Morgan’s Raid: Epic Civil War Story Takes Place in Guernsey County

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Introduction

Most citizens of Guernsey County are not aware of an epic event that happened right here during the Civil War. If this event had not happened at nearly the same time as the famous Battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Vicksburg—both happened in July of 1863—certainly more of this story would be told to kids in history classes across the nation. However, the Battle of Gettysburg and Vicksburg are often placed on timelines and curriculums—rightfully—as the more important events to teach about when talking about the summer of 1863. Despite this, our ancestors here were certainly taught and aware of what’s known as “Morgan’s Raid.” According to William G. Wolfes book, Stories of Guernsey County, Ohio, which was published in 1943; older folks–during his lifetime–would still tell you when asked about their recollection of the Civil War, “I remember when Morgan went through.” Morgan’s Raid maybe considered by most historians as the most monumental thing to ever have happened in Guernsey County.

Summary

A Confederate General named John Hunt Morgan started a raid from Tennessee on June 300px-Morganmap11th, 1863 that ran through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. The raid lasted until July 26th, covering 46 days total. After going through Kentucky Morgan decided to cross the Ohio River into Southern Indiana, and then go into Southern Ohio (both Union States), with 2,462 men under his command. When Mr. Morgan realized he had the attention of many Union officers, he tried to go back across the Ohio into West Virginia but by then the Union Troops had him blocked. Rather than wave the white flag and surrender, Mr. Morgan then decided to try and lose the Union Troops by continuing to head northeast. He hoped he could find a way back across the Ohio River somewhere. It was a “scorched earth” attack, as him and his soldiers plundered anything they came in contact with that would help them sustain themselves and burned anything they felt would help people attempting to stop them. They fought in a series of battles with Union supported militia’s and different Union regiments.

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“Panic in Louisville Kentucky

As he went through the different towns news traveled and gossip grew, Morgan and his men were taking necessary provisions from innocent citizens, but nothing nearly as viscous as the rumors conveyed. Morgan made it all the through Guernsey County starting at its most southern town of Cumberland and leaving at one of our most northern towns Symra.

A short battle ensued in Old Washington, where some men were killed, others surrendered and were arrested, and some, including Morgan, got away and continued onward. The “Battle of Washington” as it would come to be known was the closest the Union got to making Morgan surrender or defeating him before he was overtaken two days later. Some critics say had General Shackleford of the Union, been less naive and more aggressive, Morgan could have been made to surrender here, as on his way through he was once overtaken near Salt Fork, but then got away again. None-the-less his raid and subsequent battle to get through Guernsey County are directly responsible for injuring and fatiguing his raiders enough to make them give up in Columbiana County, Ohio where they finally surrendered just two days after the Battle of Washington.

Morgan is Welcomed to Guernsey County with Open Arms

By Thursday July 23rd, the day Morgan entered Guernsey County, the raid had been going along for 42 days, almost a month and a half. Many of the Confederate Raiders were said to have looked tired and wore down. In the morning around 9:00 a.m. the Raiders were running from Colonel R.W. McFarland’s advance around the borders of Guernsey, Morgan, Noble and Muskingum County.  In between Muskingum County where the town of Zeno used to reside, and where Cumberland sits today in Guernsey County, lived a Cumberland grocer and harness maker named Theodore Frazee. Here we have a story that shows just how close Confederate strangers were to Union strangers, where an American brotherhood saves a man from falling victim to a nation at war with itself.

At 10:00 a.m. in the morning Mr. Frazee is approached by Cumberland doctor John McCall. McCall was traveling from Zeno–now what we call a ghost town–on his way back to Cumberland when he stopped to warn Mr. Frazee of the raiders coming their way. He rode by horse screaming “Morgan’s Coming! Morgan’s Coming!” One can think of Paul Revere almost a century before famously doing a very similar thing. Mr. Frazee—hearing the doctor’s warning—frantically got to work hiding his most prized horses so the Raiders could not find them. He left only his eldest horse Old Barney in plain sight for them to see and he went back to his porch to await their arrival. With the doctor and the horse seemingly oblivious, Old Barney was taken by his daughter and wife to the sheep barn where the raiders could not find him. Frazee certainly heard the raiders coming as the sound of hundreds of horse hooves chattered from a distance kicking up dust on the old road. When the starving men seen the grocery they immediately began jumping from their horses to grab what they wanted in the name of the Confederate States of America. Suddenly Morgan shouted at them, “Halt! The first man who enters that house without orders will be shot! And pay for anything you take in the store. (Horwitz 2001.)”

The men were certainly confused. What had changed since the last time they had come about a grocery store and were allowed to sack the place? Well, when Mr. Morgan arrived he looked upon Mr. Frazee sitting on his porch with his hand held in a way that only a fellow brother of the ancient Society of Freemasonry would recognize. In this moment Morgan chose to have mercy on his fellow American brother rather than allow his men to make a victim of him. Likewise, Mr. Frazee showed his humanity by having his family cook the best lunch possible for Morgan and his men, more or less cleaning them out of their food supply. According to his daughter’s diary, the men made off with Daddies good horses, while Old Barney was spared from the ladies having taken him to the sheep barn. So it is somewhat safe to say, when John H. Morgan and his raiders came upon Guernsey County, they were welcomed with open arms and sent on their way with new horses.

According to David Thompson, who did his senior seminar on Morgan’s Raid, and is a graduate of History from Muskingum University, as well as a productive member of the Guernsey County Historical Society, the site would have been one to behold,

“He left Kentucky with 2,462 men and officers.  By the time he got to Guernsey County only about 600 remained.  The rest having been killed, wounded or captured. Three were killed in the skirmish at Old Washington. All were cavalrymen and would have all been on horseback. They travelled quickly and pretty much lived off the land with no support structure.  For example, they rode diagonally across Guernsey County from SW to NE and were in and out of the county in little more than 24 hours.  They constantly stole horses to keep fresh rides. I do remember one account that said Morgan sometimes road in a buggy (Thompson 2016.)”

Cumberland

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Morgan Enters Guernsey County in Cumberland

When Morgan entered the town of Cumberland it was somewhere around 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon on the 23rd of July. They approached a house that was well-known in the community as a landmark, called the Globe Home; the house was owned by Dr. Stone. Here General Morgan set up headquarters for a short time. Some ransacked the house for any food and supplies they could find, while others fell asleep in the many rooms the doctor had to offer. When they went for Dr. Stones horses the doctor pleaded with them to leave his most prized one. He told them a white-lie, he said he had a very-ill patient he needed to see. Dr. Stone offered the men $75 (about $1,460 dollars today) to keep the horse. The cash was taken and the horse was left. However, later that evening, a set of the raiders that were lagging behind, came along and took the horse while they plundered nearly all the general stores of the town. This left the Doctor without any money and no horse to see his supposed dying patient. Imagine the fear and helplessness the doctor must have felt to see hundreds raiders run off into the night on his horses with all of his savings. Before Morgan left Cumberland he forced a local man to accompany him as a guide to the next town.

Point Pleasant, Hartford and Senecaville

Point Pleasant

From Cumberland the Raiders took a road northeast to Pt. Pleasant, a town known today as Pleasant City. When they arrived–now the evening of the day–they allowed their Cumberland guide to return home on his own horse. Again, Morgan’s overall goal was to eventually make it to the Ohio River near West Virginia where he must have thought he would have better success making it back to a southern state. In the meantime, he needed to feed and rest his tired and hungry men, so he kept a steady track headed northeast, choosing to pick up guides and drop them off once he had reached the next town at which he could use to revitalize his men. When he reached Point Pleasant, the owner and operator of the local Elks Hotel, Harrison Secrest, was picked up as his next guide. In route to Hartford (known today as Buffalo) and Senecaville, the Raiders come across a bridge. Knowing the local Union Army was in pursuit of them they attempted to tear down the bridge. Apparently feeling this to laborious a task they then chose to burn the bridge. Many of the raiders swam their horses across the creek. The Bridge was put out quickly by a group of local people following them. General Shackleford of the Union Army was getting closer to him with each passing hour.

