AT that point in the course of the Delaware where it describes a bold curve and continues as the southern instead of the eastern boundary of Bucks county, a triangular area is partially enclosed, the aspect of which in many respects has not changed in the last two hundred years. This volume of water that forms the broad channel of the river has not perceptibly diminished; the ebb and flow of the tide occur with the same unvarying regularity; and the falls continue to be the barrier to up-river navigation. No upheaval of nature has disturbed the gradual swell of the land, as it recedes in the distance from an observer on the Jersey shore. The landscape presents no features of special interest, if Turkey hill, a declivity of moderate elevation, be excepted. A number of small streams meander through its level extent, and eventually empty into the Delaware, without apparently increasing its volume. A summer visitor to this region at the present day, if accustomed to the sights and sounds of a prosperous and accessible farming region, would observe nothing remarkable in the appearance of its houses and other farm buildings, with the surrounding fields and orchards, or in the mingled pleasure and disagreeableness of a jaunt over its roads, as refreshing shade or blinding dust received the greater share of attention. But, however strong the resemblance between this and other farming sections, and however commonplace its general features may appear, they possess a special significance, when regarded as the indications of what has transpired in the material development of this region, and of the changes that have marked the history of its people.

Falls is pre-eminently rich in historic associations. The circumstances of its settlement possess an interest not merely local, but important in the history of the county. It has been claimed that the first settlement of Europeans in the state was made on an island at Morrisville by the Dutch from New York in the early part of the seventeenth century; and while this lacks confirmation, the fact is well authenticated that there was an overland route prom the falls of Delaware to New York at an early period of colonial history. This route continued down the river to the Swedish settlements, and thence to Maryland. It was recognized as the "King’s path" in 1675, and its course was nearly identical with that of the turnpike from Morrisville to Philadelphia. No surveyor was consulted when the "path" was originally laid out, and no constituted authority save the fundamental idea of public necessity and convenience. But meagre as were the indications of its existence— the imprint of a horse’s hoof in the yielding earth, a blazed tree, or other device easily understood by the astute pioneer— it probably influenced the early settlement of the county no less than the mighty river that guided the first adventurers to its shores. It thus occurred that the English crossed over from West Jersey to the region about the falls several years before Penn’s arrival. And when the proprietor, in the first enthusiasm of his plans, looked about in quest of a site for his manorial residence, he decided in favor of the wide extended level lands between the "path" and the river. In close proximity to the manor was the triangular district of Crookhorn, the earliest seat of justice of the county, and in the near vicinity of both were the residences of Pemberton, Harrison, Biles, and others equally prominent in the affairs of the province.

While the advantage of living near the governor influenced many in favor of the region about Pennsbury some of the early settlers were already living there before this inducement could have been offered. Among this number were Joshua Boare, David Brinson, John Wood, William Biles, Robert Lucas, Gilbert Wheeler, Richard Ridgeway, Lionel Brittain, Samuel Darke, William Darke, Joseph Kirkbride, John Heycock, James Hill, John Acreman, and George Brown. Joshua Boare, husbandman, from Drainfield, Derbyshire, arrived in the seventh month, 1677, in the Martha, of Hull, Thomas Wildcup, master. Margaret, his wife, arrived the twenty-ninth of third month, 1679. He died in 1688, leaving a son, Joshua, born the twenty-ninth of fourth month, 1681. Daniel Brinson arrived from Membury, Devonshire, the twenty-eighth of seventh month, 1677, in the Willing Mind, of London. On the eighth of eighth month, 1681, he married Frances Greenleaf of East Jersey. The Shield, of Hull, Daniel Foos, master, brought John Wood, husbandman, of Sheffield, Yorkshire, who arrived at Burlington in the tenth month, 1678. His children were John, Joseph, Esther, Mary, and Sarah. His lands comprised a part of the site of Morrisville, and had a river front of one mile. The Indian title was extinguished by private purchase, July 15, 1682, at which time the name Greystone was applied to this tract. The will of John Wood is dated the twelfth of ninth month, 1692. his son Joseph, in 1717, petitioned the assembly for leave to establish a ferry across the river at the falls. William Biles, with his wife Jane, children— William, George, John, Elizabeth, Johanna, Rebecca and Mary, and servants— Edward Hancock and Elizabeth Petty, came from Dorchester in the Elizabeth and Sarah, landing the fourth of fourth month, 1679. He was also accompanied by his brother, Charles Biles, and both were extensive landed proprietors. Their titles were derived from Andros, the English governor of New York. William was an active citizen and a distinguished preacher among Friends. The first monthly meeting in the state was held at his house. He visited friends in New England in 1698, in Ireland in 1701, and in England in 1702. He represented Bucks in the provincial council and in the assembly several times, and in 1700 Penn appointed him one of three judges of a "Court of Inquiry." He lived near the Delaware not far below Morrisville, where he died in 1710. Robert Lucas, of Deveral in Wiltshire, was a fellow-passenger with Biles. His wife, Elizabeth, and children— John, Giles, Edward, Robert, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Mary, and Sarah, did not arrive until seventh month, 1680. Three years later he was a member of assembly. John, the oldest son, died in 1719. Edward was supervisor of Falls in 1730. Gilbert Wheeler, fruiterer, of London, with Martha, his wife, children— William, Briant, and Martha, and servants— Charles Thomas, Robert Benson, and Catherine Knight, arrived in the ship Jacob and Mary the twelfth of seventh month, 1679. The first sessions of the court were held at his house. In 1685 he was a member of assembly. Richard Ridgeway, tailor, of Wellford in Berkshire, came in the same ship and at the same time as Wheeler. His wife Elizabeth, and children— Thomas and Richard— accompanied him. On the second of second month, 1686, he was licensed to keep "an ordinary." John Acreman, who is thought to have been a resident of Falls in 1678, was accidentally drowned the eleventh of third month, 1690. Lionel Brittain, blacksmith, of Alney in Bucks, arrived in the fourth month, 1680. His wife, Elizabeth, accompanied him, and their daughter died when in sight of land. She was buried at Burlington. Samuel Darke, from London, arrived in the eighth month, 1680. He represented Bucks in the assembly of 1683. William Darke, from Camden, in Gloucestershire, probably his brother, arrived at the same time. These were all the families in Falls, prior to the arrival of Penn, of whom anything is known.

