The Borough Of Upland.
If it be correct that Caleb Pusey made the noted visit, in 1688, to the Indian town on the Brandywine, where the iron-works of William Twaddell were subsequently erected, when the province was started from its propriety by the rumor that the aborigines were about to begin hostilities and massacre the whites, then, indeed, it is true that "Caleb Pusey, going out unarmed into the forest to meet a threatened attack of the savages, is a more heroic figure than blustering Miles Standish, girt with the sword he fought with in Flanders." To the left of the fireplace, within easy reach, still remains the deep square hole in the wall which the early settlers frequently made in their dwellings, as a sort of tobacco-pouch, so that the consolation which comes with smoke should be always close at hand and accessible to their guests and to themselves.
Caleb Pusey was one of the most active men of the early settlers in Pennsylvania, honest, sagacious, and absolutely fearless. Notwithstanding his ignorance of "school learning,"1 he has left an impress on our State history which will ever remain. He was a last-maker by trade, and emigrated in 1682, accompanied with his wife, Ann, settling at the present site of Upland. His name is inseparable from that of Chester Mills, although long before his death he had parted with all interest in the land and business carried on there. He died in February, 1726/7, leaving no male descendant bearing his name.
It is hardly necessary, at this day, to correct the impression conveyed by Richard Townsend, in the extract published by Proud,2 or the direct statement of Stephen Day, in his "Historical Collections of Pennsylvania," that Richard Townsend "erected the dwelling for the accommodation of his family while he was tending the first mill erected in the province." That statement has been corrected so often that it may be accepted, if any historical fact has been established, as no longer a subject for refutation. The land on which the house stood was a tract of one hundred acres patented to Pusey, Fourth month 10, 1684, and was known by the name "Landing Ford," the King's road crossing Chester just above his plantation.
1 Smith's "History of Pennsylvania;" Hazard's Register, vol. vii. p.83.|
2 History of Pennsylvania, vol. i. p. 229.
The Chester Mills. - The first mill in the province of Pennsylvania was the Swedish water-mill, built by Governor Printz, on the east side of Cobb's Creek, near the noted Blue Bell Tavern, at Paschalville, in the county of Philadelphia. But at the time Penn obtained possession of the province that structure had fallen into disuse and had been abandoned to decay, it necessarily having been rudely constructed. The first mills in the county of Chester were brought to the province in the "Welcome," with Penn, having been framed and fitted so that they might be put together with expedition when the land of promise had been reached. Previous to the departure of William Penn from England, in 1682, he entered into a verbal copartnership with Philip Ford, John Bellars, Daniel Worley, Daniel Quare, John Barker, Richard Townsend, John Bickley, Thomas Burberry, and Caleb Pusey, all at that time in England, and it was agreed among them to erect one or more water-mills, to the cost of which they were to contribute in proportionate shares, for the agreement among themselves partook of the nature of a stock company, and each party received the interest in the venture in proportion to the amount contributed. Caleb Pusey was appointed agent and manager of the "said joint concern." The tract on which the mill was erected was patented to Pusey, "for the use of the mill," Second month 5, 1690. Many of the partners in the enterprise never came to the province. William Penn, we are told by Hon. Joseph J. Lewis, in his sketches of Chester County, was present when the first dam was made. It is documentary evidence, in an old deed, dated Dec. 19, 1705, now owned by the Crozer family, that in 1683, Caleb Pusey, "with the advice of the sd Proprietary and such others of the said partners as there were in the Province," erected a "corn mill on Chester creek, near his new dwelling house," which mill, with the dam belonging to it, were soon carried away by the flood. Caleb Pusey afterwards, by advice of Penn and "ye other partner that was here" (doubtless Richard Townsend), erected a little above where the first mill stood another grist- and saw-mill upon part of the twenty acres patented for the use of the mill at the cost of the firm. The second dam was in turn swept away by flood, and he erected a third dam, at the distance of a mile beyond where the others were located, and constructed a race to convey the water to the mill. The expenses attending these constant repairs were so great that the outlay far exceeded the earnings of the mill, and Pusey borrowed money from time to time from Robert Turner, a merchant of Philadelphia, in order to pay for the improvements.
In settlement of these advances Pusey, on June 21, 1688, drew a bill of exchange on Daniel Worley & Co. (the court record gives the name Whearley), merchants, of London, partners in the mills, for one hundred and eighty-seven pounds, payable at forty days' sight to Robert Turner or order. On Oct. 15, 1688, the original bill was presented to the drawee, who said "that he would not accept the sd bill for that the others Concerned in the same would not allow their proportionable shares," and the bill was protested. At the following March court, 1689/90, Turner sued Pusey, who came into court and acknowledged judgment for £293 10s. 4d. Considerable delay was had in issuing execution, apparently with the intention of having the matter adjusted, but the partners still refusing, with the exception of Penn and Pusey - Richard Townsend had sold his interest to Pusey several years before - the mills were finally taken on execution, June 14, 1692, and the coroner, Jacob Simcock,