Having a taste for military affairs Joseph Hart was ensign of a company of Bucks County Associators, and in 1755 was commissioned captain at the defeat of Braddock, when the militia were embodied for the defence of the Province. Joseph Hart's most valuable services were rendered during the war for independence, I776-83; was one of the first in the Colony and county to take sides against the mother country, and, in point of zeal and fidelity, had no superior. He was chairman of the "Bucks, County Committee of Safety," a delegate to the Carpenter's Hall convention and a member of the committee that recommended a "Congress of Deputies." When steps were taken in I776 to establish a State government for Pennsylvania Joseph Hart was chosen one of the delegates from Bucks to the convention, of which he was vice president. He was twice chairman in committee of the whole, and reported the resolution prescribing the qualification of voters. When the Continental Congress, I776, established a "Flying Camp" of i0,000 men, Joseph Hart was commissioned colonel and placed in command of the battalion of 400 men, the quota from Bucks county, which served in New Jersey until sometime in December. On the i9th Washington ordered Colonel Hart's battalion to march to Philadelphia and report to General Putnam. In 1777 Colonel Hart was elected a member of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, in 1780 was appointed register and lieutenant of the county, and in I784 one of the judges of the court of common pleas, which he held until his death. Colonel Hart has now run his life of activity and usefulness, and was buried in the family burying-ground at Southampton. His wife had died on the i 9th of the same month and was buried at the same place. On the tombstone that marks their last resting place is inscribed the following: "Here lie the remains of Joseph Hart, Esquire, who departed this life the 25th day of February, I788, aged 72 years; also the remains of Elizabeth, his wife, who departed this life the i9th of February, I788, aged 74 years. In their death they were not much divided. His long and useful I43

THE WARMINSTER HARTS life was almost wholly devoted to the public service of his country, while the lives of both were eminent for piety and virtue." From what we learn of Colonel Joseph Hart he was one of the most prominent citizens of eastern Pennsylvania, especially during the trying Revolutionary period, and his descendants have just cause to be proud of their ancestor. Many years ago I interviewed Safety Maghee, a neighbor and friend, who died at the age of almost one hundred years, who said: "I knew Colonel Joseph Hart. He was active through the Revolution from the beginning; for a number of years he was so much engaged in public affairs he employed an overseer to manage his plantation, which was unusual at that day. When he rode out he always went armed. He furnished a large quantity of provisions to the army. I was with him in his last illness, and on his death bed he was cheerful. When he died I went to Hopewell, New Jersey, to inform his brother, Oliver, of his death, who came over to the funeral and I think preached the sermon. He was considered a pretty stern character. At that time it was the custom to serve out liquor to the guests at a funeral. When they arrived some one was ready with the bottle and glasses to give them something to drink. At Colonel Hart's funeral I carried the liquor around and treated the people as they arrived." Joseph Hart was the father of six children, all sons: William, John, Silas, Josiah, Joseph the second, the first Joseph dying in infancy, and William the eldest dying in 1760 at the age of nineteen, unmarried. John married Rebecca, the daughter of David and Margaret Rees, of the Crooked Billet, September T3, I767. Silas married Mary Daniels, Lower Dublin, Philadelphia, and Josiah Hart married Nancy Watts, daughter of Arthur Watts, Southampton. John Hart, the second son of Colonel Joseph, born November 29, 1743, and died June 5, 1786, attained. somc local prominence. He was deputy recorder in I779 and treasurer. I779-81. While he held the latter office, October 22, I7SI, it was robbed of a considerable sum of public money by the Doans and their confederates, who made their escape, but some of them were afterward caught. The affair caused much excitement. Some of the money was at the house in the room where the children slept. and when the robbers entered they began crying. One of the Doans said: "Don't be afraid, children, we will not hurt you, we are only going to take the money up to the office to your father."

Papers Read before the Bucks County Historical Society

The history of Bucks County, Pennsylvania: from the discovery of the ...By William Watts Hart Davis



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