The Welcome, with Penn and his company, sailed in September, 1682, and entered Delaware bay the twenty-fourth of the following month. Among its passengers were John Rowland, his wife Priscilla, his brother Thomas, and Hannah Mogeridge, a servant, all from Billinghurst in Sussex. They had received grants from Penn for three thousand five hundred acres of land. Joseph Kirkbride was another of the proprietary company. He ran away from a master to whom he was apprenticed, at the age of nineteen, but found favor with Penn, and was employed by him for several years. Subsequently he rose to positions of influence, and became well-to-do for that day. He afterward returned to England, repaid his master for the time and service of which he had been deprived, and throughout his life was a consistent Friend. He married into the family of Mahlon Stacy, the founder of Trenton.

The ship Submission, Captain James Settle, sailed from Liverpool the fifth of seventh month, 1682. The company consisted of fifty-two persons, among whom were Ralph Pemberton (aged seventy-two), Phineas Pemberton and Phoebe his wife, and their infant children, Abigail and Joseph; Agnes Harrison (aged eighty-one), James Harrison, and Anne his wife, Robert Bond, a youth entrusted to his care and tuition; Lydia Whamsby, a domestic in his service, the two families being united by marriage, as Phineas Pemberton was James Harrison’s son-in-law. They arrived at Choptank, Maryland, the thirtieth of eighth month, 1682. From thence they proceeded to their destination, and thought to have met Penn at Newcastle, but the failure of the captain to enter the capes of Delaware prevented this. When they arrived at the present location of Philadelphia, so little of the appearance of a town did it present that it was impossible to obtain shelter for their horses. They "spancelled them and turned them out into the woods," but after two days of fruitless search, the party ascended the river in a boat. The horses were found the following month. Having selected land, they returned to their families at Chester, and there remained over winter. In the second month of the following year (1683) they completed moving their goods from Choptank to the falls. Here Pemberton had selected a tract of three hundred acres, adjoining the river, to which he gave the name "Grove Place." About this time he was commissioned to several important offices in the new county of Bucks, and became a member of assembly. He was also the first postmaster in the county. In 1699 he removed to a place about five miles inland from the river, having suffered several times from a sickness thought to have been caused by the dampness in certain seasons at his former home, and there he died on the first day of the year 1702. The trusted friend of the proprietor, and the incumbent of important offices during his entire residence in this county, his death was regarded as a public calamity. James Harrison, to whom Penn had entrusted the management of his private estate, and whose talents and uprightness merited the confidence thus bestowed, died on the sixth of eighth month, 1687.*

Both are buried at "The Point" burial ground, a plat of ground ten rods square on Grove Place farm, in which many of the Pemberton family have been interred. It is probably the oldest cemetery in the county.