Senecaville

Through the night a group of the raiders straggling behind the lead, stopped to search for fresh horses at a stable. While looking at a dark bay horse—a local family’s most cherished possession— they seen a man slumped over on a horse heading in their direction. After failing to respond to the Confederates calls, they shot the man off of the horse. Upon further inspection they found John Happs, a confederate soldier of their own. One man was ordered to get Happs medical treatment, he rode back to Point Pleasant looking for Dr. Teeter only to find the local doctor’s horse had been stolen (Horwitz 2001.) Teeter—a passionate Union man—was able to get there in time to dislodge the bullet before it killed the man, but Happs needed care his fellow rebels were not able to give and he died as a result. This an example of how deeply exhausted Morgan’s men were by the time they entered Guernsey County and of how the group were in constant search for horses with fresh legs. They continued their march through the night into the early morning through Buffalo and Senecaville, before reaching Campbell’s stations in Lore City on the morning of Friday July 24th, 1863.

Lore City

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Lore City has a very interesting story in the event known as Morgan’s Raid. There was no Lore City as we know it today, only a train depot called Campbell’s Station with a small collection of houses and citizens who the majority of which were likely local coal miners. The station carried anything a small town of the 1860’s might need, including a telegraph. When Morgan and his men went through here they caused more damage than any other place in the county. They burned a bridge that crossed Leatherwood Creek, they also burned three freight cars filled with tobacco. Because his son and namesake was a Lieutenant in the Union Calvary whom was also a successful raider himself, having plundered many Confederate strongholds in Kentucky and Tennessee; the owner of the tobacco, S.W. Fordyce, seen his warehouse and home burnt to the ground. Morgan’s men were aware of Mr. Fordyce’s son and his exploits, as some remarked while lighting the house on fire,

“We are only following Fordyce’s plan (Horwitz 2001.)”

While at Campbell’s Station, Morgan cleverly had one of his telegraphers send a message east to Barnesville inquiring about the defense set up between Lore City and Barnesville. Morgan’s plan from here was to start heading east towards the Ohio River, however, Provost Marshal McCartney more than likely supposing the telegraph coming from Morgan, sent word back that the area had more than enough soldiers there to protect it. This forced Morgan to head further north rather than east. On his way out he destroyed anything useful to the men trailing him under General Shackleford, including the telegraph lines (Wolfe 1943.) Morgan and his men continued on that morning growing yet even more tired and restless. They were headed towards what is today known as Old Washington where they would encounter General Shackleford for the first time.

The Battle of Washington/Morgan Escapes

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About two hours after leaving Campbell’s Station in shambles the men arrived in Washington, Ohio. When entering the town from the South they come across the American Hotel at roughly 10:00 a.m. Exhausted from non-stop traveling and pillaging, Morgan gave orders to post men on each road traveling into the small town. The men were to swap out as they took turns using the towns resources to rejuvenate; his men took rest while the local housewives prepared them meals. The women had no choice as most of their men had taken off to fight in the war. This was a tedious mistake by Morgan. General Shackleford and accompanying Union forces were trailing him quickly and not far behind. Around Noon, Morgan made orders to leave, just shortly after Shackleford and his men had reached town where some of Morgan’s men remained.

At an outpost of the town one of the Confederate soldiers fired a shot to warn his fellow rebels of Shackleford’s presence. Morgan immediately rushed down the stairs of the American Hotel and out into the street. Some rebels ran to their horses and took off on Winchester Road going north, others stayed in the confusion. Shacklefords men started firing at the men from a distant hillside from the south facing north. The Confederates thus returned fired as they rode off on their horse’s. This exchange of gunfire in Guernsey County become known as the “Battle of Washington.” This conflict was further north than any other battle in the Civil War. Three Confederate soldiers were killed, several wounded, and eight were captured and taken to Cambridge where they were housed in the Guernsey County Jail.

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The Battle of (Old) Washington

Shackleford noted the pursuit and battle,

“With 500 men, on the morning of the 21st, we resumed the chase. Traveling day and night, we came up with the enemy on Friday Morning, the 24th, at Washington. Captain Ward, of the Third Kentucky Cavalry, with his own company and a detachment of the First Kentucky, under Adjutant Carpenter, had command of the advance. He drove in the rebel pickets, and, by a flank movement, drove the entire rebel force out of the town of Washington, killing and wounding several of the enemy. One mile east (north) of Washington the enemy made a stand, in a dense wood. We formed a line of battle, and soon drove him from his position. He fell back 2 miles, tore up a bridge over a rugged stream (Salt Fork), and took up his left flank, while a portion of the Fourteenth Illinois crossed the stream just above the bridge, and moved up the hill in the face of a heavy fire from the enemy, steadily they moved up and drove him before them. Late Friday evening he burned two bridges over Stillwater, causing considerable delay. We succeeded in crossing and pressed on all night (Jr 1998.)”

16 year old Elizabeth McCullin also documented the event with the most vivid of eyewitness accounts (Perkowski 2011,)

“We were all frightened … The townspeople hid their horses and buried their valuables, The town was almost defenseless, since most of their men had joined the Union and gone off to war. Capt. John Laughlin, who lives south of town, was home on furlough and advised the residents to offer no resistance. Nearly all the town gathered at the corner where the Campbell’s Station-Winchester Road crossed the pike.

“Riding two abreast, the rebels came up the road. Rev. Ferguson, our Presbyterian minister, stepped out in front and waved a white handkerchief. The rebels did not pass through as we had hoped, but dismounted and gathered along the street. They entered homes and ordered dinners to be prepared for them immediately. Morgan and his staff of 14 men went to the American Hotel, rebel guards were placed around the town … Anyone could come in, but nobody was permitted to go out.

“Morgan and his staff ordered dinner at the hotel and the Smiths called in some of us older girls to help prepare the meal. I waited on the table … His soldiers having eaten their dinner and fed their horses, were lying on the street from one end of town to the other … Suddenly a gun was fired by one of the rebel guards as a signal that Gen. Shackelford was near. The soldiers ran to the horses and headed toward the Winchester road (now Morgan’s Way). There were in (Old) Washington for two or three hours.

“We saw Shackelford’s army gathering on Cemetery Hill. They began firing at the Confederates, who, in turn, shot back. Above the noise of the battle we could hear voices from the Federal lines ordering women and children to run to cellars. I ran to one that was nearest, where 20 or 30 other persons had gathered. The shooting continued. The Union men were firing from the south, the Confederates from the north. We could hear the bullets whizzing over our heads, and the crash of broken glass. It was terrible.

To think we had living and breathing rebels that fought in a battle housed in Guernsey County and eight of them taken to Cambridge—our county seat—to face justice. When the men were interviewed by local law and Union officials: they gave up Morgan’s plan to cross back over to the Ohio River, they expressed how severely exhausted they had become with the raid, and they spoke of their strong inclination to return home. Morgan got away and Shackleford faced heavy criticism for his decision to fire at long distance rather than charge to the town. Many said if he had taken command and charged the town, Morgan would not have escaped and the raid would have come to an end right here in Guernsey County.

Morgan Gets Away. Again

Salt Fork Bridge

Morgan and the remainder of his men kept fleeing north towards Winterset. Shackleford caught up with him and overtook him at the Salt Fork Bridge. Morgan agreed to surrender but had no intention of actually doing it. Under the guise of a truce, Morgan had a conversation with Shackleford, all the while it was happening Morgan’s men were fleeing further north. At some point Shackleford turned his attention away from Morgan allowing him to flee as well. Again, Shackleford would be criticized for letting Morgan slip through his fingers, though, as people would find out later, he was not alone in having this happen. Shackleford gave critics reason to believe he was much more vanilla than the man he was charged with capturing. John Hunt Morgan gave critics reason to believe he could not be captured by anyone. The men left Guernsey County at the town of Symra near Londonberry. He entered Guernsey County at its most south eastern point and left Guernsey county at its most north eastern point, totaling a period of 24 hours.

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Then Proves an Exceptional Escape Artist

Two days after fooling Shackleford and leaving Guernsey County with more than $40,000 in destruction, ($780,000 in today’s money according to measuringworth.com 2016.) Shackleford’s forces caught up with Morgan once more and finally got him to surrender where Salineville is today in Columbia County Ohio (Jeffersonian 1863.) He had just 335 of his men remaining from the 2,462 from which he started the raid (Jr 1998.) When captured these men were sent to several different prisons across the state. Morgan himself was sent to the state capital where he proved to be one of the greatest escape artist of the Civil War. In Columbus, he and six of his captains managed to climb the wall of the Ohio Penitentiary. Once out and free Morgan managed to gain plain clothes that allowed him to walk right into the Union Terminal in Cincinnati unnoticed. According to Morgan he had an interesting discussion with a Union Officer while in disguise after boarding the train. The Union Officer said to him as they passed a penitentiary,

“Over there is where Morgan is now spending his leisure time.” Morgan responded, “and he ought to be kept there until the end of the war (Wolfe 1943.)

