - FIRST HAND documented ledgers ca. 1754-1760 - indicates that there was a substantial amount of gun work going on under the auspices of the locksmith's shop in Bethlehem during the second half of the 1750s and prior to the establishment of the shop up at CS.  The ledgers also indicate that they (those involved in the lock shop) were obtaining materials in Philadelphia, which *seems* to have been a relatively common thing and goes towards dispelling the romanticized notion that those on the Northampton Co. "frontier" were not able to obtain gun parts i.e. gun mounts, gun locks and/or gun barrels (all of which were publicly advertised for sale in Philly throughout the 1750s and 1760s).  While of course it is a leap to assume EVERYONE in NH County could zip back and forth whenever required, there certainly is documented evidence of a trade corridor between the city and NH County.  In fact:

November 1, 1764
The Pennsylvania Gazette
"BETHLEHEM STAGE, from Philadelphia. THIS is to acquaint the Publick , that there is a convenient Stage Waggon, which goes every Tuesday Morning from Philadelphia to Bethlehem, and returns Saturday following; the Waggon carries not only Passengers, but likewise Merchandize; the Neighbours at Easton, Allen Town, &c. that will please to favour us with their custom, may depend on it, that good Care will be take of what shall be instrusted to them. JOHN FRANC OBERLIN, GEORGE SCHLOSSER.
N.B. There are good Store Rooms in Bethlehem, where the Goods may lie till the Delivery of them."

Back to my point of contention - that of William Moll.  WHO are these two "Moll genealogists" you keep mentioning, and more importantly, what exactly are their sources?  Brent Wade Moll has a fairly extensive site but most, of not all, of his information on the Moll gunsmiths was obtained via Earl Heffner's little book published in the early 1970s as well as Henry Kauffman's old book from the 1960s (both of which, in turn, relied fairly heavily upon the old county "Historys...").  I corresponded with him (Brent) via a few emails maybe 6 to 8 years ago, and he was not able to offer anything substantive on Johannes, the mysterious William etc.  My impression was that most of what he had obtained dealing w. the Allentown Molls was obtained via Heffner's book and varied undocumented internet sources.  Heffner, meanwhile, relied fairly heavily on the 19th century county "Historys..." as well as unsubstantiated second hand documents.  I personally was not able to find ANY record of William Moll in Easton, nor have I been able to find ANY record of him in most of the early documentation from Easton that was placed on microfilm at HSP in Philadelphia.  I will grant you that this does not mean that he never existed, nor does it mean that such paperwork never existed, but it's certainly curious and throws the entire story into question.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 01:49:48 PM by Eric Kettenburg »
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Offline spgordon

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2012, 02:03:46 PM »

4)  If I remember Fox correctly, Northampton Moravians were fined by some unscrupulous officials in Easton, but their possessions weren’t confiscated.  The province’s intent (and directives) were to allow pacifists to contribute to the effort in other ways.

This is half correct. Bethlehem's neighbors tried to use state laws, the Test Act & Militia Law, to confiscate all their property, but these efforts failed; state officials protected Bethlehem. True.

The confiscation of arms, however, occurred under a different directive--typically from County Committees. On July 28, 1776, the Bethlehem diary records: "Col. Kichline came from Easton to collect the remaining fire-arms here. On representing that a place like ours should not be entirely without fire-arms, he without hesitation left a few pieces." The same happened to German communities, Moravian and Mennonite, throughout Pennsylvania. In March 1776, the Lancaster County Committee of Observation ordered that “non-associators in this county [should] deliver up their arms to the captains of the respective battalions,” who should give “receipts for said arms.” On July 27, the Lititz diary noted that “by order of the Committee in Lancaster, the brethren had to deliver all guns in their possession at the tavern, receiving a receipt therefor.” One could continue to list examples of this from other German communities that, lucky for us, kept daily congregational diaries.

My only point here is that this offers evidence that Germans in Northampton County owned guns. The Bethlehem diary doesn't indicate what percentage of men there did. And I realize that Bethlehem may not be representative of the frontier farmer that you are focusing on. But many of the communities and individuals that were disarmed at this time were farmers. It would be nice if surviving records documented each and every German family in Northampton County that had to give up their arms, but no such luck. What evidence from the period does survive, however, offers no support whatsoever for the contention that German farmers did not or could not possess arms.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 02:40:47 PM by spgordon »
Check out: The Lost Village of Christian's Spring
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And: The Earliest Moravian Work in the Mid-Atlantic: A Guide
https://www.moravianhistory.org/product-page/moravian-activity-in-the-mid-atlantic-guidebook

Offline Dphariss

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2012, 05:19:03 PM »
This is an excellent reason for not letting people know you have a firearm.
This confiscation skews the entire gun ownership thing.
Are the neighbors going to rat out someone when the lack of firearms in the area could get them killed or their only means of protection also confiscated?
This throws a huge monkey wrench in the "how many firearms did they have".
Hidden storage was common and I can see a lot of firearms being "missed".
If a person DID have his gun confiscated the chances of it being returned in anything like its original condition would be remote. I can't see this being a friendly process or something everyone complied with.