Among later accessions to the community were Ann Milcomb, a widow, from Armagh, Ireland, who arrived the tenth of tenth month, 1682, with Jane, Grace, and Mary, her children, and Frances Saunders, a servant, who was to serve four years and then receive fifty acres of land. Jane, one of the daughters, was married the eighth of sixth month, 1685, to Maurice Lelston, of Newcastle. John Palmer, of Cheadland, Yorkshire, arrived the tenth of ninth month, 1683, with his wife, Christiana. Joshua Strope, of Skelton, Yorkshire, arrived at the same time, with Isabel, his wife, Daniel, Margaret, and Christiana, their children. He was a member of assembly in 1701. William Beakes, with his son Abraham, arrived in 1682 from Somersetshire, having previously received in England a grant for one thousand acres. In the same year William Venables arrived from Chathill in Staffordshire, with his wife, Elizabeth, and children, Joyce and Frances. He died the seventeenth of tenth month, 1684. At the time of Holmes’s survey (1684) it appears that Falls was apportioned among no less than thirty landholders. Of the tracts adjoining the river, that of John Wood was farthest north, and thence in regular order were the lands of Daniel Brinsley, John Acreman, Richard Ridgeway, William Biles, Joshua Boare, Robert Lucas, Gilbert Wheeler, William Biles, Samuel Darke, Daniel Gardner, John Luffe, Lionel Brittain, George Brown, James Harrison, and George Heathcote. In the second tier of farms, beginning at the Makefield line, were those of Geoffrey Hawks, Ann Milcomb, Jonas Hill, John and Thomas Rowland, Thomas Wolfe, and Ralph Smith; while the western row comprised the lands of William Darke, John Heycock, John Wheeler, Jonathan Witscard, Thomas Atkinson, and Thomas Rowland. These lands constituted the township of Falls, as erected in 1692, when, as will be seen from the map, its shape was nearly rectangular, and the area less than half what it is at present. "Pennsbury, as its laid out," was constituted a separate township, but there is no evidence that it was recognized as such in the appointment of constables and supervisors, and it would seem that it became part of Falls without legal procedure. In September of the following year (1693) a constable and "surveyor of ways" were appointed for Crookhorn, that portion of Falls (as erected in 1692) between Pennsbury and the river at Biles island, in which the first court-house of the county was situated. The name may have been suggested by the peculiar bend of the river at this place. Like Pennsbury, its political autonomy has long since ceased to exist. Even the name is no longer recognized in the locality to which it once applied.

Time has been less rigorous with the name of Pennsbury, which will not be lost to memory so long as the traditions of the proprietor are cherished and the outlines of the manor retain popular significance. An inquiry into its history reveals much of interest. The manor tract originally contained eight thousand, five hundred and thirty-one acres. Its first English owners were Thomas Hyde and Thomas Morley, of the English navy, to whom it was granted in 1664 as the manor of Grimstead. It is probable that they failed to perform the conditions of the grant, for in 1672 Matthias Nicholas received the same lands. In 1675 they were purchased by Andros for the Duke of York, and in 1678 Andros, as governor of New York, conferred the tract in question upon Arnout De Grange, a merchant of that place. August 1, 1682, Markham purchased the manor from an Indian chief, whose right had not been consulted by previous grantees. It was then known as Sepessing, by which name Welcome creek appears upon Lindstrom’s map of 1655. There was also an island of that name. Penn arrived November 8th of the same year, and the manor seems to have engaged his immediate attention. Before leaving England in 1681, Markham had been directed to select a site and build a manor house; he had brought with him the frame-work, and probably other materials, and it is very likely the work of building was in progress when Penn arrived. It must have been pushed rapidly to completion, for in March, 1683, Friends’ meetings were held "at the governor’s house." On the twenty-first of fifth month, 1683, "at Pennsbury," the proprietor issued several commissions.

No drawing of Pennsbury house has been preserved, and much that has been said in describing it is matter of inference and conjecture. Many important particulars may be gleaned from the Penn-Logan correspondence, and the researches of Mr. Fisher throw much light upon the subject. The mansion was of brick, two stories high, with attic and cellar, a front of sixty feet toward the river, and an extension of thirty-five feet in the rear. There was a wide balcony in front, with steps leading to the level of the lawn. The interior arrangement was roomy and convenient. There were parlors, dining-room, and drawing-room on the first floor, also a hall extending the full depth of the mansion. The roof was formed of tiles, and surmounted with a leaden reservoir, the leakage from which caused time premature decay of the whole building. The offices and outhouses were on a line with the main edifice. The instructions of Penn regarding them were as follows (the eighteenth of eleventh month, 1684—85): "I would have a kitchen, two larders, a wash-house, a room to iron, a hen-house, and a Milan oven for baking; a stable for twelve horses; all my rooms I would have nine feet high, and my stables eleven feet, and overhead half a story. What you can do, do with bricks. What you can’t, do it with good timbers, and close them with clap-boards, about five feet, which will serve other things, and we can brick it afterwards." There is every reason to believe that these directions were minutely executed. The brew-house, which was removed in 1864, enjoyed a longer lease of life than any other of the buildings planned by Penn.

