Presbyterian Church, Chapter 1., Lenore W. Bayus,
Davis & Warde, Inc., Pittsburgh, 1985 ISBN 0-9613627-0-7
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The Reverend Charles Clinton Beatty (c.1715-1772) was born in County Antrim, Ireland, to John Beatty, a British army officer, and Christiana Clinton, aunt of George Clinton, the first governor of New York. Coming to America at the age of fourteen with his widowed mother, Beatty quickly discovered that his ability to converse in Latin was of little value in frontier survival, and returned to peddling for a living. In his travels he happened to stop at the Log College in Bucks County where he met headmaster William Tennent. The classical and religious education Beatty had received in his native Londonderry was recognized by Tennent, who persuaded him to enroll as a student and prepare for the ministry.
It is also a matter of record that Beatty returned to tour the frontier in 1766 with Reverend George Duffield, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Carlisle, at the request of the Synod of New York and Philadelphia. The two were authorized to make a survey of the frontier and report information on which to base the establishment of future Presbyterian churches west of the mountains.
Minutes of Donegal Presbytery carry their report of the tour, stating that they "found on the frontier numbers of people, earnestly desirous of forming themselves into congregations, and declaring their willingness to exert their utmost order to have the gospel among them, but in circumstances exceedingly necessitous from the late calamities of war in these parts"
It is likely that on this trip Beatty preached again at Bullock Pens to the small settlement developing there. In the diary of a visiting merchant it is recorded that both men preached in Pittsburgh. The entry dated September 7, 1766 notes that "Mr. Beatty preached this morning in the fort and Mr. Duffileld in the town" Beatty's own Journal entry of the same date mentions "the people, who live in some kind of a town without the fort, to whom I also preached in the afternoon"
Beatty was licensed to preach in Nottingham in l 742 and assigned the following year to Tennent's church at Neshaminy. Later the same year, upon Tennent's retirement, Beatty was formally ordained and installed as his replacement. In 1746 he was married to Anne Reading, daughter of the president of the Council of New Jersey.
Beatty later became one of the pioneer Presbyterian missionaries sent by the Synod of New York and Philadelphia to "cut a highway for our God" in the western wilderness. According to the Minutes of the Synod of New York, May 26, 1758, Beatty also requested and was granted permission to become an army chaplain. Assigned to serve with General Forbes, Beatty would certainly have preached to the soldiers stationed at the Bullock Pens location. The site, approximately ten miles east of the Point, was a stopping place for Forbes' army on his way to capture Fort Duquesne. Here were his troops quartered, his ammunition sequestered, his horses ensconced, and his provisions garnered. Here also were his beef cattle penned, giving rise to the name of Bullock Pens for that area, a name it was to be known by for nearly fifty years.
It is also a matter of record that Beatty returned to tour the frontier in 1766 with Reverend George Duffield, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Carlisle, at the request of the Synod of New York and Philadelphia. The two were authorized to make a survey of the frontier and report information on which to base the establishment of future Pres.
A Inboard tent If a Covering to protect visiting preachers from the elements, was embed by pioneer worshipers
As a result of the survey report, the Synod adopted a program of sending at breast one missionary each year to preach beyond the Allegheny Mountains
After the defeat of the French in 1758, some of the army personnel remained in the area of Bullock Pens. Others returned east to bring back wives and establish homes. The settlers who had fled at the time of Braddocks defeat began to return after Forbes placed a garrison at Fort Pitt As Other frontiersmen gradually joined them, a small settlement began to grow Many of the settlers were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians carrying deep within them the hurts of religious repression Here they found a place where they were free to worship as they chose As early as 1759 the small community areas being served occasionally by itinerant preachers so eager were the settlers to hear the gospel that they erected a "board tent" to protect those who preached to them in inclement weather.