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Bibliography

Horwitz, Lester V. 2001. The Longest Raid of the Civil War: Little-Known & Untold Stories of Morgan’s Raid Into Kentucky, Indiana & Ohio. Cincinnati: Farmcourt Publishing.

Jeffersonian, The Daily. 1863. “Property Taken, Destroyed in County As Result of Raid Valued at $40.074.” July 30.

Jr, Russell H. Booth. 1998. A Brief History of Guernsey County, Ohio: Including the Morgan Raid Claims. Cambridge, Ohio: Gomber House Press.

measuringworth.com. 2016. measuringworth.com. July 16. Accessed July 16, 2016. https://www.measuringworth.com.

Perkowski, Judie. 2011. “The Daily Jeffersonian.” The Daily Jeffersonian. August 21. Accessed July 23, 2016. http://www.daily-jeff.com/community/2011/08/21/civil-war-arrives-in-guernsey-county-with-morgan-s-raid.

Thompson, David, interview by James Shively. 2016. How Morgan entered Guernsey County? (July).

Wolfe, William G. 1943. Stories of Guernsey County, Ohio. Kingsport Tennessee: Kingsport Press.

 

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An Amazing Collection of Wheeling Avenue Photos

Jim Evans is a Cambridge History enthusiast not so different than yourself if you’re here reading. Jim has managed to amass an amazing collection of Wheeling Avenue photos that are just a boat load of fun to go through. Given the size of his collection, finding and crediting every picture was just simply to time consuming for him to make happen. However, don’t let that stop you from clicking here to check out the entire collection. I’m also giving you a sneak peak of some of the better ones I found right here.

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Aggies Coffee Shop

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Amazing look at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in the 1940’s

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Another look at the Scottish Rite, notice what is showing there?

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Manpower/Mancan

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‘= Notice the dirt road. 800 block of Wheeling Ave. Corner of east 8th & Wheeling Ave. Daily Jeffersonian at 821 Wheeling

To see the rest of this click here. 🙂 

High Resolution Panoramic Photograph of Cambridge 1876

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Prominent Citizens: The Beatty’s

 

John Beatty-The Father of Cambridge

Although we know from his gravestone his birth to be in the year 1738, his birthplace and date is unknown to the history books. However, his life would not be. John was known as the “Father of Cambridge” and the true patriarch of our town. As a young man he fought in the French and Indian war, as a grown man he fought in the War for Independence and as an old man he fought in the War of 1812. One could say, Zaccheus his son, gave Cambridge to him as a gift wrapped present for the great man he seen his father to be.

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18th Century Pioneer Life

When John was 38 years old his wife gave birth to his most accomplished child, to the say the least. It was Sunday, December 11th, 1774. when Sarah Beatty gave birth to Zaccheus Beatty on a cold Maryland day in Frederick County, Maryland. It would have been an exciting year in Frederick County as some men had invented the Catoctin Iron Furnace, which was used to bend iron with much greater ease then the anyone had yet seen before. Buildings were designed and erected specifically to utilize this new technology. Unbeknownst–or maybe totally known and inspired by–at the time this new technology would come mightily handy for the colonists in the spring. Tensions between the British Crown and the Colonies had been escalating recently, as the Colonies cried for assistance on the frontier against the increasingly hostile Indians, Parliament insisted on taxing the Colonies without their representation for that protection. On April 18th 1775, just 4 months after the birth of Zaccheus, battles of the Revolutionary war began at Lexington and Concord Massachusetts.

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Catoctin Iron Furnace invented in Frederick County Maryland 1774, the same year Cambridge founders John and Sarah Beatty gave birth to Zaccheus Beatty.

The Red Coats begun confiscating weapons and ammunition shortly before the battles began, and so it become increasingly important for the colonists to have technology at which the could produce their own weapons and melt down luxuries into bullets.  In 1777 the “Hessian Barracks” were erected by captured Hessian and British soldiers in Frederick County. Like the Catoctin Furnace, it is very likely this would have been something John Beatty would have been happy to have had a beer with you and reminiscence about if he were here today. These barracks would serve as a “jail in the Revolution, held prisoners from the War of 1812, were used as an armory, a Civil War hospital, and as the original building for the Maryland School for the Deaf.” According to photographs I have taken and collected on Ancestry.com, John Beatty would eventually leave his children, including the newest addition Zaccheus and his wife, to go fight for the Patriots in the new War of Independence. There is also a War of 1812 marker on John’s grave in the Founders Cemetery located in Cambridge across the street from the old municipal building. While John lived in Cambridge he ran tavern and a ferry given to him by his son. He was instrumental in setting the plat of the town and selling those plat’s to our first settlers. Him and his wife were named by the Sarchet Family in their stoies as having a leading role in their decision to stay in Cambridge rather than move on to Cincinnati where they had originally intended to settle. 

 

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Hessian Barracks

 

John Beatty’s original stone recognized him as a veteran of the French and Indian War and the War for Independence but was weathered unreadable and replaced

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John Beatty 1738-1821 and his wife Sarah Parkinson Beatty 1739-1813 had a child named Zaccheus Beatty in Frederick County Maryland, December 11th 1774. John was a veteran of the French and Indian War, the War for Independence and the War of 1812. 

Zaccheus Beatty – A Pioneer Man With Big Plans

Growing up  with such an established man as John for a father must have either been very daunting because filling his shoes would have been difficult to do or it would have been inspiring. I am guessing the latter. Zaccheus grew up to find a job as frontier surveyor for the military out of Wheeling and then eventually he became a “land agent” working out of Newellstown, which is today known as Steubenville. When he came upon Ezra Graham’s ferry and the Beymers Tavern in what is today Cambridge, he must have thought something great about their idea’s because he immediately went back to his office and bought an undivided one-half-interest in the land. This gave him just enough of a right to lay full claim to it and send his father out to assert the families new ownership. According to Russell Booth, in the book, “A Brief History of Guernsey County, Ohio” John “bought out” Ezra Graham and the Beymers businesses sending them on their way. This is probably true, as we have lost the rest of Graham’s life to history, but we know the Beymer family went on to buy land just east of Four Mile Hill and platted the town we know as Old Washington in 1805.

Zaccheus father John setup right away collecting tolls and inviting people in for a meal and place to stay on their journey further west. Zaccheus on the hand, continued his work finding valuable land and working as a surveyor. Zaccheus had big plans for this area though, him and his brother-in-law Jacob Gomber were very close not only through family but through business, as they platted Cadiz and Cambridge together. He must have thought of Cambridge as the bread and butter though or he would not have set his father and Jacob up to go about attracting visitors to buy land. After his father had attracted a large number of immigrants from Europe named the Sarchets to invest in their platted town of Cambridge, Zaccheus decided it was time to move to Cambridge himself. One can only imagine the excitement of his decision. Coming home to his fathers tavern excited of seeing their plans grow, as they attracted was seemed and turned out to be great citizens that come as far away as Europe. They must have felt like international successes.

I imagine it is 1807, and I can see them gathering around an old fashioned frontier meal discussing what the town would become one day. The future looked bright. Zaccheus lived back and forth between Cambridge and Steubenville until 1809 when him and his wife decided to settle here for good. When Guernsey County was organized in 1810 someone had to represent her in the Ohio Assembly. According to William G. Wolfe, “everyone looked to Zaccheus Beatty in accord.” Zaccheus was also a commander in the War of 1812 and he went onto be our regions leader in the states Senate for two terms. He built the first bridge across Will Creek to replace the toll bridge, he replaced his fathers tavern with an updated one, he worked with sawed lumber from his brother-in-laws “Gomber Mill” to was a charter member of the Masonic lodge. He is also responsible for donating the land for the town square and the Founders Grave Yard. He and Jacob Gomber raised most of the money for the first county courthouse and jail. There is hardly a single man you can point at more  responsible for the development of Cambridge then Zaccheus Beatty. Him and his wife Margery had ten children all together, he was described once by Eveline Tingle, “He is a heavy set man, not very tall, of light complexion and genteel.” Nobody ever said you had to be tall or skinny to be great. He did August 31rst 1835 and is also buried in the Founders Grave Yard. 😉

The Beatty’s

There are a lot of different names we throw around when we talk about the founding of our great county seat of Cambridge. The Zane’s, Mr. Graham, the Biggs, the Metcalf’s, the Beymers, the Gombers, the Hutchinson’s, the Sarchets; the truth is, most of these families were in one way or another related to each other. They  were cousins, uncles, brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters and they were all instrumental in the settling and founding of our area. Of these great names of the past, few hold as much weight and grab as much attention among local historians as the “Beatty’s.” It is not because they were the very first. It is because of the scale in which these pioneers worked.