Although nominally finished in 1683, the mansion proper lacked many essentials to completeness for years afterward. Immediately on his return to England, Penn ordered a new front door, because "the present one is most ugly and low." In 1685 he wrote, "finish what is built as fast as it can be done;" and in the following year, "pray, don’t let the front be common." He wrote to Harrison in 1695, "Get window shuts (shutters), and two or three eating tables to flap down, one less than another, as for twelve, eight, five (persons)." He also says, "Get some wooden chairs of walnut with long backs, four inches lower than the old ones, because of cushions." The furniture in general was such as to harmonize with the character of the house, and of a style appropriate to the position of the governor. Much of it was brought from England. The old-fashioned clock, which ticked in the lives of several members of Penn’s family, and possibly the advent of his government, but with equal alacrity registered the hour of its dissolution, is still preserved at the rooms of the Philadelphia library. The furniture of the first parlor consisted of "two tables, one pair stands, two great cane chairs, and four small do., seven cushions, four of them satin, the other three green plush, one pair brasses, brass fire shovels, tongs, and fender, one pair bellows, two large maps." The "best chamber" was furnished in the luxurious style of the period— a bed with satin curtains, six cane chairs, "two with twiggen bottoms," "four satin cushions," etc., and in the adjoining room was a suit of camblet curtains, with "white headcloth and testar." Among the necessary furniture were "two chairs of Master John’s," and "one fallet bedstead." In the hall, besides the clock, there were a long table and "two forms of chairs." Among the table furniture were silver forks, a tea set, white and blue china, and a suit of Tunbridge ware. Of the chairs, several are yet in existence, and various other relics of the old manor house are preserved in the cabinets of the curious.

Penn was deeply interested in agriculture, and seems to have anticipated great pleasure from a life in the country. In writing to the Free Society of Traders, he says: "The air is sweet and clear, and the heavens serene, like the south part of France, rarely overcast." In the same document, referring to the vegetation, he says: "The woods are adorned with lovely flowers for color, greatness, figure, and variety. I have seen the gardens of London best stored with that sort of beauty, but think they may be improved in our woods." His first impressions were thus expressed in a letter to Lord Culpepper, governor of Virginia: "I am mightily taken with this part of the world; here is a great deal of nature which is to be preferred to bare art. I like it so well that a plentiful estate and a great acquaintance on the other side have no charms to remove; my family being once fixed with me, and if no other thing occur, I am like to be an adopted American."

To Colonel Henry Sidney he says: "I find the country wholesome; land, air, and water good; divers good sorts of fruits that grow wild, of which plums, peaches, and grapes are three; also cedar, cypress, chestnut, and black walnut and poplar, with five sorts of oak— black and white, Spanish, red, and swamp oak, the most durable of all, the leaf like the English willow." The gardens were his especial care and attention. In the same letter to Sidney, he speaks of having written "a begging letter for a few fruit trees of the Lord Sunderland’s gardener’s raising, out of his rare collection, that by giving them a better climate we may share with you the pleasure of excellent fruit, the success of which I fear nothing of." Writing to Harrison from England, he says: "Let Ralph follow his gardens, and get the yards fenced in and doors to them. I have sent some walnuts for Ralph to set, and other seeds of our own that are rare good." In 1685 he wrote, "Haydust from Long Island, such as I sowed in my court-yard, is best for our fields." It has been surmised that this referred to clover, but the time is much too early. There seems to have been some difficulty in rendering the establishment self-sustaining. The proprietor thus wrote to Harrison, his first steward: "I hear by R. Ingels that thou takest great care and pains about my husbandry. I believe it, and expected as much of thee, knowing thou art an upright man. Methinks you should be able to feed yourselves of the plantation with all but meat, and some part of the rent will answer that. I recommend to thee for the gardens and improvements of the lands, that ashes and soot are excellent for the ground, grass, and corn. Soot may be gotten in Philadelphia, I suppose, for the fetching. I suppose it should be served pretty thick; for corn in spring not so thick. It’s best for lowlands and such as are moist. Let me desire thee to lay down as much as thou canst with English grass, and plough up new Indian fields, and after a crop or two they may be laid down so too, for that feeds sheep, and that feeds the ground, as well as they feed and clothe us." The grounds were laid out with much taste, a broad avenue lined with poplars led from the landing at the river to the front of the mansion, and about midway there was a terrace ascended by several steps. From the gentle eminence upon which the house was situated there was a fine view of the river and the Jersey shore.