The time and effort expended in building even such a rude structure was sacrificial in nature. These earliest settlers were forced to revert to the most primitive living Conditions for simple survival. Many came west with little more than a horse, the clothes they wore, an axe, a rifle and a mattock, which was a tool used for digging. Until they cleared a space for a cabin and an area for planting, many lived temporarily in a three-sided shelter made of light poles interwoven with brush.
Each felled his own trees and built his own log cabin, which was, typically, a rectangle twenty by thirty feet and a story and a half high. Its unpainted logs, either round or hewed square, were notched near the ends, fitting together at the corners without the need for nails. The walls were chinked with strips of wood or straw and then daubed with mud. Its roof was made of overlapping clapboards held in place by split staves of oak or ash. Its chimney, taking up most of one end wall, was constructed of heavy logs plastered with six inches of clay for protection from fire. If its one room had a window, it was a square opening covered with oiled paper. A ceiling served a dual purpose-to conserve heat and to provide storage and sleeping quarters. The door was a slab of wood, cut horizontally in the middle, so the top part could be opened for light and the bottom kept closed for protection. It was barred at night by logs or crossbars.
Many of these settlers existed for the first year on wild fruits and berries, plus wild game and fish. By the second year-if their meager crops had withstood the forces of nature, ravaging animals and poachers-they added staples of potatoes, turnips and the all-purpose maize, which could be dried and ground for meal to tide them over the coming winter.
In time, flax was grown, carded and woven into cloth; deer hides were dressed for hunting shirts and moccasins; and animal fat was rendered for frying and for making soap and candles. As the settling families increased, neighbors joined together to help each other with major projects such as house-raising and harvesting. But on the fringe of the frontier, each family was, of necessity, a self-sufficient entity.
Between July, 1760 and the following April, Pittsburgh's population, exclusive of the soldiers at the fort, more than doubled, from one hundred forty-nine to three hundred thirty-two. By 1762 several settlements had become well established along the Forbes Road between Pittsburgh and Bedford.
Then, early in 1763, Pontiac's Rebellion struck terror into the heart of every household. Although the British had gained control of Fort Pitt, the Indians who had fought on the side of the French were not satisfied with the outcome. Organized under the powerful Pontiac, they destroyed forts at Presque Isle, Le Boeuf and Venango attacked Fort Pitt. unsuccessful, they moved eastward to Bushy Run, where they were decisively defeated in August, 1763 by the forces of Col. Henry Bouquet, who had learned frontier fighting as Forbes' second-in-command.
This turning point opened the way for further expansion in western Pennsylvania.
The next twenty years were ones of rapid westward movement. Released prisoners and refugees returned to their homes, and new settlers arrived in western Pennsylvania in ever-increasing numbers.
In 1769 the Penns opened a Pittsburgh land office to receive applications for farms of three hundred acres each. Within a few months, more than one million acres of land had been allotted.
The ingenuity and industriousness of the new settlers, combined with the composition of the area, spurred economic growth. The abundance of such raw materials as timber, coal, limestone, sandstone, clay and ore soon led to large-scale manufacturing along the rivers. Nearby farms provided grain for flour mills and flax and cotton for textile mills; trappers provided skins for tanneries; and peddlers developed trade between the eastern and western sections of the state.
The next major missionary effort of the Synod of New York and Philadelphia occurred in 1772. Reverend Levi Frisbee and Reverend David McClure were commissioned by the Synod of New York and Philadelphia to cross the mountains and preach to the Delaware Indians along the Muskingum River in Ohio. He head quartered in Pittsburgh for ten months after their arduous seven-hundred-mile journey on horseback, they soon discovered that the objects of their assignment were not receptive to their overtures. They further learned that the Delawares near New Castle, also included in their assignment, were being well-served by Moravian missionaries. The Christian community established there was so advanced that it had its own church building in which services were conducted on a regular basis.