Dan
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Offline spgordon

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2012, 09:46:04 PM »
This is an excellent reason for not letting people know you have a firearm.
This confiscation skews the entire gun ownership thing.


No doubt.

On May 25, 1776 in Emmaus (Northampton County), the following occurred: "while Friedrich Romig, Sr., and his family were attending communion services, his house and also the houses of his two sons were searched by a group of 25 men who took away their guns."

Romig, by the way, is just the sort of German immigrant, Bob, that interests you. He was born in 1713 in the Palatinate, emigrated to PA in 1731, and settled on a farm in Macungie. He had twelve children. He died in 1783 and is buried on his farm. And he and his son apparently owned guns.

More men came on July 9 to Emmaus and "took the guns from the local inhabitants." I would need to do some research to confirm it, but I strongly suspect that the large majority of these "local inhabitants"--who had guns and were disarmed--were German immigrants.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 09:58:45 PM by spgordon »
Check out: The Lost Village of Christian's Spring
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And: The Earliest Moravian Work in the Mid-Atlantic: A Guide
https://www.moravianhistory.org/product-page/moravian-activity-in-the-mid-atlantic-guidebook

mkeen

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2012, 07:25:14 AM »
About colonial Pennsylvania Germans owning guns. This information comes from my article "Community and Material Culture Among Lancaster Mennonites: Hans Hess from 1717 to 1733" that was published in the January 1990 issue of Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage. I surveyed 20 Lancaster Mennonite inventories from 1724 to 1742 to contrast and compare with the 1733 inventory of Hans Hess. Hans owned a gun valued at £1. Out of the 20 other inventories, 6 mentioned guns and these were pacifist Mennonites. Not everyone in the colonial period owned a gun, but neither were they absent. Also the guns were affordable. The total value of the estate of Hans Hess was £395.19.11, so the gun made up a very small part. The gun was equal in value to 3 bed covers on the inventory.

Martin

nosrettap1958

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2012, 09:36:37 PM »
Great post and very informative but wasn't barter also used in the absence of hard currency?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 10:14:02 PM by crawdad »

mkeen

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2012, 01:20:07 AM »
Barter was used and continued after the colonial period. I've seen account books for joiners where a neighbor supplies wood and the value of the wood was deducted from his future bill. Sometimes it was a long period of time before all debts were settled. But hard currency did exist and might have been slightly more available in Pennsylvania, because the value of silver was greater than in neighboring colonies. In Lancaster County, PA all land purchases that I have seen were with cash or a mortgage plus cash. Estates were always settled with cash. You could not barter with an estate. If your neighbor died and you owed any money, the cash was due in short order.

Martin Keen

Offline spgordon

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2012, 02:43:58 AM »
He'll be back in nine months. Same discussion will ensue, as if this one never occurred.

Re: Crawdad's and Martin's point about barter, I was going to mention to Bob that cash wouldn't have been necessary to purchase a gun--but that matter arose last time around, too, and his response then, if I remember correctly, was that these farmers would have had no surplus to barter, etc. That provoked a discussion about the composition of soil that I couldn't follow.

What the previous dozen or so posts show is that there was a market for guns among German immigrants before and after 1763: the guns were available, affordable, and the German farmers purchased them. German farmers were being disarmed regularly in the 1770s. In Martin's small sample, a full third of German immigrants in the 1720s/1730s/1740s had guns (according to their inventories, and of course many others might have had guns and passed them on before they died). Pretty conclusive, to my mind.
Check out: The Lost Village of Christian's Spring
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And: The Earliest Moravian Work in the Mid-Atlantic: A Guide
https://www.moravianhistory.org/product-page/moravian-activity-in-the-mid-atlantic-guidebook

Offline JTR

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2012, 04:48:53 PM »
I've enjoyed this thread very much! The back and forth was lively, although I have a hard time agreeing with most of Bob's points.
It seems to me, in this thread and the one before, that he's trying very hard to make his point, and is working toward a predetermined result that only he knows..... ::)

Should be interesting reading in muzzle blasts, when they publish his view.