Unfortunately for the fond hopes of the proprietor, his plans for a life of quiet retirement in Pennsylvania were not to be realized. He was obliged to return to England in 1683, before the mansion was ready for his occupation, and during this first visit to the province resided at Philadelphia. December 10, 1699, accompanied by his wife and daughter, Letitia, he again arrived at Philadelphia, and shortly afterward at the manor, which was made the home of the family during the following two years. Here Penn lived with his customary activity, visiting the incipient metropolis in his barge, receiving with distinguishing courtesy and hospitality the magnates of adjoining colonies and his Indian friends, and attending to the details of his government. He introduced different varieties of fruit and ornamental trees, superior breeds of horses and cattle, and improved methods of farming. Of his domestic life few particulars have been preserved. The household was presided over by John Sotchar, who succeeded Harrison as steward in 1687. Hugh Sharp was gardener; Robert Beckhaus, manservant; Mary Lofty, housekeeper; Ann Nichols, cook. There were also a German maid, Dorothy Mullers, and several negroes, among them, John the coachman, his wife, Parthena, Dorcas, Sue, and "Old Sam." Stephen Gould was the proprietor’s private secretary. Supplies of food were obtained from Philadelphia, principally through James Logan. On one occasion Penn wrote: "Fail not to send up a flitch of our bacon, and by all means chocolate if to be had, and a cask of middlings flour from Samuel Carpenter’s, or J. Norris, and some coffee berries, four pounds; some flat and some deep earthen pans for milk and baking, which Betty Web can help thee to, and a sack of Indian meal. Search Lumley’s good for an ordinary size side-saddle and pillion, and some coarse linen for towels." This was in August, 1700. The next month he again wrote to Logan: "We want some beer, having not a quarter of a pint in the house among so many workmen; best in bottles sealed down, or it may be drawn and mixed." There is other evidence that the cellars were well stocked with cider, sherry, and claret. The family enjoyed the usual travelling facilities of the period. Horseback riding seems to have been in great favor, judging from the number of saddles and pillions referred to in the inventory. Among the horses were "Silas" and the "ball nag, Tamerlane." There were a coach, calash, and sedan chair; and in 1700 Penn urged the justices to have the roads to Philadelphia and the bridges over Pennypack and Poquessing repaired. The river was the best highway, and in 1700 he had a barge made for his own use. This seems to have been highly valued, as in the letter he says: But above all dead things my barge, I hope nobody uses it on any account, and that she is kept in a dry dock or at least covered from the weather." A good story of the barge is thus related by Janney: "When passing in his barge between Philadelphia and Pennsbury, he frequently stopped at Burlington to see Governor Jennings, of New Jersey, who was also an eminent minister among the Friends. On one occasion Jennings and some of his friends were enjoying their pipes, a practice which the gentlemanly Penn disliked. On hearing that Penn’s barge was in site, they put away their pipes that their friend might not be annoyed, and endeavored to conceal from him what they were about. He came upon them, however, somewhat suddenly, and pleasantly remarked that he was glad to see they had sufficient sense of propriety to be ashamed of the practice. Jennings, rarely at a loss for an answer, rejoined that they were not ashamed, but desisted to avoid hurting a weak brother."

The great event in the household was the birth of John Penn, the thirty-first of eleventh month, 1699. In a letter written at this time, Isaac Norris says: "The governor’s wife and daughter are well; his wife is extremely well-beloved; their little son is a lovely babe." Deborah Logan in her youth heard from an old woman in Bucks county that she "went when she was a girl with a basket containing a rural present to the proprietor’s mansion and saw his wife, a delicate pretty woman sitting beside the cradle of her infant." The manor house was the place of meeting for Friends, and was the scene of several weddings. John Sotchar and Mary Lofty, steward and housekeeper, united their fortunes by marriage, October 16, 1701, the governor, his wife, and daughter being among the witnesses. Letitia Penn made a present of a chest of drawers to the bride. Then the provincial council met here during the summer of 1700, and with Indian visitors and others there was a degree of social activity to which the colony was yet a stranger.

The residence at Pennsbury was destined to be of short duration, however; and in November, 1701, Penn sailed for England, never to return. The interests of his government were much endangered by a proposed act of parliament to annex the colonies to the crown. He was equal to the emergency, and continued to cherish the plans of his life regarding Pennsbury. In addressing the assembly before his departure, he declared that his heart was among his people, that he had promised himself the quietness of a wilderness," and was resolved to return and live among them again. In 1712, in a letter to the council, he says: "I purpose to see you if God gives me life this fall, but I grow old and infirm, yet would gladly see you once more before I die, and my young sons and daughters also, settled upon good tracts of land for them and theirs after them, to clear and settle upon as Jacob’s sons did. I close when I tell you that I desire fervent prayers to the Lord for continuing my life that I may see Pennsylvania once more before I die." his health was at this time seriously impaired, and his mind, under the influence of disease, had lost that vigor and retentiveness with which it was accustomed to act. He negotiated with Queen Anne for the sale of his proprietary rights, and although a one-sixth payment had been made, the sale was set aside when his illness became apparent. After six years of sickness, through which his religious principles sustained him more than any other agency, he died in England in 1718, and is buried at Chalfont St. Giles.