Some were surveyors who seen a small fortune from Wills Creek. Some were farmers who seen great soil in the Valleys of our hills, some thought the coal would be valuable and others were more grandiose with their vision of what would become of this land. The Beatty’s, were of the grand kind, they were veterans of war and had likely seen American Civilization at its finest. They had the rhapsodic, bombastic, histrionic plan to build an extravagant yet eloquent city. I say these things for the evidence lies in the name. I imagine many nights the Beatty’s sat around the campfire talking about how people would call Cambridge, Ohio the “Cambridge of the West” as our nations greatest and most brightest men had for more than a century graduated from a place called Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Beatty’s  dedicated their lives to setting a foundation for which this place would grow into an opulent Victorian town. It is more than fitting for us to have an important street named for them and I think we should probably even have more then that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Rocks-That-Burn” To The Gilded Age: How Coal Mines Built Guernsey County


Pre-1800’s     

Indians

The history of Coal Mining in Guernsey County goes back further than Euro-American settlers. Indians that once used Wills Creek for fishing, also knew of the great resource coal could be to keep warm throughout the winter. Before any mining operations were setup, veins throughout the county resulted in coal being on the surface. Early settlements found in the area were said to have proved the Native Americans use of the coal. You could literally pick it up off of the ground as easily as a rock. According to Dave Adair, the Guernsey County Historical Societies foremost coal mining historian, the Indians of the area did just that, collected the coal for fires and called it “rocks-that-burn.”


Pioneer Days—1800-1850

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Despite the great amount of wood provided by our areas vast wilderness—there was so much wood trees had to be chopped down in order to plat the different surrounding towns—early settlers of the area, in the pioneer days, also made use of the abundance of coal. William G. Wolfe ponders that the first settlers must have found it a novelty, or at some point they must have found the coal was much easier and efficient to obtain than cutting down trees in times when labor and wood were scarce. Whatever the reason, farmers begun setting up “coal banks” where they would gather the easily accessible coal on their land for their own use or maybe even sold to neighbors for a little profit.


Industrial Revolution—1850-1870

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C&M Group Picture

It wasn’t until technology such as steamboats and railroads were developed that these black rocks were seen as lucrative. In the 1840’s Trains and Steamboats had established themselves as premiere technologies that would catapult America on to the world scene of commerce and industry. Railroads were being developed along routes that were never considered previously as having any potential economically. Steamboats made rivers and the great lakes yet even more valuable for transporting commerce long distances. Guernsey County none-the-less was caught up in this great national phenomena known as the Industrial Revolution. Thus the demand and price for coal skyrocketed and here little old Guernsey County was with it literally bursting at its seems. In the 1850’s a series of mines were established. The first was on an old “coal bank” on the farm of George Scott sitting just east of Cambridge near the National Road (Route 40) between Lore City and Cambridge. The enterprise become so large it was no longer deemed a “coal bank” and the name was changed to the “Gaston Mine.” Following the Gaston Mine, the Scott Mine and the Norris Mines were established nearby. The location of the railroads alongside the mines made them extremely efficient and very profitable for investors.

In an interview with Dave Adair, I learned of a Ghost Town located where Reservoir Road meets the crossroads near Coal Ridge today. The town of Scotts was one of many towns established for keeping the miners near their work site and when the coal mines went out of business some years later, the location and the towns were completely and totally abandoned. Today there is almost nothing in the area to reflect the daily life of the miners. I cannot help but think of the men waking early, drinking coffee to start the day, going to the mine to work a tough shift, and then hitting a small tavern at the end. The different jokes and smiles they must have shared, the different daily toils that were common of the time, and the conflicts that might have arisen because of working rivals, different languages, or them being forced to live among each other in a small collection of buildings with nowhere to escape. All of this now long forgotten about with not a single trace of their lives and what they consisted of, all vanished by space and time.

Norris Newspaper

A Daily Jeffersonian article dated for February 20th, 1991 gives us insight into the early mines as a part of a piece for black history month, it reads as follows: BLACK SETTLERS ARE FOCUS — The Guernsey County Historical Society will a slide presentation depicting black settlers of Guernsey County between 1860 and 1920 at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul CME Church, 123 Gomber Ave. In Part, the presentations will give the viewer a glimpse of ealry settlements, schools, churches, houses, and places of employment. Pictured is a portion of the Norris Mine, four miles east of Cambridge along the B&O Railroad, as it looked 100 years ago. Many of the miners at Norris were children and former slaves who moved to Guernsey County at the close of the Civil War and lived in some forgotten coal mine towns such as Danford, Craig, and Scotts. Sunday’s presentation is part of Black History Month. 

The Norris Mine was the last of the early eastern Guernsey mines to be established in the 1850’s. It was also maybe the most financially successfully as we can see in the picture from the Historical Societies research room dated from the 1880’s, it was open for some time. Also I should note in a book about the history of African Americans in Guernsey County by Wayne L. Snider, and as documented in the newspaper clipping in the photograph, early African American communities were established near Four Mile hill by Lore City, and it was not until employment near Cambridge did they leave their residences and move into the county seat. The Coal Mines are likely the reason for these early segregated settlements in eastern Guernsey County. As were the small towns of the county established for people off all nationalities. In fact, in the book written by Russell Booth you can find a long list of different European nationalities that traveled to and worked in the Guernsey County Coal Mines, some coming from as far away as Russia. The very growth of surrounding towns like Byesville, Lore City, Kipling, Walhounding, Buffalo, Pleasant City and so on, owe their existence to the attraction of our coal mines.

Norris Original

A copy of the original photograph of the Norris Mine from the Historical Societies Research Room.

Norris Clipping

A closer look at the information given by the Historical Society, it reads as follows: “Norris Coal mine located near “MS” Telegraph Tower and South of the railroad seen in the background used a trestle to reach it’s opening approx. 300 yards away. “Bock and Berry” were used to (Shove/Pull) loaded cars away from the coal tipple. Photo dates circa 1890.”

Lore City

Black Top Mine located near Lore City on Cherry Hill Road

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The Buffalo Mine

If you would like to see more pictures you can click this link to go to an album uploaded by Tom Severns to the Facebook group “You know You’re From Guernsey County When…” 

The Gilded Age—1870—1920’s

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Downtown Cambridge in front of the Courthouse

As wealth and civilization grew in the surrounding area’s so did wealth and civilization in the counties seat of Cambridge. After the Civil War the growing population of the area gives rise to a growing manufacturing and retail base. With a small amount of money to spend, immigrants from the surrounding coal mining towns would have traveled by horseback to Cambridge to buy things they could not otherwise buy in their small villages. Retail stores in Cambridge boom as a result, and with so much money pouring in to the area manufactures of glass and other industries are built and provide yet even more jobs and wealth and thus a row of extravagant mansions are erected along 7th Street. Despite the world growing in population by 700-800% since 1900, there were more people in Guernsey County then, than reside here now. Thus it is true, the manikins designed and put out on display each year by the Dickens Village folks, are truly an accurate representation of the people in Cambridge at its height in the Gilded Age. Cambridge is a classic Victorian era city. Our history is very reflective of the history of the entire nation. We were not much more than an outpost in the wilderness at the beginning, our area grew greatly with the industrial revolution and with the introduction of coal mining and technology, we reached our economical heights at the turn of the 1900’s. There was not a soul in the county that could not find work if they had a shred of virtue or ambition. A massive beautiful courthouse was erected, an elegant monument to salute veterans of the Civil War, there were multiple newspapers, and even a street car on Wheeling Avenue. Almost every town in the county owes its infrastructure to the coal mining era. All this growth and history from what the Indians once called “rocks-that-burn.”

