The story of the JOHAN ADAM DRUMM FAMILY, below, as written by Lewis W. Donar and edited by Brendan D. Strasser first appeared in the newsletter of the Albany Township Historical Society, Spring 1998. Johan Adam Drumm was the 6th great grandfather of the author of this website, R.E. Harrington (phone: 703-780-9109; e-mail: richardharrington31@gmail.com).

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 The MURDER of ADAM DRUM

THE JOHAN ADAM DRUMM FAMILY

Johan Adam Drumm, son of Johan Christian and Anna Elisabeth (Doll) Drumm, was born and raised in Ulmet, Germany, a town in the Palatinate, known as the Pfalz. His exact birth date is unknown, but his christening took place on 9 December 1705 in Ulmet. On 22 January 1733 he was married to Gertraud (Maria Gertrude) Bier, daughter of Peter and Ann Catharine Bier of Ulmet. John Adam and Gertraud became the parents of a son, Johan Christian, born in Ulmet and christened on 17 April 1735, and of whom nothing more is known. He does not appear on ship immigration records and in 1775 documents concerning ownership of the deceased Adam's Albany Township land. George Drumm, Christian's brother, is listed as Adam's sole living heir.

At age 31, Johan Adam Drumm and his wife, Gertraud, arrived in the New World aboard the ship "Samuel", on 29 August 1737. (Johan Christian Doll and Johan Peter Doll were also on board, but any relationship to the mother of Johan Adam has not yet been established.) On the following day, 30 August, Adam appeared at the courthouse in Philadelphia, Pa., to sign the necessary qualification papers, one being the swearing of allegiance to the King of England, George II, and the other a pledge to abide by the laws of the province of Pennsylvania. Being able to write, he signed both by his own hand.

Adam established himself as a land owner in Albany Township, Berks County, Pa., by warrant dated 20 January 1736 for a tract containing 205 acres. In the year 1738, a son, George, was born; his exact birth date is unknown. On 4 November, 1741, it is noted on a draft of a tract of land drawn in favor of Andreas Hagenbuch that Adam Drum was already, in possession of the neighboring tract. The Drumm tract adjoined the Hagenbuch tract on the northwest, between it and the tree line of the Blue Mountain.

Keeping this in mind, we turn now to another tract of land eight-tenths of a mile farther to the West. This tract is identified on a draft of "The great road of Catawissey to Philadelphia" drawn in February 1752, along which is noted the course and distance of a short stretch of this road, East, 43 perches [about 710 feet], "Along the land of Adam Trum." Evidence exists that at some time between 1741 and 1752, Adam sold his initial tract to Frantz and Martin Bailey and took residence on his second purchase. At a much later time, the first purchase was in the possession of Mr. Clifford Lutz, the second the farm of Mr. Oskar Dietrich. It must be assumed that the Drumm family was living on this second plantation when the following events occurred.

It was evidently a hot Wednesday afternoon with thunderstorms threatening. At that time of day the family quite probably was gathered for the evening meal when suddenly two things took place almost simultaneously. A thunderstorm of major proportion broke over the countryside, and the Drumm family was brutally attacked by Indians. The date was 22 June 1757.

In a letter written on 25 June 1757 to David Schulrz of Hanover Township, Berks County, Pa., James Reed of Reading, Pa., gives the following account of this attack:

"Last night Jacob Levan came to see me, and showed me a letter of the 22d inst. From Lieutenant Engle by which he advised Mr. Levan of the murder of one Adam Trump (an alternate spelling of "Drumm) in Allemangel, by Indians that evening, and that they had taken Trump's wife and his son, a lad of nineteen years old, prisoners; but the woman escaped, though, upon her flying, she was closely pursued by one of the Indians (of which there were seven), that he threw his tomahawk at her, and cut her badly ill the neck, but 'tis hoped not dangerously. This murder happened in as great a thunderstorm as has happened for twenty years past: which extended itself over a great part of this and Northampton Counties--for I found much mischief done, as I came from Easton, Northampton County, to this place, the length of fifty two miles, the day before yesterday, and which I hear has broken down the dams of seven forges, and six gristmills, on Maxatany creek, chiefly in this county; the rest in Philadelphia County. I almost forgot to mention (but am so hurried just now, 'tis no wonder) that the Indians, after scalping Adam Trump, left a knife, and a halpert, or spear, fixed to a pole in his body."

Adam Trump was dead, his wife was badly wounded and his son, George, was a captive of the Indians who having stolen, a quantity of liquor out of the house, moved westward and arrived at a hill (today known as Hawk Mountain). The consumption of liquor was having its effect on the Indians, for they began to make much noise and dance around in the road. As they ascended the hill, things were in such a state that at an opportune time, George made his escape by running down the other side of the hill. [This writer is familiar with this stretch of road in its unimproved state and can appreciate the effort made by George in descending this water-soaked ground road in the dark of night; having descended the mountain, he immediately had the Schuylkill river to cross and then a great deal of travel in a very hilly countryside to get to his destination at Fort Lebanon.]