The manor-house became the repository of all the personal effects of the Penn family which remained in this country after their departure (1701). Two chambers were furnished, one for the steward upon his visits, the other for any member of the family who might care to return to it. William Penn, Jr., visited the place in 1704, and was warmly welcomed by the Indians. The property remained untenanted for years, and was removed prior to the revolution. It was frequently visited by travellers, and was the scene of many Indian conferences. The last great Indian gathering here occurred May 9, 1735. James Logan, Jeremiah Langhorne, Joseph Kirkbride, Israel Pemberton, and other prominent figures in colonial affairs were present. The natives were represented by Lapawinzo, Nutimus, Lesbeconk, and Teshekoman. Portraits of the two last named are in existence and were taken here. John Penn was the last of the family who resided at the manor, and also the last incumbent of the proprietary prerogatives. He died in February, 1795. The site of the manor-house and three hundred acres adjoining were purchased in 1792 by Robert Crozier, in whose family it remained nearly a century. The present owner is George Warner, Esq., of Philadelphia. Of the results of the first proprietor’s labors, the last vestige, the stump of an old and gnarled cherry tree, was removed several years ago; a substantial farm-house occupies the site of the mansion; the broad avenue, lined with tall poplars, is no more to be seen; the shrubbery and flowers, culled from nature’s richest catalogue, exist only in a line or two of history, and imagination’s utmost effort fails to form an idea of gracefully winding paths and beautiful lawns where now only fields of tobacco or corn are found. The whistle of a steamboat disturbs the quiet of the place, and numbers of people pass it every year with a look of not more than passing interest, ignorant that it was once the home of the founder of the commonwealth that bears his name.

In the annals of American military history, two natives of Falls, Jacob Brown and Charles Ellet, deserve honorable mention. General Brown was born May 9, 1775, of Quaker parentage. He became a soldier under peculiar circumstances. Upon the opening of hostilities in 1812, he presented himself before the secretary of war, and desired to engage in the military service as commander of a brigade. The offer of his services was declined. He was commissioned brigadier-general by the governor of New York, and notwithstanding his inexperience, subsequently became commanding-general of the armies of the United States. Charles Ellet was born in 1810. He became distinguished as a civil engineer, and devised the construction of the iron-clads which proved so formidable in the civil war.

Falls is one of the most thickly populated sections in the county. The census of 1880 shows a population of two thousand three hundred and eighty-five in the township, and in the borough of Morrisville nine hundred and sixty-eight. The latter is the largest town in the southeastern part of the county. Its site was originally owned by John Wood, and its earliest name was "Colvin’s ferry," Patrick Colvin being then proprietor of the landing on the Pennsylvania shore (1772). At this time there was also a grist-mill located here, known as time "Delaware Works." Colvin continued as ferryman a score of years. Robert Morris gave to the place his name and its early impetus. He is said to have built a number of houses, enlarged the mills, and projected extensive manufactures. He built a beautiful and commodious residence, fronting upon the river and Green street (then known as the post-road), but became involved financially, and the property was sold in 1798. It was purchased by George Clymer and Thomas Fitzwater, who took measures to practically demonstrate its eligibility as a site for a town. Streets were laid out and lots sold. With subsequent additions to the town plat, it has expanded to its present proportions. North of Green street and parallel with it, the principal streets are known as Gordon, Wood, Morris, Union, Palmer, Dana, Cedar, and Bridge. The latter is a continuation of the Trenton city bridge. The only intersecting continuous thoroughfares are Mill street and the turnpike.

It does not appear that much effort was made to preserve regularity or give the town a symmetrical form. The canal, railroad, and river have prevented this to some extent, but these disadvantages might have been overcome. Morrisville was erected into a borough in 1804, and is the oldest incorporated town in the county, with a single exception. The northern limit of the borough is identical with the township line of Lower Makefield; it extends about a half mile inland from the river. Several branches of industry are in active operation, the principal manufacturing establishment being the Morrisville rubber works, which occupy the site of the stable of General Jean Victor Maria Moreau, the last occupant of the Morris mansion. A large proportion of the working people find employment in Trenton, of which Morrisville is virtually a suburb. They are connected by the Trenton city and Morrisville bridges. The former is an iron structure erected within comparatively recent years. The original structure was built in 1859—61, at a cost of seventy thousand dollars. It was one thousand three hundred feet in length. Its erection was begun by Bennett & Carlisle, who failed in business, and was finished by Prior & Reeder. The timbers were cut in the interior of Pennsylvania, and were regarded at the time as the finest ever brought to the city of Trenton. The principal movers in the enterprise were Bucks county farmers, who thought the tolls excessive as charged by the old bridge, and desired a more convenient entrance into the city. The bridge was opened to the public late in time summer of 1861. It was destroyed by fire in June, 1884, and rebuilt as at present, in the following summer. The Morrisville bridge is probably the most complete, substantial, and expensive structure that spans the Delaware. It combines the requirements of a foot-walk, wagon-way, and railroad bridge, and is crossed daily by hundreds of foot-passengers, wagons, and railroad trains. It was completed in 1876. Its predecessor was not devoid of historic interest. It was one thousand one hundred feet long and thirty-six feet wide, consisting of five arches supported on wooden piers. The floor was connected with the arches by perpendicular iron rods. It was begun in 1804, completed in 1806, and opened to travel January 20th of that year, with ceremonies worthy of the event. A salute of seventeen guns was fired in honor of the occasion, as Governor Bloomfield and a large concourse of people marched across from Trenton. When the bridge was in course of construction, a flood of more than ordinary height induced the projectors to make the piers one-fourth higher than had been contemplated. The advantage of this was seen in the freshet of 1841, when a number of bridges from points further up the river passed under the Trenton bridge without serious damage to it. In 1851, an addition was built, and the tracks of the Philadelphia & Trenton railroad laid into Trenton. The architect of the original structure was Theodore Burr, and its cost one hundred and eighty thousand dollars.