Cambridge

Coal Mining brought get wealth and prosperity to Guernsey County


Dave Adair’s Coal Mining Exhibit At The Guernsey County Museum

Dave Adair

 

Dave Adair, whom I have mentioned a few times in this article, has worked long and hard to make a Coal Mine Exhibit at the Guernsey County Historical Society Museum. A part of the exhibit is a great collection of photographs documenting many of the different mines around the area. According to Dave, all told there were as much as 1,500 different coal operation sites within our county lines at one point or another. Some of the most prominent companies include: Cambridge Collieries, Akron Coal Company, and the Old National Coal Company. You should at some point come in and check out this exhibit, to get an idea of how influential the coal mines were to the development of your community. You get to experience firsthand the darkness and isolation these men must have felt working underground.

Exhibit


For Museum Opening and Hours for this summer you can click here. 

The Epic Sarchet Family Voyage!

Disclaimer: In this article there are some sections done by myself that are both creative and imaginative. I understand some readers may not be interested in this type of writing and are just interested in knowing the story as it’s told by history. In order to identify the parts that are both creative and imaginative I have placed block quotes and italicized the dialogue within that blockquote. In direct quotes from historic sources I will bold the letters only. This I hope will allow those disinterested in creative writing, an opportunity to skip over these imaginative parts. Thank you all for reading. 🙂 


“My creative writing will look like this in dialogue. ” And this outside of dialogue.


 

“Direct Quotes taken from historic sources will look like this. “

rotating_screenFor better reading on mobile devices be sure your screen rotation setting is turned on and flip the phone horizontally.

 


The Epic Sarchet Family Voyage!

Living on Guernsey Island

It’s the summer of 1806. Just three years have passed since news came of the Louisiana Purchase. Lewis and Clark are in the midst of their famous expedition and have yet to report back to Congress and President Jefferson. Meanwhile on the other side of the world off the coast of Normandy, tucked away in the English Channel between France and England–two superpowers and bitter enemies–sits a tiny little island composed of people who speak both English and Norman French.

Guernsey

Guernsey Island is just one-tenth the size of Guernsey County

Guernsey Farmhouse

Guernsey Isle Farmhouse

Great Britain and France are typically at war with each other and the red coats have decided to use this little island as a base for their military. Much like they did prior the the American Revolution, the British regulars decided to quarter and tax the people of the island to help pay for their supposed protection from the war. Among the regular folks of the European island we have four brothers named Thomas, John, Nicholas, and Peter Sarchet. Having heard in the news of Napoleon Bonaparte’s decision to sell off all French assets to the United States the four siblings must have spoke in great detail of the opportunities opening up for pioneers in what has been described by many as the”New World.”


Let’s imagine for a moment:

After a fall day harvesting crops and raising cattle Thomas, John, Nicholas, and Peter are sitting at a table in the evening. The aroma of a meal cooked by their tough talented wives hovers and wafts in the air. The vegetables come from their farm, the meat from their cattle, it’s made fully from scratch. The sounds of children running, jumping, and playing fill the background. Thomas the outspoken one of the group releases his frustration in a conversation with his brothers.

He is becoming more and more aggravated by the presence of the British Military. He says (in French of course), “I am so sick and tired of these red coats occupying our land as if they own it!”

“And the taxes!” John is quick to agree, “As if we need them to protect us against an invisible invading army! Tis not enough to come here and force themselves into our home, they must take our money as well?”

“What of this New World though? Nicholas brings up the news of the Louisiana Purchase, People have been migrating there for hundreds of years now, and with their open doors, expanding territory and great quality of life is this not the answer to our problems?”

“Nicholas do you not know of how much such a voyage would cost? Peter is a bit reluctant, “Do you not realize we would have to sell off and risk everything to make such a voyage?”

“But Peter we could do this! If we all sell our assets, the land, the cattle, the crops, and put together the gold we have saved; we could afford to make this journey and buy land where it is cheapest in the world. Thomas continues in a very assertive, inspiring tone, “If we use your skills as a carpenter, John’s experience as a blacksmith; I could get Nicholas to help me on a farm… How could lose? We could transform the wilderness into a home! He slams his hand on the table and says, “We could forever change the lives of our children and their children, giving them a chance to live and prosper in a land where tyranny has been defeated and the people govern themselves!”

After John’s inspiring speech the four brothers decide at the end of winter sometime next spring they will set sail for the United States of America aiming for a growing pioneer city with many opportunities called Cincinnati.


The Journey Begins!Begninning

The spring of 1806 arrives; the four brothers, their wives, sons, and daughters–along with the extended Sarchet family (aunts, uncles, cousins etc.)–all decide they are ready and need to commission a sea-captain. In what would seem natural they hire an experienced sailor named William McCrindell for their Atlantic Voyage. William is a distant relative–he is Peter’s son-in-law–so they are more comfortable with this decision than they would be with a complete stranger. They feel secure trusting William and his ship “Eliza” to get them to the United States safely. The excitement was somewhat spoiled when  “Eliza” floats her way into the dock. As grandson and namesake of Peter, Colonel C.P.B. Sarchet describes Eliza a century later in his book, “History of Guernsey County” he calls the ship a “frail bark”, “not fitted for ocean service.” The idea of landing in America must have gave the people great feelings of inspiration as they made provisions, packed up their belongings and loaded them all onto the dilapidated ship.3035

The adventure had begun, people playing checkers, mothers reading stories of the Bible, a great view surrounded by water. A couple weeks go bye of good sailing, the wind is carrying them from Europe to the New World as it has millions of others since the days of Christopher Columbus. Everything is good until one day they awake and the ship is not moving. It seems as if the wind has stopped. A stretch of eight days goes by in the middle of the ocean without any waves or wind to push them. People on board must have begun worrying, the thought of running out of food and having to fish desperately in a vast ocean, thoughts of being left on a floating ship to die must have crossed their minds. The situation become so disturbing William McCrindell made orders to tack the sails all the way around the ship so that a breeze from any direction could be caught to move the ship.

Stuckin ocean

Eliza is stuck in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

Meanwhile, William stereo-typically plays the part of sailor; it seems as if the more dire the situation becomes the more rum William drinks. Finally, the sea came to life, wind and waves begun pushing them in the right direction again. However, it did not take long for them to realize they were being pulled or pushed into a storm. When the rain begins to pour, the people take cover in the middle deck where they find their sea-captain had drank himself delirious. By this time the ship was moving in the wrong direction and the man that was supposed to point it in the right direction had rendered himself incapable of walking and talking correctly, let alone steering a sail ship across thousands and thousands of miles. A meeting was called in the forecastle between the crew and the men of the family. It was decided they would ask him to give up his command of the vessel. Wanting to prove himself worthy of the job he was entrusted and paid to do, he refused to do this ; but it was becoming more and more apparent they were headed the wrong way. A second meeting was made and it was decided they would physically overwhelm William, handcuff and then chain him to his cabin.

drunk

The men wrestle control of the ship from the captain


I imagine it going down something like this:

The rain is clamoring down on top the ship above the passengers. On the upper deck there is the sight of waves crashing against one another, the sound of thunder cracking the skies with no echo, while William McCrindell is stumbling around wonderlessly with a rum bottle in his hand, he is screaming incoherent commands at people that do not exist. Most passengers are huddled in the middle deck where the family bunks are located. Some mothers are singing lullabies, others are eating their daily ration of salt-pork and biscuits. The mothers that have infants can be seen feeding them oatmeal. The young children are napping and the older ones bickering over playing cards. In the forecastle–the living quarters for the crew–you find a group of men, some standing some sitting, having a seemingly long-faced conversation. It is the second of it’s kind in just 24 hours.

One man says, “He has gotten completely out of control!” Another man says, “We must take over this ship, we are headed in the wrong direction!” A couple men nod their heads in accord. Peter Sarchet tries to defend his son-in-law in a defenseless debate, “Maybe we shall wait another day to see if he is more sober and agreeable tomorrow?” Thomas quickly snaps at his younger brother, “We already tried that Peter he is not getting sober.” John, having had some experience as a sailor, volunteers–along with a shipmate from the crew–to command the vessel the rest of the way, after the remainder of the men catch William, drag him to the captain’s chamber and handcuff him there.