Captain Jacob Morgan, the commander of Fort Lebanon, which was located several miles west from where George Drumm made his escape, wrote in his daily journal for 24 June 1757:

"Yesterday morning about 8 of the clock, the son of one Adam Drumm, (whom the Indians had killed the night before in Allemingle [sic] and took his son captive) found an opportunity to make his escape and came to this Fort. He informed me that the Indians (8 in number) had got a quantity of liquor out of his father's house and came to a hill about 7 miles from this Fort, where they got to dancing, and made themselves drunk he took the opportunity and escaped to the Fort. An Indian followed him near a mile and a half whom our men tracked; so as soon as the young man came I sent out a party to the place where the man left them, but when they came there they only found an old pair of mogasins and a deer skin whom they had left, but the Indians were fled; they tract't them as far as they could but night coming, were obligated to return home. I have this day sent out a party to intercept them in the way to the gap of the second mountain. (where Schuylkill [this should read: Swatara Creek] comes through) being the place which I found they often retreat back; the men will range about 2 days."

George returned to his home and continued operation of the plantation; however, nothing further has been learned about his mother. On 16 October 1757, we find that George Trumm and Elisabeth Hem, single, witness the baptism of Elisabeth Scherff, daughter of Christoph and Christina Scherff, four years before the erection in 1760-61 of the first New Bethel (or Corner) Church in Albany Township.

Sometime in late 1759, George married Maria Catharina Strasser, daughter of Johann Nicolaus and Maria Catharine Strasser of Albany Township; also in 1759, we find George on the Albany Township tax list.

On the 17 July 1760, George Trumm and Maria Catharina witnessed the baptism of Maria Catharina Schwenck, daughter of Hans Nicolaus and Maria Barbara Schwenck. Also in 1760, during the construction of the New Bethel Church, George contributed 1 pound in cash money, 13 days of hand labor, and 3 days of hauling with a team of horses. George and Catharina's first child was born on 22 August 1760 and was baptized 5 weeks later on 18 September 1760, with the name of Johann Henrich. Elisabeth Strasser was one of the sponsors, though as Elisabeth was the name of both Catharine's mother and one of her sisters, which one served as sponsor is unknown.

Other children were Anna Maria, born 13 July 1763; Maria Catharina, born 19 March 1766; Eva Barbara, born 26 September 1767; Johan George, born 6 April 1773 Johannes, born 11 June 1778; and Charles born 1780.

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The above story of the murder of Johan Adam Drum (9 December 1707 - 22 June 1757) did not occur in Monroe County. However, relatives of Johan Adam Drum ultimately migrated to and established the Drum line in Monroe County, Ohio.  Upon immigration to America in August of 1737, Adam Drum and his wife of four and half years settled on land about 20 miles west of the present location of Allentown, Pennsylvania. This was the approximate site where he was killed.

Adam's nephew, Johann Philipp Drum (3 Mar 1721 - 14 Nov 1788), son of Adam's older brother, Johann Simon Drum (8 Sep 1689 - ?), also immigrated to America and settled in Pennsylvania. Two generations later, this branch of the Drum family in the person of Jacob Drum (1770 - 3 Oct 1842) moved to Graysville, Monroe County, Ohio.

Adam Drum of this story, therefore, was the great-granduncle of the first known resident of the Monroe County Drum family, Jacob Drum (1770 - 3 Oct 1842). At least two Monroe County lines spawned from the 1808 migration of Jacob Drum (1770 - 3 Oct 1842) to Monroe County. One branch was that William Drum (1824 - ?) who was the subject of an article in the Hardesy/Caldwell Atlas*. Another branch leads to Monroe County's own, Dr. Shirley A. Harmon, whose tireless work contributes so extensively to the Monroe County, Ohio genealogy effort.

 

* The source of the article about of Phillip Drum (1799 - ?) and his son, William Drum (1824 - ?) is a book titled the "Combined History and Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio." The material for the "Combined History and Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio." was taken from two nineteenth century books: (1) "History of Monroe County Ohio," a product of the H.H. Hardesty & Co., publishers, Chicago and Toledo, 1882 and (2) "Caldwell's Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio," a product of Atlas Publishing Company, Mount Vernon, Ohio, 1898. Copies of the "Combined History and Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio" are available from the Monroe County Historical Society in Woodsfield, Ohio. They can be reached at: phone 740-472-1933 and e-mail address moncohissoc@att.net

                Last modified 22 August 2014 by reh

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