John
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nosrettap1958

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2012, 06:02:33 PM »
It’s also a little disheartening that we do not have enough written records to provide concrete conclusions concerning a weapon that we developed and used to great effect in both civilian and military endeavors in the development of our own country.  But it is still very interesting to see the original sources for these debates come to light. I may need to get to a really good book store.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 06:06:18 PM by crawdad »

Offline spgordon

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2012, 06:35:51 PM »
It’s also a little disheartening that we do not have enough written records....

It's true and frustrating. On the other hand, I'm always amazed at what has survived and how much we can know--perhaps not with certainty, but with a degree of confidence--from these documents that have survived. The Moravian materials in particular, simply because of the daily diaries and thorough business records that every community kept and have preserved, are deep, rich mines of information.

And the materials that have survived but haven't been consulted or used, for the most part, are vast! Tax records, land records, inventories--these things, I think, have been used extensively. But at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania alone are massive collections of letters and documents from eighteenth-century Pennsylvania (typically grouped by family: Shippen, etc.) that have never been gone through with an eye to what they may reveal about the eighteenth-century gun trade.

Plenty more to discover, I think.
Check out: The Lost Village of Christian's Spring
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And: The Earliest Moravian Work in the Mid-Atlantic: A Guide
https://www.moravianhistory.org/product-page/moravian-activity-in-the-mid-atlantic-guidebook

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2012, 06:47:33 PM »
"But at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania alone are massive collections of letters and documents from eighteenth-century Pennsylvania (typically grouped by family: Shippen, etc.) that have never been gone through with an eye to what they may reveal about the eighteenth-century gun trade."

You can say that again.  I came away from my brief research there with the impression that one could - literally - spend years carefully reviewing the documentation that has survived, and never get to all of it...

What I find disheartening is to see firm conclusions being drawn while this vast pool of information sits idle, and what inevitably is utilized are merely the small portions that have been reviewed and referenced in secondary sources.
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mkeen

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2012, 08:14:32 PM »
"But at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania alone are massive collections of letters and documents from eighteenth-century Pennsylvania (typically grouped by family: Shippen, etc.) that have never been gone through with an eye to what they may reveal about the eighteenth-century gun trade."

You can say that again.  I came away from my brief research there with the impression that one could - literally - spend years carefully reviewing the documentation that has survived, and never get to all of it...

What I find disheartening is to see firm conclusions being drawn while this vast pool of information sits idle, and what inevitably is utilized are merely the small portions that have been reviewed and referenced in secondary sources.

I agree wholeheartedly with you Eric. Too many writers rely solely on secondary sources and never get to the primary ones. Of course it's a lot easier and less time consuming to use secondary sources. Here's a tidbit on gun ownership in the early colonial period. I've wanted to post this in an earlier thread but the topic had degenerated.

Jan 13. 1730         The Pennsylvania Gazette

 About the same Time, another very large Panther was killed near Conestoga. He had got among some Swine in the Night-time, and the Owner hearing them cry, went out with a Couple of Dogs, which drove the Panther up into a great Tree. Ignorant what is was that went up the Tree, he made a Fire near it, and left two Women to watch while he went to fetch a Neighbour that had a Gun. They fir'd at him twice, and the second Time broke both his Fore Legs, upon which, to their great Surprize, he made a desperate Leap and fell to the Ground near the Man, would could but just get out of his Way. The Dogs immediately seized him, and with another Shot in the Head he was dispatched.

At least the neighbor had a gun to finish off the panther!

Martin

Offline spgordon

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2012, 08:37:21 PM »

You can say that again.  I came away from my brief research there with the impression that one could - literally - spend years carefully reviewing the documentation that has survived, and never get to all of it...


It's got to be a shared enterprise over a long period of time. (I realize that most people don't have access to these archives or the time to devote to investigating them.) But here's the sort of thing one can come across:



This is a list of "muskets furnished" by the Lancaster gunsmiths in late 1775 or early 1776, noting the number of barrels they proved & the number of muskets they produced (in what period of time).

That's John Noll, not John Moll, near the bottom of the list.  :o

This particular document is included amongst the Lancaster County Manuscript Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 08:54:07 PM by spgordon »
Check out: The Lost Village of Christian's Spring
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And: The Earliest Moravian Work in the Mid-Atlantic: A Guide
https://www.moravianhistory.org/product-page/moravian-activity-in-the-mid-atlantic-guidebook

Offline DaveM

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2012, 11:26:16 PM »
Wouldn't it be neat to know what these looked like - wonder if these guys all used the same pattern? 