Tullytown and Fallsington are about equal in size and importance. The former is situated near the river, partly in Bristol township. It is a railroad station on the Pennsylvania railroad, comprises about fifty houses, several stores, and the usual industrial features of a country village. Fallsington is an inland village and the radiating point of nine different public roads. No active manufacturing business is carried on except that incident to villages in farming communities. The population is largely composed of retired farmers, and the place has an atmosphere of wealth and culture. Oxford Valley is a small village on the dividing line between Falls and Middletown townships. Tyburn and Wheatsheaf are stations on the Pennsylvania railroad.

There was once some prospect of the national capital being located within the limits of Falls township. The federal district would have included the site of Morrisville, which location was decided upon by resolution of congress in 1783. This was intended as a compromise between the claims of New York and Philadelphia. In 1784 commissioners were appointed and empowered to lay out the proposed district and take measures for the erection of public buildings. Washington was asked for his advice, which was not favorable to this action on the part of congress, and the matter was dropped.

A circumstance of more than ordinary interest in the history of Falls is the fact that the first meetings of Friends in the state were held within its limits. Samuel Smith thus speaks of this: "Meetings for worship were very Early established about the Falls, even before the land bore the name of Pennsylvania," and the Friends who were settled from Bristol upward used to attend the meetings for business at Burlington. Their own meetings for worship were held at the houses of some of the inhabitants, viz., William Yardley, James Harrison, Phineas Pemberton, William Biles, William Darke, Lionel Brittain, William Beake, etc. The first Falls meeting-house was built in 1690, at Fallsington. Falls monthly meeting was established at the house of William Biles, the second day of the third month, 1683. The land upon which the meeting-house stood was the gift of William Penn. It is described as a brick structure twenty by twenty-five feet, with a wooden chimney and gallery. This meeting is still one of the largest and most important in the county, and was the only religious society in the township for many years.

Methodism was introduced into Morrisville some time in the early part of this century. A class was formed at Fallsington in 1818, with James Lippincott as leader. Preaching was held at the houses of Mr. Lippincott, John Crozier, and Samuel Bories, who were its principal members. Among the early preachers were Henry King and David Bartine. The class at Morrisville was formed in 1818—20, with Edmund Yard as leader. Eventually, both classes became extinct. About the year 1840 several families from Philadelphia removed to Morrisville and connected themselves with the Green street church in Trenton. A class was again formed at the former place, with Joseph Adams as leader. In 1842 a protracted revival was held by Reverend Charles Whitecar, of Trenton, in the Morrisville school-house. The class was divided and placed under the leadership of Ebenezer Barwis and William Kitson. Public services were continued in the school-house by Richard Hammil, of Trenton. In 1844, Morrisville was made an appointment on Attleboro’ circuit, with John W. Arthur and Peter Hallowell as preachers. This arrangement continued until 1860, when it became a station, with N.M. Brown as pastor. Among his successors were Nicholas McComa, D.M. Gordon, C.J. Crouch, J.B. Quigg, Frank Gilbert, David Shields, and J.S. Wilson, the present incumbent. A church building was erected in 1850. Fallsington church was built in 1866. The dedicatory services were conducted by Reverend Joseph Mason. It is a frame structure, thirty by forty-five feet, with a seating capacity of two hundred. The cost was about three thousand dollars. The first pastor was Reverend C.H. McDermond, who was also instrumental in organizing the Tullytown church. In 1866, by request of Mr. George W. Cullen, he preached in Temperance hall. At the close of service a class was formed, with Mr. Cullen as leader. Reverend Oscar R. Cook was appointed pastor in 1873, when the church numbered fourteen. During his incumbency, a beautiful stone church building, surmounted with a handsome stone cupola, was built at a cost of seven thousand dollars. The society numbered sixty members.

The Christian church of Tullytown was organized in l821 by Frederick Plummer, of Philadelphia, who preached in school-houses and groves. In 1822 the church building now occupied was erected. Upon Mr. Plummer’s resignation, in 1850, he was succeeded by his nephew, Evan H. Plummer. Among his successors were William Lane, Philip Hank, William Robison, Philetus Roberts, E.E. Mitchell, and others. At present (1887) the church is without a regular pastor, but the pulpit is supplied by clergymen from neighboring points.