Realizing that Pittsburgh itself was a much more fertile field for their strong Presbyterian affiliation which served to govern their seeds to be sown, they turned from the Indians back to the town and its surrounding area. Congregations were forming at that time in such places as Long Run (near Irwin), Ligonier, Chartiers, Bethel, Lebanon, Pigeon Creek, Round Hill and Rehoboth, but all lacked the services of ministers or even supplies. When McClure informed Donegal Presbytery of these facts and requested assistance, he was told that none was available and that he and Frisbee would themselves have to serve as surrounding area. Congregations were forming at that time in such places as Long Run (near Irwin), Ligonier, Chartiers, Bethel, Lebanon, Pigeon Creek, Round Hill and Rehoboth, but all lacked the services of ministers or even supplies. When McClure informed Donegal Presbytery of these facts and requested assistance, he was told that none was available and that he and Frisbee would themselves have to serve as supplies. Between them, they set up a regular itinerary for preaching at these nuclei of future churches. Again, it is entirely possible that they preached on the hill known as Bullock Pens.
McClure's diary reports that the settlers "are generally Presbyterian and are well-indoctrinated in principles of the Christian religion. The young people are taught by their parents and school masters the Larger and Shorter Catechisms and almost every family has the Westminster Confession of Faith which they carefully study."
Presbyterianism became the primary force in religion, not only in the growing city of Pittsburgh, but throughout western Pennsylvania. The Scotch-Irish settlers who pushed their way to the frontier carried with thinking in all moral, social and legal issues.
Interrupting this period of swift growth was the Revolutionary War, in which the Scotch-Irish frontiersmen played a vital part. Conservative eastern Pennsylvanians attempted to resolve differences peacefully, but the spirit of independence ran high on the frontier. Instances of spontaneous declarations arose in Hannastown and other western settlements, before the members of the Pennsylvania delegation joined those of the other colonies in signing the Declaration of Independence. From that time on, Pennsylvania was fully involved in the Revolution, playing such a dominant role that it became known as the Arsenal of Independence"
Pennsylvania provided the capital city for the independence movement and furnished more leaders than any other colony. Its troops fought in nearly every campaign, suffering heavy losses from both British and Indian incursions. Food from its farms included grain, Cattle, sheep and hogs. It provided horses for cavalry and transport. From its ironworks came supplies of cannons, swords and muskets. In money it contributed more than six million dollars to the cause, much of it underwritten by eastern businessmen.
Bullock Pens, situated in a critical area, rose to a position of prominence again during the Revolutionary War. The highest point in Allegheny County, located nearby at the intersection of the present William Penn Highway and Graham Boulevard, offered an unobstructed view of the confluence of the three rivers; it was tactically prudent to keep provisions near such a place.
By the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the settlers-primarily Scotch-Irish-had become more numerous, and many were the husbands and sons who went from the surrounding farmlands to battle for independence. Many returned to take up their former lives, but many were returned for burial in the graveyard near Bullock Pens.
During this same period, the Province was undergoing a complication in its own internal development. The frontiersmen, angry with the easterners' refusal to honor repeated requests for protection, stormed the Provincial Assembly. Extralegal committees of correspondence called for a state convention to meet July 15, 1776, at which time they drew up the state's first constitution. It was approved and adopted the following September 28, and for the next ten years the radical party was in control of the Commonwealth.
The picture of the pioneer and his family preserving their religious practices at their hearth was true in many instances, but it must be acknowledged that many of the frontiersmen were fleeing from creditors, justice and restrictions of established customs. By 1772 the town of Pittsburgh had acquired a reputation for lawlessness, as recorded in journals of travelers of that day. Reverend David McClure recorded in his diary the majority of the people made the Sabbath a day of recreation and drinking. "The inhabitants of this place," wrote McClure, "are very dissipated. They seem to feel themselves beyond the arm of government and freed from the restraining influence of religion.... A happy few live in the fear of God and maintain their integrity." Those who established homes and families were more likely to fall into the latter category, particularly those who lived in outlying regions.