Offline spgordon

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #44 on: May 07, 2012, 03:31:08 PM »
They were supposed to use a pattern. The Lancaster gunsmiths at first refused to make the muskets required by the County Committee, after which the Committee:

"Resolved that in Case any of the Gun-Smiths in the County of Lancaster, upon Application made to them by the Members of the Committee of the respective Townships to which they belong, shall refuse to go to Work and make their Proportion of the Firelocks & Bayonets required for this County by the Honorable House of Assembly, within two Weeks from such Application, agreeable to the Pattern at the Philadelphia Prices—such Gun-Smiths shall have their Names inserted in the Minutes of this Committee as Enemies to this Country, and published, as such, and the Tools of the said Gun-Smiths so refusing shall be taken from them, and moreover the said Gun-Smiths shall not be permitted to carry on their Trades, until they shall engage to go to Work as aforesaid, nor shall leave their respective Places of Residence until the arms are completed."
Check out: The Lost Village of Christian's Spring
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And: The Earliest Moravian Work in the Mid-Atlantic: A Guide
https://www.moravianhistory.org/product-page/moravian-activity-in-the-mid-atlantic-guidebook

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2012, 04:54:41 PM »
Since this seems to have curved around towards a debate as to whether or not the farmers on the Northampton Co. frontier had firearms, or access to firearms, or the desire to have firearms, I took a quick look through one of my old favorites, the Pennsylvania Gazette;  a *primary* source.  I briefly looked at ca. mid 1750s through early 1760s, since this is around the time Burd's account lamented the lack of guns in Allentown (town-folk, after all).  So can be apply this lack of firearms at that specific place and time to the entire county?  Let's see.

(1)  Heiss had a gun, and he also told the Miller as well as the Miller's helper to "...fetch a gun..."


Collection: The Pennsylvania Gazette
Publication: The Pennsylvania Gazette
Date: December 18, 1755
Title: PHILADELPHIA, December 18.
PHILADELPHIA, December 18.

Since our last we have received most melancholy Accounts from Northampton County , of a Number of People being murdered by the Indians, and of a great many others having left their Habitations for fear of them. These Accounts are supported by many undoubted Affidavits; but as they are chiefly to the same Purpose, we think it needless to repeat them all, and therefore insert only the following one at length, as it is the most circumstantial of the whole, and seems to be given by a Man of great Courage and Resolution.

NORTHAMPTON County , Pennsylvania, ss.

PERSONALLY appearbefore me Timothy Horsfield, Esq; one of the Justices in and for the said County , George Casper Heiss, Blacksmith, aged 36 Years, and upon his solemn Affirmation, according to law, deposed and said, That on the Tenth of this instant December, about Five or Six o'Clock in the Evening, being at Supper in the House of Frederick Hoeth, about eight Miles beyond the Gap of the Blue Mountains, in the said County , together with the said Hoeth, his Wife, five Children, and one Philip Fleck, suddenly Heissthis AffirmantWife, being in a Garden near the House, cried out to her Husband lamentably, "Caspar, Caspar, come and help me, the Indians are here, they will kill me and the Children," said Heiss having three Children in the House he lived in; upon which this Affirmant, with said Hoeth, ran out of the House, when three Guns were immediately discharged at them. This Affirmant then ran towards his own House, which he found filled with Indians, and then went back to Hoeth, whom he fond lying dead at the Back Door; he then went to the Mill, about five Rood from the House, when the Indians fired three Guns at him. In the Mill this Affirmant found the Miller, named Philip ------, and a Boy, the Son of one Sylvas,, who were quite ignorant of what had happened and acquainting them with the Circumstances, bid them leave off grinding, and fetch a Gun, and help him to fight the Indians. This Affirmant then took a Gun, and went alone into HoethHouse, round the Bakehouse, and so into the Smithshop; from whence he saw an Indian kneeling before another Door, charging his Gun, at about two Guns Length, at whom this Affirmant took Aim, and shot dead on the Spot, hearing him expire with a Groan. This Affirmant then stepped to him, and took the GUn out of his Hand, and then discovered two more Indians in the Door of his House, who both fired at him; upon which this Affirmant jumped into the SmithShop, and fell over the Anvil, and in the Surprize letting the Gun fall, which he had before taken from the Indian, took up a Hammer, and went out of Doors, but finding his Mistake, ran into the Shop again, and took his own Gun, and went directly into the Mill to fetch a Charge of Powder, being all he had, and returned again into the SmithShop, intending to drive the Indians from his House, in order to get more Powder and Shot; and seeing an Indian at his Door, he fired at him, and having no more Powder or Lead, and hearing his Wife cry out mournfully, "Caspar, Caspar, ah, my dear Caspar! farewell, I shall never see you more,."which Cry so affected this Affirmant, that leaving his Gun in the Shop the second Time, was determined, at all Events, if possible, to rescue her, and running to her, found two Indians dragging her along, where he took hold of her Arm, and one of the Indians, letting go his Hold, pointed his Gun at him, which this Affirmant observing pushit aside while discharging, and wresting it out of the IndianHands, fell backwards, and the Indian struck at him with his Hatchet; but this Affirmant tumbling several Times over got clear, and fell into the Mill Race, and soon getting out again, went into the SmithShop, and took his Gun, though without any Charge, and persisting in his Intention of fighting the Indians, having no other Weapon, clubbhis Gun, and ran after them with it to strike them, but missing his Blow, they fired at him several Times, thought without Effect; but at last perceiving they would be too many for him, he went to the Mill, and took with him the aforesaid Boy, and went through a Swamp, to the House of one Sarsass, where this Affirmant found nine or ten Men standing on their Guard, and perswaded them to go with him to fight the Indians, but to no Purpose. The next Morning, at Break of Day, this Affirmant, with four others, returned to Hoeth, being about two Miles and a half distant, where they found the Dwelling house, Saw mill and Grist Mill, &c. all burnt down, the Body of Hoeth almost consumed in the Flames, and his Wife lying in the Mill race partly burnt, one of the Children, about ten Years old, lying dead and scalped; and this Affirmant supposed his own three Children were consumed in the Flames, as he saw his own House set on fire first. This Affirmant went then to the House of Christian Bomper, about half a Mile distant, and found the Buildings consumed, the People being all fled. From hence they went to the House of one Jacob, a Carpenter, at a small Distance, which was also burnt, and found another Man, whose Name this Affirmant knows not, killand scalped. They then proceeded in Quest of this AffirmantWife, and found one of her Petticoats, rent from Top to the Bottom, hanging in the Grubbs, and afterwards a Tub with some Butter, some of the Childrens Clothes, and several Things, supposed to be dropped in running. Afterwards they found an Indian Pipe and Pouch, a Fox and Bearskin, which they gave to a Man, who had fled and almost naked, and had been all Night in the Woods, and further this Affirmant saith not. GEORGE CASPAR HEISS.