The men go up to the top deck where they find William soaking wet from the storm. The small group of men run toward him at once, overwhelming in a way that he cannot fight back. William slurs at them, “Youuuu know what all yaaa’s problem issss? When yun’s wake up in da morning dats da bessst yun’s areee gunna feel awwwwee daaay looong, but me? Nope! I feeel bettter as da daaay goooess onnn! Yun’s all jealous!” He continues his rant, “I told yun’s we’re headdded in the rriiight directtion, but ya’s donnn’t wanna belieeve mee.”

Then the men drag him down the stairs to the middle deck, past all the chatter going on in the family bunks, and finally into the captain’s cabin where they handcuff and chain him in a way he can no longer fight for control of the ship.

Click the photo to zoom in better

Early 1800’s passenger ship, click the photo to zoom in


After they get the captain settled in and calmed down, it’s decided John and a shipmate will do as they volunteered and sail the ship to their target of Virginia. John and his partner are able to safely direct the ship out of the storm into nice weather. From here on out the voyage is smooth sailing and after many days the passengers and crew finally see land.

Landing in Norfolk

After two months of sea travel the reach America


Reaching the United States of America!

Imagine the relief of the people who had hitherto: overcome getting stuck in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with no wind and waves, they had subdued a drunk captain, and they rode out a long dreadful storm. Imagine the relief they had felt and the emotions flowing through them when they seen land after being on a “frail bark, not fit for service” for two whole months. They had finally reached Norfolk, Virginia. The ship docks, they uncuff and unchain the captain and set him free; they presumably do a lot of stretching much like we do in modern times when we stop alongside rest stops on a road trip. After getting a short break from the ship, they reboard quickly and then make their way up the Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore, Maryland. Many must have felt the difficult part of the journey was done, but those people were mistaken.

Balitmore

Norfolk to Baltimore

After letting the captain go freely, the group traveled up the Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore, Maryland

When they reach Baltimore everyone comes off the ship as they have conquered the sailing leg of the adventure.  They now took some of the savings they had brought with them and bought horses, wagons, and other necessary provisions to begin their long land journey through the Appalachian Mountains to Cincinnati. It is Monday, June 16th, 1806 when they reach Maryland and the day must have been a sight to behold as it just so happen that the sun was in total eclipse with the moon. (Colonel C.P.B. Sarchet cites the date as the 14th but this is incorrect, as multiple sources–including NASA–show the famous event known as Tecumseh’s Eclipse happened on the 16th of 1806 not the 14th) Here it was the middle of the day and as they made their way up Howard Street in Baltimore, the town was so dark they had a man go around and light all the street lamps. As they passed houses and businesses they could see where people inside had lit candles as if it were the evening and the sun setting. The Sarchet Family left Baltimore heading for the Old Braddock Road.

Colonel C.P.B. Sarchet describes the event in his book, “History of Guernsey County.”

“Horses and wagons and provisions were procured, and at midday they passed up Howard street, on the 14th (16th) of June, 1806, the sun being in total eclipse and the town in partial darkness, lamps lighted on the streets and candles burning in the houses and places of business.”

Amazing to think that on the same exact day the Sarchet family landed in Baltimore, Lewis and Clark were in the Rocky Mountains well into their return to St.Louis where they were to meet President Jefferson with their reports. So literally at the exact same time the Sarchet family was in Baltimore experiencing an eclipse on their journey, Lewis and Clark were 2,250 miles away in the Rockies fighting falling timber and snow on what’s called the Lolo trail.

Lol Pass

The same day the Sarchet Family witnessed an eclipse in Baltimore, Lewis and Clark were fighting their way through the Rocky Mountains on their return to president Jefferson in St.Louis

Lewis logs in his journal

Meriwether Lewis Monday June 16th 1806

“We collected our horses very readily this morning, took breakfast and set out at 6 A. M.; proceeded up the creek about 2 miles through some handsom(e) meadows of fine grass abounding with quawmash, here we passed the creek  [1] & ascended a ridge which led us to the N. E. about seven miles when we arrived at a small branch of hungry creek.  [2]    the difficulty we met with from the fallen timber detained us untill 11 oC before we reached this place.”

Clark logs in his journal

William Clark Monday June 16th 1806

“Collected our horses early and Set out 7 A M proceeded on up the Creek through a gladey Swompy bottom with grass and quawmash Crossed the Creek to the East and proceeded on through most intolerable bad fallen timber over a high Mountain on which great quantity of Snow is yet lying premisquissly through the thick wood, and in maney (many) places the banks of snow is 4 feet deep.”   


Flashback to 1755

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General Edward Braddock travels on an old Indian path before he is killed in a conflict starting the French and Indian War

The Old Braddock Road was an Indian path that just fifty years earlier was made into a road by Major George Washington for the the Ohio Company and the British Military. The Ohio Company was a group of investors that attempted to petition the British King and add Ohio as a colony before the War for Independence. It was thought by the Ohio Company–who Washington and many of his peers were a part of–that the French had begun infringing on land they intended to make into a 14th colony. In 1754, George Washington was sent to a French outpost called Fort Duquesne, later renamed Pittsburgh. His mission was to tell the French they must leave at once as they were getting too close to the American Colonies. After the twenty-one year old Washington and his men failed and were chased out of the area by French and Indian fighters, the British crown decided they would need to send a more experienced General to do the mission. The following year in 1755 General Edward Braddock was sent to finish what Washington started, the old Indian path was the last road Braddock would ever travel on alive as he was killed in the conflict and it subsequently escalated into the French and Indian War. Washington gained fame and notoriety throughout the Thirteen Colonies and England when he published his own account of the event, despite having failed to accomplish his mission. This fame and notoriety is thought to have positioned him for the appointment of General of the Continental Army. The Old Braddock road would later give direction for the National Road and U.S. route 40.


 

Over the Mountains and Through the Woods!

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Old Braddock Road

Fast forward fifty years and here is the Sarchet Family traveling towards Pittsburgh and camping alongside the same path that Washington once carved a reputation on as a young British Major. As they were passing through the Allegheny part of the Appalachian Mountains, the group come across a young woman sitting alongside the road in ragged clothes crying. When they asked the fourteen or fifteen year old girl what was the matter with her, she responded by saying she had no home or family. She told the group she had run away from a Catholic school somewhere in Pennsylvania and now had nowhere to go. Of course with the rise in Protestantism from the first Great Awakening the century before, and the United States having the perfect constitution for Christians who want to interpret the bible freely, it’s fair to think the Sarchets felt a great deal of sympathy for her concerning her running from the Catholics, a religion etched in orthodox and power. The family felt sorrow and compassion for the young girls apparent suffering and misfortune and they chose to offer her a place on one of their wagons. Her name was Betty Pallet. Remember that name.

The group made their way through the mountains in constant rains and storms until they finally got to Pittsburgh. Here they gave up the wagons and jumped on boats making their way down the Ohio River towards Wheeling, Virginia where they set up camp. When they reached Wheeling they were happy to see the sun was finally shining again.

Col. C.P.B. Sarchet describes this moment in his family history in the book “History of Guernsey County, Ohio.”

They were rejoiced to see the sun shining once more. Now, amid the sunshine, the women began to wash their soiled clothing. If there was any one thing that a Guernsey Woman despised more than another it was dirt. They opened their boxes and dried and aired the contents. They seemed to feel that a new life was before them, and they sang around their campfires the melodies of their far-awav island home. The men and boys of the party assisted the farmers on the Wheeling creek valley to dry out their damaged wheat and get it into ricks and to harvest their oats, much of which had to be cut with a sickle. From the creek valley Thomas Sarchet, on horseback, followed the Zane Trace west as far as Chillicothe. On his return to the camp, preparation was made for their further journey. Their horses were well rested, and had fared finely on the wild pea vines and the rich wild grasses of the valley. When all was in readiness for the start, the horses soon showed that they would rather browse on the Wheeling creek bottoms than haul wagons. In order to get up Wheeling hill, they had to hire an extra team to help.

According to William G. Wolfe’s, “Stories of Guernsey County, Ohio” the group’s goal was to settle somewhere around Cincinnati. It is unknown why they chose to take Zane’s Trace from Wheeling instead of just continuing down the Ohio River via boats. My best guess is that taking boats was either more expensive than horses or that there were not enough boats to accommodate an entourage the size of the Sarchet family from Wheeling to Cincinnati.