The pioneers' primitive way of life offered little more than a series of privations. The physical struggle for survival took precedence over all else and, with the lack of pastoral sustenance, religion frequently languished in the background. But however quiescent it may have been, the seed of Presbyterianism remained alive in the hearts of the Scotch-Irish settlers, ready to blossom forth at every longed-for visit of an itinerant preacher.
At first, missionaries to the frontier were sent on an irregular basis, but in 1776 the first of the renowned "Four Horsemen arrived to stay. Reverend James Power was the first minister to bring his family-his wife and four daughters-west of the Allegheny Mountains. They settled at Dunlap's Creek, and he became the pastor of the Sewickley and Mt. Pleasant Churches. His fifth daughter, who arrived one month after the family settled in its new home, was the first child born in a manse in western Pennsylvania.
Also in 1776 the Reverend Dr. John MacMillan, noted for his endurance, booming voice and dominating will, accepted the call of the Pigeon Creek and Chartiers Churches, where some of his relatives had already settled. He remained for sixty years, earning the title of ';the Apostle of the West"
The following year came the scholarly Reverend Thaddeus Dod, a young man of twenty-seven, to become pastor of the two already flourishing churches at Upper and Lower Ten Mile.
The last of the four was the fiery Reverend Joseph Smith, who arrived in Washington County in 1779 to become the pioneer pastor of the Buffalo and Cross Creek congregations. Due to his gifts as a revival preacher, he acquired the nickname of ''hell-fire Smith"
These four were authorized by the Synod of New York and Philadelphia at its meeting on May 16, 1781 to organize themselves into the Presbytery of Redstone, the first Presbytery to be formed west of the Alleghenies. Accordingly, a meeting was called for September 19, 1781 and Power, MacMillan and Dod met with their commissioned elders to erect the new Presbytery. An imminent threat of Indian hostility pre-vented Smith from attending this historic meeting. Any or all of these four men could have preached on occasion at Bullock Pens.
Following is a copy of the record of the formation of the Presbytery of Redstone, which exercised jurisdiction throughout western Pennsylvania. No geographical limits were designated.
At a meeting of the Synod of New York and Philadelphia, held at Philadelphia, ye 1 6th of May, 1781.
The Revd. Messrs. Joseph Smith, John McMillan, James Power, Thaddeus Dodd, having requested to be erected into a separate P.b.y. to be known by the name of the P.b.y. of Redstone, the Synod grant their request, and appoint their first meeting to be held at Laurel Hill Church, the third Wednesday of September next, at 11 o'clock A.M.
Soon added to the Presbytery roster were the names of Reverend James Dunlap, Reverend James Finley and Reverend John Clark. These pioneer preachers, along with the Four Horsemen, were the only ordained members of Redstone Presbytery for several years. All graduates of Princeton College, they became known as the "honored seven"
Calls for preaching became more numerous over the next few years, and these seven were assigned by the Presbytery to provide ministerial services in response to the requests received, in addition to caring for their own scattered churches. Although the missionary spirit was at a peak and new ministers were sorely needed, the Presbytery was extremely cautious about admitting new members. The credentials of each applicant were carefully examined, and several requests for admission were denied.
In the late 1770's, a Presbyterian congregation began forming at Bullock Pens. At first the members met in homes, but by 1780 they had built a meeting house near the present intersection of Beulah Road and the William Penn Highway (Route 22).
Beginning on October 19, 1784, they repeatedly requested resupply" preachers from the Presbytery of Redstone, and at infrequent intervals-according to the Presbyterys Minutestheir requests were honored. One who was assigned to preach at Bullock Pens on several occasions was the Reverend John Clark, a former member of the New Castle Presbytery. He is the first recorded itinerant minister to visit the Bullock Pens congregation.
Supplications for supplies from Pike Run, Horseshoe bottom, and places adjoining, and from Pittsburgh and the Bullock-pens were brought in and read.
