Header img
Beyond Penn's Treaty

Journal of a Journey

Page out of 37

a very rough mountain called the Alleghany; some
spots tolerable land, but I think four-fifths of it is not
worth settling upon. Just before we came to the
creek we entered a forest of very tall white pine
which stands very close together, insomuch that I con-
cluded if it was all cut up in four-foot lengths it could
not be corded on the ground. Said Kooken

about fifteen acres of land cleared, which appears to
be very fertile, having very luxuriant potatoes and
butterweeds, also the appearance of good oats standing
in shock and some not cut. Thence to John Norris's
mill, on a branch of Pine Creek, thirteen miles. After
leaving Larrie's Creek we rode about five miles
through very rich land exceeding heavy loaded with
timber--mostly white pine with some hemlock, sugar
maple, etc., and then entered a valley down which a
branch of Pine Creek runs, which we crossed eleven
times, and then came upon a larger branch of said
water, crossing it several times. Up to the mill pretty
good land in a narrow valley between two high
mountains; no house nor improvement for ten miles
of the last stage. At this place we have got a very
pleasant landlady who provided us a good supper.


Rode to Moses Wilson

's eleven and one half
miles; the most of the way upon a branch of Pine
Creek, though very good land heavy loaded with
timber, and there appears to be several new settle-
ments making which in tim may be very valuable,
one of which is Sampson Babs's who is making an
improvement on a fertile spot and has got a race al-
most finished in order for a sawmill, and perhaps
a grist mill. He appeared exceedingly elevated
with seeing us and told us when he came there
first, being no road, he came by direction of a
compass, and resided twelve weeks without see-
ing the face of any person. Had only a blanket
and piece of hemlock bark for his house and bed-
clothing. Moses Wilson and his truly valuable wife
appear to be very happy in seeing us. He has made
a considerable opening in the heavy timber and has
got good corn and other things; but truly those who
have not been in the back country can have but a
very imperfect idea of the hardship and difficulty
those have to endure or encounter who are the first
settlers in a new country. Thence to James Mills's at
the third fork of Pine Creek, which is a boatable
stream about fifty-six miles above where it empties
into the west branch of Susquehanna, and ten miles
from Moses Wilson's. On our way we came to a camp
in the woods, where we foudn Wm. Ellis with a
Fisher & Co.'s land, said Ellis accompanying us
six miles to said Mills's in order to spend the
evening with us in friendly converse. The land gen-
erally good this stage, and some of it excellent with
abundance of very large sugar maple. Said Mills is
living on said Fisher's land which I think will, in time,
be a very valuable estate. He said he had two years
ago six hundred dozen of wheat, and the present
year has got seventeen acres of corn, which will no
doubt yield fifty or sixty bushels to the acre; appears
to be a very active, intelligent man; has got twelve
children, nine of whom live with him, who are
very healthy and hardy. He is perhaps as successful
a hunter as there is in this State, and many of the
wild beasts of the woods fall a prety to his skill, such
as bears, panthers, elk, and deer. It is said and be-
lieved he killed eleven elk one morning before break-
fast. One of his sons, in the ninth year of his age,
killed six elk and five deer; is now in the fourteenth
year of his age, has killed several bears this season.
Two of his daughters killed three elk in one day;
and we have this evening feasted on the product of
their skill. Said Mills told me that he and one other
man were out about a week and they killed in that
time above seventy deer.


Before we left Mills

's, breakfasted on coffee,
of which we had plenty, wheat bread and butter,
venison, both of the elk and common deer, eels, trout,
then rode about twenty-five miles up Pine Creek, and
crossed it thirty-eight times before we came to the
head, which is about eighty miles from where it
empties into the West Branch. Almost all the way
up it, good land in general, heavy loaded with timber,
some of the way very lofty white pine. After we left
the head of said creek, rode seven miles through
very rich land and timber rather exceeding that on
Pine Creek, to a spring, being one of the head-springs
of the Alleghany River, where we struck up a fire,
pitched a tent, and lodged.


Rode twenty-three miles to a new settlement
on Osweo being one of the main branches of the
aforesaid river, where there are several neat houses
built, which is intended for a town called Cerestown

or Francis King's settlement. The most of the said
twenty-three miles is excellent land, but so heavy
loaded with timber of divers sorts, such as hemlock,
white pine, sugar maple, cherry, and some bass or
lynn, that it will be very expensive clearing. It is
astonishing to see the height of the white pine, and
other timber in proportion. Although to such as
have never seen such timber it may seem a little
romantic, I have seen, (particularly when we came
near Francis King's), great numbers of trees which
we all believe to be thirteen or fourteen perches
high; and John Bell, a Friend of veracity, told us he
measured one which was 250 feet long when it fell
down, which is fifteen perches and ten feet. Said Bell
and his wife are Friends that came from the north of
England, and are about settling here; [they have] a
good deal of very good corn; they seem to be in good
spirits, were truly glad to see us, his wife remarkably
so, insomuch that she was ready to weep with joy;
is a remarkably cleanly woman and was very happy
this afternoon in entertaining us with a good cup of
tea sweetened with loaf sugar and good will, that I
though the joy and happiness we were instrumental
in communicating to this woman was almost worth
our journey to these parts. Here we also met with
my old friend, Halftown, who is up here in a canoe
with three of his children, in order to get some
necessary tools, etc.; was just going to set off about
fifty miles down the river to his home. He was very
much rejoiced to see us and agreed to stay until to-
morrow to navigate us down the river to Gene-


First of the week. Stayed at Cerestown

after dinner. Francis King is a plain, sober-looking