Finally Ohio! 

zane-trace

Zanes Trace

As fate would have it, they got provisions and made their way up Wheeling Hill and then onto Zane’s Trace they went. The rain and the storms proved a difficult obstacle to overcome for the group; as they traveled they were constantly fighting overblown trees on their path. As a result, they ditched most of the wagons and decided they would use packhorses as much as possible, limiting the number of tree’s they had to move to pass a wagon a through Zane’s trace. At the end of day they had made it “Newellstown” which we know as “St. Clairsville.”

Here there was a tavern named, you guessed it… Newell’s Tavern. On such a journey, anytime you came across a tidbit of civilization it would have been wise to take full advantage. Here they were able to stay the night and when they awoke the next day they were met with a familiar friend outside the windows of the tavern, the rain. Having been exhausted and tired of traveling in the rain they remained at the tavern for another day. This gave them plenty time to hire another team of four horses and a wagon. The next morning they packed up their stuff and on Zane’s Trace they continued. Not having the luxuries we have today when we stop at a motel, like a local weather forecast on the nightly news, they were discouraged when yet another violent storm impeded their going further. This storm was bad, the wind swept heavily through the forest, the lighting lit up the skies, and the thunder drummed with echoes through the wilderness. The rain showered so heavily an upcoming creek had risen too high for them to pass; so once again the group had no choice but to set up camp until the creek lowered enough for them to travel through.

The Sarchet family continued on the road when they could pass the creek. They had left Wheeling early Monday morning, they had fought the wild and the weather and the wild weather to St. Clairsville where they stayed two days and then began fighting again. After traveling since sunrise it was now Saturday afternoon when they decided it was time to stop and set up camp again. This camp becoming much more significant than they could have ever imagined. What started as just another stop in their journey, wound up being their destiny. The camp was set on what is North Fifth Street in Cambridge. Yea that’s right, the Sarchets had arrived in what some call the “bottoms” today. They had no idea just over a small hill there were two small cabins sitting on Wills Creek.

  • (Both C.P.B. Sarchet William Wolfe locate these cabins on “Main Street” at the Wills Creek Crossing. They both state that Main Street is later renamed Wheeling Avenue. Given this information I suppose the location of these two cabins would have been on the lower end of Wheeling Avenue between the Pavlov’s building and the Viaduct going to Dewey Avenue. There are more specific locations given, but all consist of businesses and/or other places that have since gone-out-business or no longer exist. If anyone can provide more specific, up to date locations I encourage your input.)

Camping in Cambridge!

Trip

The Sarchet Family traveled two months by sea and two months on land. Making their voyage from Guernsey Isle to Cambridge a total of 4 months. A flight from Guernsey Isle to Norfolk Virginia takes 14 and half hours; to drive from Norfolk to Cambridge it’s another 8 and half hours. So what took them 4 months to accomplish in 1806 now takes us less than one day.

Zoom

The Sarchet Land Voyage

The Sarchets set up camp, the scene must have been one of exhaustion, as the story goes, it was just afternoon when they stopped when on most days they would have normally traveled until the sun begun to set leaving them enough light to set a campfire. The people would have been soaken wet, mud all about their clothes. They would have sat around a fire getting warm, eating and rejuvenating their bodies for their trip onwards.

When Sunday Morning come, people awoke in the cabins that were a short distance from the Sarchet camp. Being Sunday it was common for these Cambridge men to take it easy and forfeit work when possible. As they went outside they noticed a smoke stack off in the distance. This excited the men as they had spent the two previous years almost completely  isolated from civilization. Three of the them, said to be Jacob Gomber, John Beatty, and Ezra Graham by C.P.B. Sarchet, (the memory and oral history may have been mistaken in this case about Ezra Graham as it’s thought by others that he left the area when he sold his tavern to George and Henry Beymer) decided to go at once and welcome their visitors.

When they reached the Sarchet camp they were surprised to find twenty modesetmanieresdujour1798-1808six people all strangely dressed. The woman–who were busy preparing a very economical meal around the fire– were wearing short dresses and gowns that were belted around the waist, they also wore large frilled caps on their heads. The men–who were hanging out around the wagons speaking a foreign 1800-menlanguage–were wearing outfits more attuned to the 1700’s then the new century of the 1800’s: they had on small frocks (jackets that flare at the bottom), pants that stopped at knees, with long stockings rising up to them, they had heavy shoes with white broad wool hats. When Thomas Beatty introduced himself and his buddies, John Sarchet–who spoke the best English in the family–told the Cambridge men they were Norman-French from the Island of Guernsey in Europe, and that they had been on their way to Cincinnati seeking a new home. After two parties become acquainted with each other some festivities followed that evening.

Here’s more from the C.P.B.’s book.

On this day of rest and sunshine, August 15, 1806, they sang hymns of thanksgiving and rejoicing, written and compiled by Jean De Caueteville (Quetteville), of the Wesleyan Methodist church. The French hymn book of Thomas Sarchet the writer has in his possession, published in 1785, having on the preface the endorsement of John Wesley. On this Sabbath day, for the  first time the strains of a Methodist hymn echoed through the Wilderness at Cambridge, Ohio. During the day, the three resident families of the town visited the camp of those strange looking emigrants.

The Sarchet Family was excited to have come across such friendly strangers, and the Cambridge families were equally pleased to have their first visitors since the town had been settled. On Monday morning the Guernsey woman–having set up camp between two flowing springs, decided to take the opportunity of washing their clothes before they continued onwards. It did not take long before they were visited by a third party. To the surprise of everyone a group of Native Americans–Indians as the settlers would have called them–came along to trade with the family. They come with papooses tied to a board swinging on their backs. The European men and woman must have felt much more comfortable with their differences in culture and fashion when theses Indians paid visit.

We Are Not Going One Step Further!

In the afternoon, the Beatty and Gomber women decided to take their children down to the Sarchet camp to pay another visit. Being elated in the wonderful time they had spent with the Sarchet family the night previous, being tired of living rather isolated lives, aware of many conversations between their husbands of what the future of Cambridge would look like as they plat the town just months prior, and knowing it was the plan of the Sarchet family to find a place they could settle and start an industrious future; the woman launched an assertive persuasive campaign to get the Sarchet woman to stay and build their future here. At the same time the Cambridge women were buttering up the Sarchet women, the Cambridge men were also on a mission showing the Sarchet men how they had spent the summer staking-off lots for a town.

At that time, it wouldn’t have looked like much other than metal or wood sticks in the ground, as only Wheeling Avenue had the wilderness cut out of it. When they returned to camp the European ladies had made up their mind. After four months of traveling across the ocean, through mountains, up and down hills, feeling as if they had been rained on more than not, they were weary of more travel. They were to stay. There journey was over and they were to begin building their future here. The Sarchet men certainly weren’t impressed or enthusiastic at the potential of the town the Beatty’s and Gomber’s had carved out and having heard great things of Cincinnati they protested the woman to continue forward where they had planned all along to settle. The women would have none of it. They told the men they were not going to go another step further.

C.P.B. Sarchet–who was a grandson to both the Sarchet and the Beatty families–describes his grandmother and her sisters.

After their call at the camp, the women held the first Woman’s rights convention perhaps in the state of Ohio, and decided that they would go no further west…

The men protested, but their protest was of no avail. When a Guernsey woman puts her Foot down.. it is there. The dye was cast and Cambridge was to be the Guernsey town, and the name of Guernsey county was to perpetuate their memory.


Becoming Citizens of Guernsey County

So the men had no choice but to call on Beatty and Gomber to again show them the different lots they had for sell in order to begin building their cabins. Among a collection of out-lots (not in downtown) to plant Apple trees, farm, and manufacture products, the brothers wisely bought property in the middle of Cambridge to build homes and businesses. Peter Sarchet chose to buy two lots west of the public square, where U.S. Bank is located today. Thomas Sarchet chose two lots where on each side of the road where 7th Street meets Wheeling Avenue. John Sarchet chose the lots on the other side of the street from Thomas, where Country Bits and Pieces sits today. Nicholas must not have been a wealthy man as there is no record of him buying property at this time.

Cambridge Cabin Locations

It was decided John’s lot would be the location for the families first cabin and work commenced immediately. They were in a rush to get this built as they knew winter was just around corner. Tired of living in tents camping out on the outskirts of the town, the family moved into their new home before it had floors, a chimney, or even a door. It would have been a crammed space for such a large group. On top of many people living in the structure they had brought with them to America many boxes and chests filled with different tools and utensils, which would have been very rare in those days. They made it work through that winter. C.P.B. Sarchet tells of this winter from his family’s oral history. 