Mr. Clark at Robensons Run, the 4th Sab. of Novembr; at the Bullock-pens, ye 4th Sab. of March; one day at discretion both as to time and place.
At some time between the October, 1784 and the April, 1785 Presbytery meetings, apparently without formal notification, the small congregation changed its name from the prosaic Bullock Pens to the more euphemistic Pitt (or Pitt's) Township.
The minutes of the December 21, 1785 Presbytery meeting, held at Pigeon Creek, include the notice of a combined call to the Reverend Samuel Barr from the congregations of Pittsburgh and Pitt Township. Since Barr was still a member of New Castle Presbytery, approval was given with the provision that he become a member of Redstone.
congregation changed its name from the prosaic Bullock Pens to the more euphemistic Pitt (or Pitt's) Township.
The minutes of the December 21, 1785 Presbytery meeting, held at Pigeon Creek, include the notice of a combined call to the Reverend Samuel Barr from the congregations of Pittsburgh and Pitt Township. Since Barr was still a member of New Castle Presbytery, approval was given with the provision that he become a member of Redstone.
Mr. Barr a member of the P.b.y. of New-Castle being present informed us that a Call had been drawn up for him by the united congregations of Pittsburgh and Pitts-township under the inspection of Mr. Finley; and yt upon this Call's being presented to him, he declared his acceptance thereof upon condition that this P.b.y. approve thereof.
We do approve thereof, provided Mr. Barr becomes a member of this P.b.y.
Although there is no record of Barr's appearance at Pitt Township prior to that date, he evidently did preach in the area. The Presbytery's Minutes of October 19, 1785 show that Aeneas McCalister and John Hopkins appeared before that body to complain about Barr's administration of the ordinance of baptism. The Presbytery agreed to conduct an inquiry, but, since nothing further is recorded about the incident, it can be reasonably assumed that the Presbytery found no irregularity in Barr's conduct.
Samuel Barr was born on February 4, 1751 on a farm near Londonderry, Ireland He received his theological education at the University of Glasgow, Scotland and was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Londonderry before coming to America in 1784. He applied for admission to the Presbytery of New Castle, which took him under its care and commissioned him to travel to churches in the southern states. After nine months of testing as to theological knowledge, preaching ability and soundness of character, New Castle Presbytery ordained Barr, whereupon he immediately started a journey to the west.
He stopped first in New London to present a letter of introduction from a mutual friend to James McDowel, a well-to-do flour manufacturer and wagon train operator. There, according to the custom of the day, he was offered the hospitality of McDowel's home. In addition to meeting McDowel's daughter Mary, who later became his wife, he also had an opportunity to become acquainted with a number of Pittsburgh businessmen. From them he learned of the dearth of pastoral services in the area surrounding the town. During his stay at McDowels. Barr was not officially installed until April 17, 1787. At that time he preached as a stated supply at the wealthy New London church and received a call to become its pastor.
But Barr's pioneering interest had been aroused, and he was not to be deterred from continuing his travels to western Pennsylvania where he was cordially greeted by some of his countrymen. Since he was a member of the Presbytery of New Castle, there is no record of his preaching in the churches of Redstone Presbytery, but evidently he preached both in Pittsburgh and Pitt Township frequently enough to be invited to serve them permanently on a joint basis. His formal call was drawn up under the supervision of Reverend James Finley and presented to Redstone Presbytery.
Barr subsequently returned east to prosecute his call before the Presbytery of New Castle and to decline the call of the New London church. It was on this trip that he and Mary McDowel were married. Barr has been described as a red-haired, strong-willed Ulster Scot, a brought his bride on horseback over the mountains-a journey of three weeks-and they began their life together in the town of Pittsburgh. From there he traveled to Pitt Township to discharge his duties to his rural congregation.