Taken and affirmed to at Bethelehem, the 13th Day of December, 1755, before me TIMOTHY HORSFIELD.

N.B. One of the HoethChildren, a Boy of twelve Years old, escaped, as did the Miller.
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2012, 05:03:05 PM »
(2)  Gnadenhutten.  Those present have guns but it seems a number of them "burst", possibly ill-maintained, and this loss apparently later leads to "few guns" being present.

(I should interject an *opinion* here, that it would seem that a common theme through many of these accounts indicates that the white settlers were often taken unaware, by surprise, and also did not typically seem to have guns ready-to-hand, however guns are often mentioned.  Further, a good number of the deaths were women and children, also taken unaware; this obviously renders a high casualty rate, which when used without specifying such details (i.e., that many deaths were unprepared women and children), can possibly create an incomplete interpretation of a mass of unarmed men who were helpless against the natives.  I am beginning to form an opinion that the events of the 1750s/1760s in NH county were less about the settlers not having guns, and more about them not being prepared or familiar with using them in a warfare situation.  My interpretation anyway - not a "fact" just an interpretation.)

Collection: The Pennsylvania Gazette
Publication: The Pennsylvania Gazette
Date: January 8, 1756
Title: PHILADELPHIA, January 8.
PHILADELPHIA, January 8.

Extract of a Letter from Captain William Hayes, dated at AllenTown, January 3, and addressed to His Honour the Governor, and the Commissioners.