The Presbyterian church of Morrisville was organized in September, 1860, prior to which services were held in an old stone building on the canal by Reverend Mr. Morris, of Newtown. Reverend James H. Callan was called as pastor by the first session, composed of James H. Farrand and George G. Roney, elders, and I.V. Smith and Hutchinson Moon, trustees. In 1863 a church building was erected on Union street. Mr. Callan was pastor, 1860—63; Andrew Tully, 1863—69; Henry Swenerton, 1869—71; Robert S. Manning, 1871—74; M.L. Hofford, 1879----. Samuel Roberts, of Trenton, was superintendent of the Sunday-school connected with this church for fifteen years. Messiah church (Advent), Morrisville, was organized in 1850 by Dr. Josiah Litch, of Philadelphia, who placed it under the care of Reverend J.P. Farrar. Succeeding pastors have been J.W. Daniels, M.L. Bentley, W.H. Swartz, J.D. Boyer, J.A. Heagy, ---- Eldred, M.L. Jackson, J.T. Lanning, D.I. Robinson, H.P. Cutter, and others. J.W. Cain, who resigned in 1882, was the last regular pastor. The church building on Wood street was erected in 1850. It is a frame structure of modest but substantial appearance. During Mr. Eldred’s administration a revival of some length was held at Wheat Sheaf. A congregation was formed in 1866—67, and a house of worship secured. These churches have usually been associated under the same pastoral care. An Episcopal chapel at Fallsington completes the number of churches in the township.

In 1885, Falls sustained ten schools, at a total expenditure of nearly five thousand dollars. The length of the annual term is nine months. Schools were established by the Friends shortly after their settlement, and were conducted under denominational auspices until the introduction of the public-school system. The Falls Library Company was organized in 1800, and has sustained a continuous existence to the present time. It exerts a strong influence in the direction of general intelligence, culture, and refinement. An institution of this character cannot fail to benefit the community from which it receives the generous support apparent in this instance.

* His property was appraised the 13th of 8th month, 1687. Among the articles of wearing apparel were one bamillion jack-coat," "one pair of leather breeches," "stockins," one "new stuff crate and wastcoat breeches." In the parlor there were a large round table, seven chairs, one dozen curtains, fire irons and tongs, and considerable calico, silk, and crape. In the "parlor chamber" there were "green curtains and wallins,’ "pillow beds," "bolster cases," "blankets," "sheets," and other appurtenances of a bed-chamber; also a "coulour’d rugg," an "old chest," napkins, and a roll of fustian. In the "house chamber" there was "a set of redd curtains," twenty-three "woman’s hats," a "fether bed," fustian, flannel, and other goods. In a second "house chamber," that occupied by Robert Bond, there were one "little doublet," one "little trunk," three "neckcloathes," six "handkerchiefs," a "camlet crate," Bible, and other articles of boys’ clothing. In the "old house" there are mentioned a "malt mill," "flock bed," "rug," a cross-cut saw, chisels, hatchets, saddle pistols, bridles, stirrups, hacks and hinges, spades, cowhides, hammer and pincers, axes, grubbing-hoes, wedges, planes, harrows, grinding-stone, hoes, augurs, etc. In the "clossit" there were three brass candlesticks, plates, pewter and lead. The "lean-to" contained a variety of articles, the list beginning with one "table cloth," and closing with the "old Bible," which was valued at five shillings, a "green rugg," "bedstock cord," and "warming pan" being among the intermediate articles. In "the house" proper, there were a "pair of large andirons," two "frying pans," a "four pound dripping pan," "iron mortar," two grid-irons, an equal number of "brass chafing dishes," one "spit," one "iron pott," four "skillitts," a "posnet," two "brass kettles," two "copper potts," a "pair of old gobbarts," a barrel of tobacco: in the "barne," corn and hay valued at thirty-two pounds, one "cart and wheels," "horses geer," a "push plow," etc. His live stock is thus summarized: "The broken horn cow, the old red cow, and the heifer that has had one calf, two bullocks, one bull calf, and three others, eleven lambs, swine about twenty, great and small," but no horses are given. There were "two servant men," valued at twenty-one pounds, a full hogshead of rum, and other articles of a varied character. The aggregate value was three hundred and four pounds, two shillings, sixpence.

Pemberton also left a respectable estate, consisting principally of "Grove Place," which was sold to Willoughby Warder for five hundred and fifty pounds, the farm of three hundred and fifty-four acres upon which he last resided, and which was left to his son Israel, who named the two divisions of it "Bolton" and "Wigan," about forty acres of land in Bristol, eight hundred acres in Wrightstown, a lot on High Street, Philadelphia, and his furniture, implements, bonds, etc., appraised at nine hundred and fifty-three pounds.


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