Barr was not officially installed until April 17, 1787. At that time he was seated as a member of the Presbytery of Redstone at its meeting at
brought his bride on horseback over the mountains-a journey of three weeks-and they began their life together in the town of Pittsburgh. From there he traveled to Pitt Township to discharge his duties to his rural congregation. was seated as a member of the Presbytery of Redstone at its meeting at Round-Hill when he produced "sufficient testimonials and a dismission from the New Castle Presbytery." His elder was James Milligan, of the Pitt Township Church.
The first recorded session meeting of the Pitt Township Church was held on September 24, 1787, with Barr as moderator. In attendance were five elected elder James Milligan, James Wilson, Thomas Sands, Thomas Wilson and John Johnston, who also served as the first Clerk of Session. Minutes of a later meeting during Barr's pastorate show that the session was expanded to include two additional members-William McCrea and John Perry. conservative Calvinist with a legal mind, shrewd business instinct and a well-filled purse. He early formed a friendship with state legislator Hugh Henry Brackenridge, a member of his Pittsburgh congregation, and together they organized the Pittsburgh Academy, which developed into the Western University of Pennsylvania and later into the University of Pittsburgh. He was appointed with businessmen Hugh Ross and Stephen Bayard to form a committee to oversee the building of Pitts-burgh's first market house. On the petition for the formation of Allegheny County, Samuel Barr's name is second on the list.
In his religious work, Barr instituted the practice in the Pittsburgh congregation of catechizing the children and youth on summer Sabbath evenings, thus farsightedly establishing the idea of the later-developing Sunday School.
Eventually a serious dissension arose between the Pittsburgh church and Barr, and the bitter dispute was taken to Presbytery. Some of his influential elders testified against him, and the Presbytery, blaming Barr for the trouble, dissolved the pastoral relationship between them. The matter was then advanced to the Synod. At its meeting in November, 1789 in Pittsburgh, Barr was permitted to cross-examine his accusers, proving himself to be a most capable lawyer. He uncovered a plot of the church leaders to discredit his character so as to avoid paying the salary owed him. Adding to the condemnation of the Pittsburgh congregation was a remonstrance from the Pitt Township church "signed by all of its one hundred and sixty supporters, testifying that Mr. Barr had in all respects acquitted himself to their satisfaction and urging him to return" It was signed by Clerk of Session John Johnston.
As a result of the investigation, several members of the Pittsburgh church were disciplined by Synod and required to testify repentance for their unworthy conduct and suffer public rebuke before they could be restored to church communion.
Although Barr was invited to return to the Pittsburgh church and was willing to do so, according to his daughter Jane, his wife could not accustom herself to the primitive country and the roughness of the people. In an unpublished manuscript their daughter also states, "...being of a timid disposition, she lived in continual terror of the Indians"
Barr then accepted a call from one of the oldest churches in the country, that of Christiana Bridge in New Castle, Delaware. To his family of two children born in Pittsburgh were added ten more after his move to the east. Barr lived to be sixty-seven years old.
During the next fifteen years, while Pitt Township was without a permanent pastor, many important changes were taking place in western Pennsylvania.
Prior to 1788, when the County of Allegheny was formed from portions of Westmoreland and Washington Counties, the wilderness was crossed only by Indian trails and the military roads cut by Generals Braddock and Forbes. Immigration increased, and the character of the population changed. Patents for large tracts of land-many as payment for service in the War of Independence-were taken, and permanent homes were established. Increased travel through the opened "Gateway to the vilest" kept the frontier constantly moving.
The year 1 790 closed a decade of growth of new towns and a decrease of Indian hostilities. No longer was the area occupied only by Indians, hunters, traders and trappers; it had become a safe home for the over-flow population moving in from the south and east. The first census of the United States, taken in 1790, revealed that Allegheny County had slightly more than 10,000 inhabitants, with an estimated total of 63,000 in western Pennsylvania.