"I am sorry to inform you, by these Lines, of the bad News of our Defeat at Gnadenhutten. The Day you left Bethlehem, December 31, I set out as soon as possible, and marched with the Waggons about ten Miles, and I continued my March early next Morning, and proceeded with Safety, till I came within about two Miles of Gnadenhutten, and having orderthe Guard to take Care of the Waggons, I went a little before, one of the Brethren from Bethlehem being with me, and two of their Indians; but, advancing to the Top of a high Hill, I saw a great Smoke ascending from Gnadenhatten, upon which I gave my Horse to one of the Indians, and ran down on Foot, because of the Ice that was in the Valley, when I heard Guns go off very fast, and met two of my own Men galloping towards me, that had gone forward with some Indian Horses that were sent up from Bethlehem to winter there, and were within fifteen Perches of the Houses, and fired upon first by three Indians, and then by a great Company. They informed me of a great Number of Indians being there, and that there was not one of our Men in the Town, as they thought, alive, and begged of me to turn back, and protested that they would not return with me. Nevertheless I got the Guard, about eighteen Men, composed, and we put ourselves in running Order, to go and see how it was with our People, designing that if the Church was standing, we would go forward and help them, but if the Church was burnt, we might conclude that note of our People were there alive. Accordingly we went to a Hill, a little Distance off, to the North East side of the Place, and there we saw the Church all on Fire, and almost flat, and a Body of Indians marching out upwards, and stopping among the Bushes, as we thought. We then consulted whether it was best to go down or not, and at last one Man in the Company offered to go by himself, saying, they could not shoot him, and accordingly went and found some dead Bodies there, but saw no Indians. He then returned to us'but the Evening coming on, we saw we could do nothing, it being too late, and not venturing to go to the Fire in the Night, we came back safe to UplingerHouse, were there was Number of People gathered together, and lodged there. About Twelve of the Clock, out Lieutenant came in almost dead with Cold, having little or no Cloathing on, and no Shoes, his Feet frozen, and all torn with Ice and Stones. He told me, that he had lain under a Rock in the River from about One of the Clock (after crossing it) till it was dark, and when he came away, he saw the Indians dancing and howling about the Fire, and computed that there was a Body of them, to the Number of 250 at least, and that he had fought them till they set Fire to the Houses to the Windward of them, and so filled the Church with Smoke, that he could stay no longer; and that a great many of their Guns bursted in their hands, and their Ammunition being scarce, he ran out with his Men, and beat them off a little: But that they wheeled round the Smoke, and fired briskly on our Men, and killed some: that the rest ran away, and that he could not stop them by any Means, till they came about a Quarter of a Mile from the Place; and that they drew up under a little BAnk of the River, and fired briskly, while they had any Ammunition: That then an Ambuscade rose (and thought to have headed and stopped them in the River) which had not appeared before, on the other Side of the River, from the Mill: upon which they all fled, and many of them were shot down on the Ice, and in the River, and those that escaped lost their Guns, and some their Shoes.

We are now in a poor Condition of Defence, our Lieutenant being unfit for Service, and likely to be so for a long Time, and we have but few Guns, our Blankets all lost, our Ammunition spent, and upwards of twenty of our Number supposed to be killed, and several wounded. We are at a small Garrison, about eleven Miles from Bethlehem, and here design to wait for further Orders. There were several more Houses burnt on this Side the Mountain that same Day, and some People killed and wounded."
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 05:32:10 PM by Eric Kettenburg »
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2012, 05:11:13 PM »
(3) Gnadenhutten again; relief party sent, 22 guns among 52 men, so a ratio of about 1 in 2.  Not bad.

Collection: The Pennsylvania Gazette
Publication: The Pennsylvania Gazette
Date: January 15, 1756
Title: PHILADELPHIA, January 15.
PHILADELPHIA, January 15.

Extract of a Letter from Bethlehem, January 8, 1756.

"I arrived here last Night. We met a Number of Waggons on the Road moving off with the Effects of the People of Lehi Township. All the Women and Children are sent off out of that Township; and many of them have taken Refuge here; all in great Confusion.

The Substance of the Action at Gnadenhutten, as we have received it from divers who were there, is this. The lieutenant, who commanded, had Fifty two Men with him at Gnadenhutten, mostly Labourers, who came with Aces to look for Employment, but without Arms. A Detachment of the Company was down here with the Captain, to escort up some Waggons with Provision; and another Party was out to meet the Waggons, so that among the Fifty two Men they had but Twenty two Guns. The Lieutenant, and four others, were on the Scout on the other Side of the River, a little above the Town, which consisted of about 36 Houses, and a Church. They saw Tracks of two Indians in the Snow, and following the Tracks, came in Sight of a String of 200 Indians, who were running round to hem them in; so that finding no Way open to escape, either up or down the River, they were obliged to take right through the Water. The Indians followed them to the Bank, and when they were about half through the River, fired on them very thick, and wounded the Lieutenant in the Leg so that he fell, and wet his Gun; they wounded also one Klein in the Belly, who, as soon as he reached the other Shore, turnand shot one of Enemy down, who they saw roll down the Bank, and fall in the River. The Lieutenant (Brown) Coat was shot through in many Places, as were the Coats and Hats of the rest, by no others were wounded. They got into the Church, where they defended themselves well for some Time, and killed several of the Enemy. One fell in the Middle of the Street; and another came from behind a House, and took the dead Man by the Leg, and was drawing him off, but he was shot, and fell on the other. The Indians set the Town on Fire to the Windward of the Church, which presently filled it with Smoke, so that they could neither see nor breathe. Then, having well charged all their Pieces, they sallied out, and engaged the Enemy among the Houses, where they killed several more of them; and at last, their Ammunition being spent, the Lieutenant orderevery Man to shift for himself, and they separated. Klein, who was wounded at first, desired the Lieutenant no to leave him, and he led him over the Ice, on a Part of the River that was frozen. The Enemy fired very thick at them, and Klein fell, being shot through the Head. The Lieutenant took up his Gun, and while he was charging it, t was shot out of his Hand. He then got on a little Island, where was Abundance of Drift Wood, and hid himself under the Side of a Log with Leaves and other Trash, where he lay till Midnight, and then got off, and escaped to the Settlements. During his Concealment, he saw the Enemy all round looking for him, and heard them speak both English and Dutch, which he understands. The Town was chiefly burnt down with the Church. Hayes camp up after the Action was over, and saw the Enemy march off with a Horse Load of Blankets our Men had left in the Church, but was too weak to attack them. It is supposed we had 20 Men killed; the rest got off, but several are badly wounded.

