The Paxtang or Paxton Boys

HISTORY OF HANOVER TOWNSHIP AND WYOMING VALLEY

Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
By: Henry Blackman Plumb, 1885, 498 pp.
Robert Baur, Printer and Stationer, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Website Compiled By: James H. Culbert


A DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE PAXTANG OR PAXTON BOYS,
AND A LIST OF THOSE WHO ACCOMPANIED CAPTAIN LAZARUS STEWART TO WYOMING VALLEY IN FEBRUARY 1770, pp. 144-150

This page last updated: 6 Jul 2009

Note: Additions to the information found in Plumb's History of Hanover are shown below in red text.

Captain Lazarus STEWART and thirty-nine other men in his company came from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to the Wyoming Valley in the Fall of 1769.  Since nothing more is known about their activities in the Valley at that time, it is presumed that they were driven out of the Valley with the other Yankee settlers that September.

However, in early February, 1770, the Paxton Boys returned to the valley, and along with ten men from Connecticut, surprised the Pennamite garrison at Fort Durkee in Wilkes-Barre, expelling them from the Valley.  STEWART's men then moved the four pound cannon housed at Mill Creek to the fort.  The list of men in STEWART's company from 1770 follows:

ASPEN, George
CARPENTER, William
ELY, George
FARRINGS, Nicolas
FAULK, Jacob
FRENCH, Thomas
HAINE, Ronemus
HARPER, Adam
HOLLENBAUGH, Matthew
KIDD, Peter
KIDD, Robert
LARD, John
MCDONNELL, John
MCDONNER, John
MEANE, George
NEAL, John
NEAL, Joseph
PHILLIP, Conrad
POOP, John
RELKER, Casper
ROBINSON, John
ROBINSON, Thomas
SAULT, John
SEAMAN, Peter
SHALMAN, Lodwick
SHAWLEY, Luke
SHERER, Adam
SIMPSON, John
STAGARD, Baltzer
STAGARD, Jacob
STELLIE, John
STEWART, James
STEWART, Captain Lazarus
STEWART, Lazarus, Jr.
STEWART, William
STORER, Adam
SZCHEWER, Peter
YOUNG, Lazarus
YOUNG, Robert
YOUNG, William

Within the next one to two years, all of these men had dropped out of STEWART's company, except the following eight:

ROBINSON, John
ROBINSON, Thomas
STEWART, James
STEWART, Capt. Lazarus
STEWART, Lazarus, Jr.
STEWART, William
YOUNG, Robert
YOUNG, William

Of those that had left, they were partly replaced by the following ten, making a new total of eighteen men:

ASPIA, Josias
COFFRIN, Hugh
DONAHOW, John
GRAHAM, William
ROBINSON, James
STEWART, Charles
YOUNG, David
YOUNG, John
the above eight being from Lancaster Co., PA,
and
FRANKLIN, John
GORE, Silas
the above two being from Connecticut.

A letter dated 15 Jan 1770 was written by the Susquehanna Company to this group from Lancaster County, offering John MONTGOMERY, Lazarus YOUNG, and their associates, a township of land six miles square within the lands of the Connecticut colony purchased at Wyoming in exchange for their cooperation in protecting the settlements.  [It should be noted that John MONTGOMERY is not listed as one of Captain Lazarus STEWART's associates, and that STEWART and his associates are not named in this letter.  This discrepancy cannot be explained.]

John MCDONNER sold his right in February, 1770, and left.  During the months of March and April there was fighting.  Baltzer or Jacob STAGORD (STAGARD) was killed.  Others were also wounded or killed.  Some of STEWART's men began to leave the group at this time, to be replaced with others.  The group left the Valley on April 29th.

The land was surveyed and mapped prior to being divided by lot.  Farming went well.  In September, 1770 the Pennamites surprised the settlers, capturing some, while the others fled the Valley.  The leaders were jailed and the remaining captives were forced to leave.  A garrison of Pennamites was left at the fort.  On 18 Dec 1770, STEWART returned with thirty men to capture the garrison at the fort by night.  All but six of the garrison were captured, and expelled from the Valley.

On 20 Jan 1771 the Pennamites attacked the fort with superior numbers, but were repulsed.  During the night STEWART and his men abandoned the fort.  STEWART and BUTLER returned in April, laid siege to the fort, repulsed all attempts to aid it, and carried on successful farming operations in the Valley at the same time.  The fort surrendered on 14 Aug 1771.  Thus ended the first Pennamite and Yankee War, after three years of fighting.

Hanover was divided into three divisions, each with thirty-one lots.  Twenty-eight of these were given to STEWART and his associates, the remaining three were kept for public uses.  [See Hanover First Division Lots]  Each lot was forty-two rods wide, and ran from the Susquehanna River back five miles, beyond the top of Big Mountain.  Each lot comprised about 430 acres.  The first division lots were allotted in 1771 or 1772, probably in proportion to the services rendered to the Susquehanna Company.  At the time the lots were apportioned, there were only eighteen proprietors.


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