Presbyterianism had experienced a growth at least as rapid as that or the population. Two-thirds of the population had a Presbytery for Supplies and on four occasions calls for pastors - all least a Calvinistic - background. The church almost universally sup-ported the cause of freedom, and many members of its well-educated clergy for responsible positions of leadership.
Just three weeks after the inauguration of George Washington as the nation's first president, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church was formed as the highest judicatory of Presbyterianism. Chosen to least a Calvinistic-background. The church almost universally sup-ported the cause of freedom, and many members of its well-educated clergy took responsible positions of leadership.
Just three weeks after the inauguration of George Washington as the nation's first president the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church was formed as the highest judicatory of Presbyterianism. Chosen to preside over its opening session on May 12, 1 789 was Dr. John Witherspoon, the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. Soon a nationwide program of missionary expansion was initiated.
Still, there were not enough trained pastors to supply the needs of the new churches. The few congregations which could pay full-time salaries were requested by their presbyteries to share with those which could not. Many of the pastors who served "full-time" worked on their own farms during the week or supplemented their meager incomes by teaching or utilizing whatever skills they possessed. Money was scarce among the pioneers, and salary promises were often unfulfilled.
After Barr's departure, Pitt Township continued to petition the unavailed-are recorded in its Minutes. The members themselves took on the responsibility for sustaining the congregation and teaching its children.
Even when the church was fortunate enough to have a "supply," a typical Sunday might begin with family worship in the cabin. Then the father in his best jeans, the mother in her linsey-woolsey and the bare-foot children would walk or ride horseback to the log church. At ten o'clock in a dim, crowded room, the service might begin. A leader "lined out" the hymns, singing one line at a time, which the congregation repeated after him. Those in attendance sat on log seats through the long prayers and equally long sermons, many of which depicted the horrors of eternal punishment. Then followed a recess for the lunch which had been brought in baskets or kerchiefs and in the summer was shared outside on the warm grass. After a cool drink from a nearby spring, the congregation returned for an afternoon session with more lined-out psalms, long prayers and a second sermon.
The 1790's produced many changes for the settlers. A large number of squatters had appropriated land illegally on the theory that "it was against the laws of God and Nature that so much land should be idle while so many Christians wanted it to labor on and to raise their bread'' The government, little able to control these settlersmany of whom were Scotch-Irish-finally passed the Land Law of 1792, which con-firmed the rights of squatters to land they had cleared.
Also at this time the purely agricultural way of life was beginning to diversify into various forms of manufacturing in western Pennsylvania. One early industry was the distilling of whiskey from grain. Many farmers raised rye, and the Monongahela whiskey made from it was considered the best available. It could be bartered for food, hardware or dry goods and, if carried across the mountains, sold for profit. Only four bushels of grain could be carried by one pack horse, but, when distilled, the equivalent of six times that amount could be carried. Whiskey was not only of economic importance, but its use was an accepted part of daily life.
When the newly-formed federal government imposed an excise on whiskey, the Ulster-Scots, with their remembrance and ingrained hatred of British excise taxes, were inflamed to rioting. They sent a remonstrance to Congress, asking for repeal of the tax, and adopted a resolution against excise officers. Th excise on whiskey, the Ulster-Scots, with their remembrance and ingrained hatred of British excise taxes, were inflamed to rioting. They sent a remonstrance to Congress, asking for repeal of the tax, and adopted a resolution against excise officers. Their bitterness erupted into violence against those who complied and several of the tax collectors were tarred and feathered. In the summer of 1794, a delegation marched against the home of exciseman John Neville, burning it to the ground.