(4)  More from same date - Allamengal area, could mean N. Berks or N. NH Co., not sure.  Blue mountain frontier either way.  "Watch of two townships" comes to 60 men who were apparently armed as they engaged the enemy.

The Action at Allemangle was thus. Three Men, who had left their Dwellings over the Mountains, used now and then to go to the Top of the Mountain, from whence they could see them, to observe whether they were burnt, or yet standing. On Saturday last they saw Smoke from one of their Chimnies, and going a little nearer, saw two Indians standing Centry, a Number being in the House. They went back, and alarmed the Watch of two Townships, who assembled the next Morning, to the Number of Sixty Men, who went over the Hill, and divided into two Parties, to surround the House; but in going down the Hill, one of the Men fell, and his Gun going off, alarmthe Indians in the House, who ran out into a Pine Swamp, and when one of our Parties came up, fired and wounded four. Our People went after them boldly into the Swamp, engaged them, and killed several. But our other Party hearing the Fire, fled without coming up to the Engagement; and three straggling Indians coming up with them, fired at them as they were on the Top of the Hill, and killed one. The Indians proving too hard for our People in the Swamp, they retreated to a House, from whence they fired on the Indians that surrounded them, and killed several. At length the Firing being heard, another Party of our People came up, and the Indians retreated. We got five Scalps, but they got nine of ours. Our Men are sure they killed eight at least. Two of our Wounded are since dead."
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2012, 05:16:49 PM »
(5)  More dealing with the situation revolving around the Gnadenhutten region.  These guys involved were armed (though again, apparently entirely unprepared for dealing with the natives.)

Collection: The Pennsylvania Gazette
Publication: The Pennsylvania Gazette
Date: January 29, 1756
Title: PHILADELPHIA, January 29.
PHILADELPHIA, January 29.

