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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Journal of a Journey

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of the meat tied up in it carrying about his neck in
the manner of a knapsack. In riding six miles we
came to the foot of the great Allegheny mountains
where is some good land; buckwheat and oats about
of an equal ripeness, both good, but the buckwheat
extraordinary; as much so as I think I have ever
seen. The ascent of this mountain better land than
any of the others, being covered with lofty timber of
divers sorts, and on the top of said mountain got some
excellent water, being the first I have met with since
I left home. After we got over the mountains the
timber was very thick but much destroyed with fire.
Two or three miles before we came to Berlin

the land
appeared to be excellent, covered with heavy timber,
black oak, white oak, red oak, hickory, and sugar
maple, grass and other vegetables very flourishing, it
having been a wet growing season. This day's ride,
thirty-six miles.


Took an early set-off from Berlin

, being a
village of about 50 houses; passed through some very
rough lands and roads on which I saw a rattlesnake
about three feet long with ten rattles, lying in the
road, appearing to have been just killed by a wagon-
wheel running over it. Part of the way to this stage
the land was covered with most beautiful lofty chest-
nuts, and part of the way very thick set with white
pine, being thirteen miles; [reached] a Dutch tavern
where we thought best to breakfast on our own choco-
late. From thence to George Bachelor's, fourteen
miles in which we crossed what is called Laurel Hill,
being one mountain after another for seven or eight
miles of the way. The ascent of one of them ex-
ceeded all for chestnut timber I ever saw; they stand
so thick together and are so tall that I fully believe
there are thousands of acres that would yield more
than 10,000 rails to the acre. Almost all those moun-
tains that go by the aforesaid name are the most fer-
tile of any I have yet seen; the trees and vegetables
of every kind are so luxuriant I could not help feel-
ing some attachment to the place; but when I con-
sidered the exceeding rough mountainous face of the
surface and the intolerable road to and from the
place, I am content if I should live to return to spend
the remainder of my days in Chester County. Pro-
ceeded to Connelstown, being a new settled place of
about fifty houses on the Yoghagena [Youghiogheny]
river. Lodged with our old friends, Thomas and
Joshua Gibson, sixteen miles. Nothing very remark-
able the last stage, except in one place about six miles
back, we rose to or on an eminence where a grand
prospect opened to view, to the east, the north, and
the west, particularly to the west where we could see
as far as the eye could reach-I suppose as far as the
Ohio river. Here on the Yoghagena river the people
were employed in building flat-bottomed boats, the
stern of which they cover with thin boards for a
shelter. Some of them are thirty, some forty, and
some fifty feet long and twelve wide, in which they
will carry 360 barrels of flour or iron or other pro-
duce in proportion, to Kentucky or New Orleans.


Crossed the Yoghogany, being a small river,
perhaps hal fas large as Schuylkill above the Falls.
About a mile from said river as we rode up a small
stream large enough to turn a mill, we came to a curi-
ous limestone rock lying horizontal, about three feet
thick, forming a concave semi-circle of perhaps 300
feet, near the centre of which the water fell about
twenty-eight feet there being a walk on another rock
about twelve feet below the other, and near the same
distance deep back behind the water where we might
safely walk. Just at one side and near the centre of
the semi-circle a spacious grist mill is built butting up
against the rock. Then passed over many hills and
valleys to Reese Cadwallader,s

, twenty miles. Passed
a new paper-mill occupied by Jonathan Sharpless, on
Redstone creek; also Samuel Jackson's grist mill at
the mouth of said creek, over which there is a large
bridge, near thirty feet high, wide enough for a wagon
to cross. We were expecting to find a road in pro-
portion; but immediately after getting over we found
ourselves on a narrow path perhaps not more than
five feet wide, and a precipice on our left hand down to
Redstone creek, and on our right hand down to
the Monongahela river, each of them near perpen-
dicular, which was near 200 feet, which to some of
our company was truly alarming; and I believe
would have been more so had it not been that a
bulky woman rode on just before us seemingly with-
out care or fear. Then rode up the last mentioned
river through a beautiful town on the bank of the
same, perhaps of forty or fifty houses. This river I
think is larger than Schuylkill, running to the right.
The land thus far through the Redstone settlement is
very rough and mountainous, and appears to be very
fertile, producing wheat, rye, oats, buckwheat, and
grass in abundance even on the top of the hills, and
abundance of lofty timber of many sorts, particularly
sugar maple and white oak. But notwithstanding it
hath been a very wet growing season and all kinds of
grain in the ground and vegetables look luxuriant,
yet the waters are very low, which induces me to
believe that, when the land comes to be more gener-
ally cleared and a dry season takes place (which I
suppose frequently does), the inhabitants will suffer
from lack of water. The reason in part as I take it,
of the water's failing so much is a horizontal rock
which lies a little underground, I believe, over much
of the country.

Ninth month 1st,

being First-day, attended Red-
stone meeting. In the afternoon crossed the Monon-
gahela at Bridgetown

, the banks of which, I am in-
formed, will average forty feet. Rode five miles of
the roughest road I have yet passed to Francis Town-


Attended quarterly meeting

at Westland,
which notwithstanding some weaknesses [and] dis-
order appeared in the conduct of the young people,
was a comfortable, solid time, there being a number
of well-concerned, valuable Friends engaged in con-
ducting the business of this remote and newly es-
tablished quarterly meeting. Here I met with a
number of my former acquaintances who had re-
moved to this country years past, divers of them in
low or straightened circumstances, that now appeared
to live in fullness and plenty; many of whom I hope
are in a good measure thankful to their kind Bene-
factor who hath spread them a table in the wilder-
ness and provided a comfortable asylum in this