An attack on Pittsburgh two weeks later was defused and in October, when the federal government sent troops to preserve order, the expedition proved to be unnecessary The Whiskey Rebellion was over and western Pennsylvania farmers submitted to the tax. Throughout the insurrection Presbyterian pastors had consistently counseled against violence and threatened to withhold communion from those who did not comply. The official position of the Presbyterian Church was a decisive factor in the peaceful settlement and a strong show of support for the new federal government
Presbyterianism at this time was experiencing a phenomenal growth. Its missionaries, many of whom were trained within the Presbytery of Redstone was constituted, it had a member-traveled the frontier preaching to settlers are serving at least one church, with the majority serving two or more congregations. With the expanding boundaries of the Presbytery, travel to Presbytery meetings became too time-consuming and maintenance of proper supervision too difficult. Just as the Presbytery of Redstone had been formed from the Presbytery of Donegal, so Redstone itself was divided. In 1 793 the Synod of Virginia granted the request of five members of Redstone to organize themselves into the Presbytery of Ohio. Nine years later the size of Redstone Presbytery was again diminished when authorization was given to five more pioneer preachers to create the Presbytery of Erie.
In 1802 the General Assembly, meeting in Philadelphia, acknowledged the difficulties of travel, the need for closer synodical supervision and divided. In 1793 the Synod of Virginia granted the request of five members of Redstone to organize themselves into the Presbytery of Ohio. Nine years later the size of Redstone Presbytery was again diminished when authorization was given to five more pioneer preachers to create the Presbytery of Erie.
In 1802 the General Assembly, meeting in Philadelphia, acknowledged the difficulties of travel the need for closer synodical supervision and the similarity of interests of the three Presbyteries by creating the Synod of Pittsburgh to include the Presbyteries of Redstone, Ohio and Erie. ship of four ministers; twenty-one years later the Synod of Pittsburgh was constituted with a membership of thirty-six ministers. All of these churches. Thirty-nine additional churches were still seeking pastors.
The struggling but growing Pitt Township congregation continued with increasing success to petition the Presbytery for supplies, especially for the administration of the Lords Supper. In 1803 a providential event occurred which would affect the future of not only the Pitt Town-ship Church, but also the cause of Presbyterianism in western Pennsylvania for nearly a half-century. In the Presbytery of Redstone's record of its meeting at Unity on June 28 are two interestingly juxtapositioned minutes:
The congregation of Pitts Township requested leave to present a Call to Carlisle P.b.y. for Mr. Joseph Brady a Licentiate under their care, which was granted. Ordered that the Clerk furnish the Commissioner from Pitt Township with a Copy of the above minute.
Mr. James Graham a Licentiate under the care of Carlisle Presbytery presented his Credentials and requested liberty to Itinerate in the bounds of this P.b.y. for some time, which request was granted.
The call to Mr. Brady was never Consummated, and Pitt Township continued to send applications to the Presbytery for supplies. At its next meeting, held in Greensburg on April 17,1804, the "Presbytery was opened by a Sermon preached by Mr. James Graham on Luke 16. 16'' In the April eighteenth meeting record, the following minute appears:
Mr. James Graham a Licentiate under the care of the Presbytery of Carlisle applied to be received under the care of this Presbytery-and having produced Credentials of good Standing and fair Character and of his regular dismission from that Presbytery was accordingly received.
The next paragraph contains the actual call:
A Call was also
presented to Mr. James Graham
from the Congregation of Pitt Township
which was put into his hand for Consideration.
And on April 19, Mr. Graham declared his acceptance of the Call which was put into his hand yesterday.
Presbytery agreed to meet at Pitt Township on the 3d Tuesday of Oct. next and to Ordain and install Mr. Graham in that Congregation should the way be clear and Mr. Power was appointed to preach the sermon and Mr. Speer to give the Charge on that occasion. Presbytery appointed Mr. Graham to prepare and preach a sermon on Rev. 10..5.6 at the opening of Presbytery as a part of his trials for ordination
Graham's formal call had been issued at a congregational meeting moderated by Reverend Francis Laird on April 10, 1804. It was signed by the members of the Session and fifteen representatives from the congregation. His annual salary, to be paid every six months, was to be one hundred forty pounds Pennsylvania Currency, which was equal to approximately three hundred fifty dollars.