Account of Christian Bomperand Companylate Misfortune in going over the Blue Mountains. JOHN ADAM HUTH, Christian BomperServant Lad, aged about 19 Years, on being examined, said: That his Master, Christian Bomper, himself, and his Brother Michael, set out from Bethlehem on the 15th of this instant January, and came to Nazareth. The next Day my Father, Valentine Huth, my sister Elizabeth, Lawrence Kunckle, Nicholas Jeisley, old Fried, his Son Nicholas, and Captain Trump, came to us to go over the Blue Mountains, and we went that Day to John C. Dowell, where we stayall Night. The Watch perceived that there were Indians about the House, but while the Watch were giving Intelligence of it, and the People were getting their Arms, the Indians went off, and nothing further was heard of them. Captain Trump left us, but sent six of his Men to escort us, and on Saturday, the 17th, about 9 a Clock, we set off from McDowell, and came to Waibert, where we found all consumed. From thence we went to Peter Hess, and found all in good Order. From Hesswe went to Nicholas Nieser, (on the Way we found a Waggon, with the Gears all cut in Pieces, to which we put our Horses, and took it with us) where all was laid in Ashes and the Hogs, Sheep and Cows, lay dead about the Place. from thence we went to Nicholas JeisleyPlace, where all was plunder, even a Chest with some of his best Things, which he had hid in the Woods; here we left the Waggon. From thence we went to my FatherPlace, fed the HOrses, and left Jeisley and the old Man with them, and 13 of us went to Frederick HoethPlace. When we got into the Lane, we found three of Christian BomperHogs lying dad, and going down the Fence a little further, we found some of his Cattle, which we drove before us, intending to carry them to Valentine HuthPlace, where there was Fodder for them, and a House for us to lodge in, and to return the next Day, and fetch the rest. But when we came to the Creek, which we were obliged to cross, the Indians fired upon us before we were aware of them, which one of the Soldiers was killed on the Spot. I shot at one of the Indians, as did Christian Bomper several times, and then every one made the best of his Way over the Creek as fast as he could. I was shot in the Leg, and as I was pulling my MasterGreat coat off, I received a Shot in the Arm, which broke it. My Father also discharged his Piece; but three Indians immediately ran to him, whom he fought with for a considerable Time, till they got him down on the Ground, and then murderhim. They ran by where I lay, and one of them wanted to stop, but they called to him to come and overtake the others first, me they could get when they came back, and spoke it all in English. They then got up with my Sister, and one of them took her under his Arm, and knockout her Brains. I heard her cry, Help me, but heard her no more. When the Indians were all gone past, I crept under the Root of a fallen Pine Tree. On their Return they searched for me, and were so near, that I could have taken hold of them with my Hand, but they did not see me. When it grew dark I went away, and before I had got a Mile, I found five lying dead on the Road, one of which was my Brother Michael, the other four, I suppose, were Soldiers; but what became of my Master Christian Bomper, Lawrence Kunckle, and Nicholas Fried, I cannot tell. In the Night I came to my FatherPlace, and finding no Body there, I hid myself under some Straw, and heard the Indians continually shouting and crying, altho'I was four Miles from HoethPlace. At last there came some Body into the House were I was hid, and I called, Who is there? But they did not answer. I called a second Time, Are you Friends or Foes? They then replied, Friends, and proved to be Jesley and Fried. They asked me, if I had hooted and cried so? I told them no, it was the Indians; and also acquainted them how it had gone with us; upon which they were for leaving me directly; but I begged and prayed them to stay and take Care of me; however they went way notwithstanding, saying, they could not stay. They soon returned again, and I promised, if they would stay with me, to be as little Trouble to them as possible, which they accordingly did. The next Morning they took one of my Father Horses, and put an old Saddle on him, and brought me that Day, in all my extream Pain, to the Nazareth Tavern, where one of the Soldiers, who was in our Company, also came, and had saved his Life by getting into a Swamp, and sitting all Night in a Tree. What became of the rest is not known; but the Indians pursued them close, and were not far from them. I did not see above 12 or 15 Indians at most. JOHN ADAM HUTH

(6)  Same issue.  Now over to Easton area - a farmer, who was armed and shooting at an Indian, apparently with gun problems once again.

Extract of a Letter from Easton, January 22.

"Besides what is mentioned in the above Extracts, I have to add, that my Serjeant, Peter Kechlin, patrolled this Day as far as Nazareth, where he was told, that a Centinel (a neighbouring Farmer, who for his Safety is residing there) seeing an Indian last Night come pretty near him, called out, Who is there three times, but received no Answer; whereupon he drew his Trigger, but his Gun missed Firing thrice. He then called out to the Men in the House, who fired out at the Window, but missed the Indian, who ran off in the Manner of a Worm Fence, to prevent being shot; this they discovered by his Tracts, which appeared this Morning: So that they are under the greatest Apprehensions of being attacked every Minute, and were very pressing for our Men to stay with them; which they could not do, having no Orders, and as they could not be spared from the Watch."
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 05:19:33 PM by Eric Kettenburg »
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: The Moll-Newhard-Kuntz Triangle of Old Northampton County Gunmaking
« Reply #49 on: May 07, 2012, 05:21:49 PM »
(7)  Ran to fetch arms (plural) at Jacob Gerhart's.

(This is Albany twp, so upper Berks. Co township)

Collection: The Pennsylvania Gazette
Publication: The Pennsylvania Gazette
Date: February 19, 1756
Title: PHILADELPHIA, February 19.

Mr. LEVAN,

"I cannot omit writing you about the doleful Circumstances of our Township of Albany. The Indians came Yesterday Morning, about Eight a Clock, to Frederick ReichelsderferHouse, as he was feeding his Horses, and two of them ran up to him, and followed him into a Field about ten or twelve Perches; but he escaped, and ran towards the house of Jacob Gerhart, with a Design to fetch some Arms. When he came near Gerharts, he heard a lamentable Cry, Lord Jesus! Lord Jesus! which made him run back towards his own House; but before he got quite Home, he say his House and Stables in Flames, and heard the Cattle in the latter bellowing terribly, and thereupon ran away again. Two of his Children were shot; one of them we found dead in his Field, the other was found alive, and brought to HakinbookHouse, but died three Hours after. All his Grain and Cattle are burnt up. At Jacob Gerhartthey have killed one Man, two Women, and six Children. Two Children slipped under the Bedstead, one of which was burnt, the other escaped, and ran a Mile to get to the People. We desire Help, or we must leave our Houses and Plantations.

VALENTINE PROBST."
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 05:51:04 PM by Eric Kettenburg »
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!