The Associators

JH Battle History of Bucks County

page 137 -  Happily, Bucks county was never called upon to resist the ravages of an Indian war in her own borders, but her citizens responded none the less promptly to the call of her suffering neighbors. The event of hostilities from a foreign source had been anticipated in the county for some years. In the latter part of 1747 two hundred and sixty citizens of Philadelphia formed a military association for the purpose of placing the city in a posture of defense, and had proposed to erect batteries and supply an armament for the protection of the city against a naval attack. They appealed to the assembly and the proprietors for countenance and support, and got very little of either. On New Year’s day, however, eleven companies paraded in public, and the governor issued commissions to their chosen officers. This spirit extended to the surrounding country, and by the latter part of May, 1748, Bucks had eleven "associated" companies organized into a regiment under command of Colonel Alexander Graydon.(14*) The companies were organized with respect to township lines, were subject to no discipline, save such as they voluntarily adopted, and were formally recognized by the provincial authorities so far only as to grant commissions to the officers. Although freedom from imminent danger by way of the river tended to diminish the military ardor of the associators, these organizations were still maintained until the ominous murmurs of the Indians supplied a new incentive, and when these murmurs gave place to actual hostilities the associators were promptly heard urging the more effective organization of a regular militia.(15*)

On November 12, 1755, certain citizens of Philadelphia appealed to the assembly declaring that at a time when a bold and barbarous enemy had advanced within about a hundred miles of the metropolis, carrying murder and desolation along with them; when the country is already stained with blood, and upwards of a thousand families dispersed over the province, the only security of the people is in an established militia. At the same time the Friends deprecated all such suggestions and formally expressed apprehensions that "many among us will be under the necessity of suffering rather than consenting thereto by the payment of a tax for such purposes." Reports of savage hostilities and appeals for help continued to come in, and the assembly, divided in its sense of duty, finally struck a compromise. On the 17th of November, a bill was presented, in which it was shown that a majority of the legislative body were Friends and conscientiously opposed to war, but as it appeared from certain letters received, that the Indians had passed the Blue mountains, had broke into the county of Berks and were then committing murder, devastation, and other kind of horrid mischief, and that many of other religious faith had come into the province, to whom warlike operations were not obnoxious, it was deemed best to recognize and employ the companies formed and to be hereafter formed. This bill, however, only made it lawful for the freemen of the province to form themselves into companies and organize as it was customary for a militia to do. No youth under age, nor any bought or indented servant was to be admitted. No definite term of service was fixed, and it was provided that none should be compelled nor led to go more than three days’ journey beyond the inhabited part of the province, nor detained in garrison longer than three weeks, without the written consent of volunteers. Practically, the law simply recognized the associators, and permitted the government to employ them in resisting the inroads of the savages.


The recommendation of the first congress and the county committee that the people should associate "to improve themselves in the military art" was not received with general favor, and in September, 1775, Henry Wynkoop reported the number of associators at 1688, and the number of those refusing at 1613, notwithstanding the provincial authorities had adopted a resolution to consider such as public enemies. Bucks county was early represented at "the front," however. Early in 1776 John Lacey recruited a company of sixty-four men, with Samuel Smith as first lieutenant, Michael Ryan as second, and John Bartley and James Forbes as ensigns, for Anthony Wayne’s regiment. Robert Sample, of Buckingham, commanded a company in the Tenth Pennsylvania regiment; Augustus Willett was a captain in Colonel Bull’s regiment; Alexander Graydon, of Bristol, was a captain in Colonel Shea’s regiment, and Samuel Benezet was major in the Sixth Pennsylvania. Beside these regiments, that of Colonel McGaw drew many recruits from Bucks county.


Unknown source

Nockamixon COMPANY. Whereas, It appears from authentic accounts received.£rom England. that it is the design of the Present )''linisters to enforce the great unjust and cruel acts of Parliament complained of in the :Most Loyal and Dutiful manner by the Congress, And Whereas an AdditiQnal Number of Troops with a fleet have been ordered for America to assist the Troops now in Boston, in the Execution of the said acts, We the subscribers agree that we will associate for the Purpose of Learning the Military Exercise, and for Defending our Property, Liberty and Lives against all attempts to deprive us of them. Captain, Jacob Schoupe; first lieutenant. Nicholas Custort; second lieutenant, Solomon Litcheay; ensign, Averpack (Overbeck) : sergeants, Deanis Prusle, Jacob Burstrusser (Burgstresser), George Adams, \VilIiam Custort; corporals, Jacob Rufe, Ralph Sevele. Richard Trouer, Godfrey :MilIen. Privates-Jacob Bidleman, Jacob ~lyer, John Hoocos, George Overbeck, Jr., Grafe lIIathimas l\Iarman, Andrew Emig, John Broogh, Nicholas McCarty, Henry Franganfeld, Felix Deel, Stofel Preel, Lawrence Messer, Michael Sheck, Jacob Leaghtle, John Raisner, Conard IfIulman, Jacob Kole, Anthony Gresler, Peter Leagtle, Stofel Longley, Joseph IKole, George Kole, Jacob Zimpston, Jonathan Gregary, Jacob Roof (Rufe), Solomon Wolfanger, John Roof, Michael Good, Philip Grobern, John Klinger, Christian Trauger, Henry Roof, Adam Blak, John Ulmer, William Gregary, Paul Rimer, John Tenbrook, Frederick Fook, Andrew Hamertson, John Eyleif, Andrew Dretenback, Jacob );eemand, Peter Stem, Adam Stem, John Kalf, Peter Zikenfoos, David Gordon, Henry Adams, Jacob Rickey, Jacob Young, John Hegar, James Gordon, Philip Idam, John Younkin, John Sheek, John Hufman, Henry Shoup, Jacob Lightcap, Melgar vVydenmyer, Morris Morris, Lawrence Pirson, Uria Dipy. John Jacob Zinkenfoos. John Deemer, Christian Trauger, Henry Reegle, John Reegle, Daniel Reegle, Michael Cole, David Starn, John Dreetenback, Philip Pirson, Andrew Preel. Jacob Ashborn, John Nolden, Daniel Snider, Michael Krause, John Michaels.

Nockamixon Associators under age.- Thomas Stewart, Alexander McElroy, George McElroy, John McComan, Pqilip Gresler, Kilian Gresler, Jacob Harman, Samuel :\Iorrison, Thomas Liade. John Jamison. David Jamison, Hugh Jamison, Peter Loutonston, John Loughry, Amos Loughry.


The earliest qualification for electors in Pennsylvania, was fixed at a meeting of deputies held at Carpenters' Hall, Philadelphia, June i8, I776, which decided upon calling a provisional convention for the purpose of forming a new government for the Province. At this election all were allowed to vote who were "Associators, 21 years of age, and had paid a tax or been assessed." The election was held July I5, I776. In the Constitution formed that year, and the first in the State, the right of suffrage was conferred on "every freeman of the full age of 21 years, having resided in the State for the space of one whole year, next before the day of election for representatives, and paid taxes during that time." In the Constitution of 1790, the qualification for electors was practically the same as at present; the voter must be a citizen, of the age of 21, must have resided in the State two years, and paid a State or county tax. This Constitution with an occasional amendment, remained in force until succeeded by that of 1838, in which a radical change was made in the qualification of an elector. What this was, and how it came about I purpose to state in this paper.
Papers Read before the Bucks County Historical Society


(For full and complete list of associators and non-associators see Pennsylvania

Archives, Second Series, Vol XIV, pages 143, 227.)










DELHAAS Class 59



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