Near the cabin, where the trees were cut, the brush was piled, and the women raked up the leaves and burned the brush, and in the cleared space they raked and dug in turnip seed. The turnips grew large and afforded all of the vegetables they had during the winter. I have heard my uncles and aunts tell how they sat around the big wood fire in the long winter nights, and scraped turnips, and listened to the fierce winds sweeping through the trees, while packs of wolves howled around the cabin.

By the time work on the second cabin began it was apparent the Sarchet family would become great citizens for the development of the area. The Indian woman they had met at camp frequently paid them visits and other settlers coming to the area came to them for much needed supplies and services. Four years after their arrival, more people traveling west from the Thirteen Colonies started to settle the area and yet even more settlers had come from the Isle of Guernsey. With other small towns like Old Washington growing alongside Cambridge the area had enough people around to be considered a county by the state in 1810. When talks began, the Sarchet ladies once again inserted themselves in what was typically a matter for men in those days. They insisted the county be named, “Guernsey” after their homeland. They said the area’s rolling hills reminded them of their old home. It was decided then, the county would be named Guernsey in honor of their excellent, talented, and influential Guernsey citizens. 


Shortly after the first cabin was built the Sarchets begun work on the second cabin. In this time something happening that resulted in Guernsey Counties first criminal proceedings. Click here to find out how the Sarchets were involved and what ever happened to Betty Pallet, the estranged Catholic girl they picked up on their voyage through the Appalachia Mountains. 

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The Betty Pallet Story

The Betty Pallet Story

Remember that girl the Sarchets found on the side of the road during the Epic four month long journey? Betty Pallet. Well, as the Sarchets were building their second cabin in Cambridge, they needed everyone that was capable of working helping with the cabin. So they had Betty babysitting the kids while the woman in the family helped with manufacturing the new home. When the group returned home one evening finished with the days work, they found that a sack of gold coins was missing from one of their chests. With no one –other than Betty and the children–coming in or out of the cabin throughout the day they accused Betty of placing the gold where no one but her would know the golds whereabouts.

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1800’s Sweat Box

Suspecting Betty, she was not let out of anyone’s sight for days. They looked in tree stumps, rolled over logs, and all around trees but could not find the gold. With a theft having apparently happened they made John Beatty and Jacob Gomber aware of the criminal act. They apprehended Betty and put her into a sweat box; a sweat box was exactly what it sounds like. A small box they used to put people in solitary confinement. The goal was often to get them to admit to a crime they were being accused of committing. The sweat box is more known in popular culture as a form of punishment for slaves, however in the pioneer days, it was not just slaves who were subject to cruel forms of punishment.

Despite this Betty continued to plead she was innocent. A few days later, the gold coins were found by a water well. It was then figured that Betty had made a trip to the well stocking enough water so that no one would need to goto the well anytime soon. When she did this she placed the coins nearby with the intention of coming back and running off with the gold. She was not able to do this when the group grew suspicous of her and placed her under twenty-four hour surveillance. When confronted with this scenario, Betty succumbed to the pressure and admitted her guilt. In her admission she did not reveal where she had planned on running off. With the town and Muskingum County–Cambridge was a part of Muskingum County until Guernsey County was officially formed in 1810– not having any organization, justice of peace, or jail; John Beatty and Jacob Gomber used a recent punishment given in Zanesville to some counterfeiters as precedent. The counterfeiters were sentenced to public lashing.

A statement was made by John and Jacob stating they were acting as a court, going on to say Betty had betrayed people who befriended her in a time of need. She was sentenced to lashing on the bare back and told to leave town afterwards. Peter Sarchet was appointed to do the lashing with a “hickory” rod. When he was finished Betty ran off into the woods assumingly crying in physical pain and shame for her actions. Betty and her whereabouts become the subject of much conversation and gossip in the future. One rumor placed her in a Catholic home in Perry County, Ohio.


Let’s try and visualize this moment in Guernsey County History.

John Beatty and Jacob Gomber enter the town square where a small crowd is awaiting them. With them is a young woman walking alongside Jacob with her face towards the ground in humiliation;. John Beatty has a paper in his pocket which he pulls out and unfolds. The crowd is made up of the Sarchet family, many members of the town, and new settlers to the area and they know they are here to witness justice served to the young lady for being a thief.

Beatty holds the paper up to his face and states,

“Do to the lack of incorporation hitherto, before God and with you all as witness; myself John Beatty and Jacob Gomber will be acting as prosecutor and court on behalf of the citizens of Cambridge, Ohio. It has been brought to our attention that Betty Pallet has confessed to the stealing and concealing of gold coins from the Sarchet family cabin. Due to the lack of a justice of peace, and no jail herein Muskingum County, we take it upon ourselves to look at precedent in order to find and make a judgement on this matter.

Let the record show, that Betty Pallet, having betrayed the trust committed to her by those who had befriended her and provided protection to her in an extreme time of need, should be whipped  on bareback and driven out of the camp and town. Similar and recent events in Muskingum County give us the authority to declare the punishment–of public lashing–as sufficient and fit consequences for such dishonest behavior as the defendant–Betty Pallet–has displayed. If anyone has any objection to this ruling now is your time to speak. Does anyone here today object to this judgement? 

A long silence is broke only by the wind passing through the town square. The crowd has no objection.

“Given the Sarchet family is the sole victim of Betty’s actions, I call upon Peter Sarchet to give out the whippings with a hickory rod prepared and brought here today. Are there any objections to this appointment?”

With no objections made and as Peter comes forward; Jacob Gomber is pulling Betty Pallet closer to the tree she is to stand over. The crowd watches her as she whines and cries: the Sarchet women in attendance gaze at her in disappointment as some had grew to love her as their own, some are looking at her as if every step she takes she loses her humanity and is turning into a monster before their eyes, and others in the crowd are gawking at her like she is some kind of weird grotesque monstrosity they had never seen the likes of before. She is mortified knowing a grown man will soon unleash a weapon with all his brute force onto her bareback.

Peter Sarchet meets Jacob and Betty Pallet at the tree in the town square. Betty is instructed to reveal her bareback by pulling the top of her dress down to her waist. This makes the event even more humiliating to the young girl as she is undressing half her body in front of the entire town. She’s then told by Gomber to put both hands onto the tree in front of her and Gomber then hands Peter the hickory rod typically used for whipping horses or other live stock.

Peter raises the rod to the heavens and swings his arm downwards in motion with all his strength. The rod hisses through the air and hits her back.

SssssssssNAP!

The sound echoes through the wilderness and the crowd watches in awe.

He quickly raises his hand up and comes back down again with all the speed and power his strong arms and frame can muster. He systematically repeats the process, the strikes rip through the skin on her back causing her to yelp as she begins to bleed. When Peter gains momentum with his movements the slashes become more harsh and alongside the blood on her back, welts begin to swell and reveal themselves. One whip after another, almost making a sound that resembles firecrackers being let off one at a time.

When Peter is finished, Betty quickly pulls her dress back up to her shoulders. She has never been so overwhelmed with humiliation and physical pain before and it’s likely she never does afterwards. Not wanting to look the townspeople in the eyes, she takes off running to the nearby woods never to be seen or heard of again by the people of Guernsey County.

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A Public Whipping of a Woman

I will finish this article with another excerpt from Col. C.P.B. Sarchet (Cyrus Parkinson Beatty Sarchet)–who I have not mentioned, was a grandson to both the Sarchet and the Beatty families–that describes his uncle thinking of Betty Pallet and Guernsey Counties first criminal proceedings many, many, many years later.

I was seated at the bedside of a dying uncle, who was twelve years old at the time of the whipping and witnessed it. He turned over in the bed and said,: “I do wonder what became of little Betty Pallet.” I remarked, “Who was Betty Pallet.” Then he related the story as above, and of Betty being found wandering- in the mountains. Is it any wonder that that old Christian man, eighty-four years old, who died the next day, should turn back in thought to that boyhood scene in the wilderness, seeing Betty’s bare back, the welts and the blood? Certainly it seemed to him barbarous and in-human treatment, as it would to us, yet such treatment was lawful punishment for crime in those days of Ohio.