Lucius W. Chapman journal 1864
Collection Scope and Content Note
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This collection is made up of letters that Baptist minister Thomas Smiley of White Deer Hole Valley, Pennsylvania, wrote to Edward Bird of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 2, 1814 (3 pages); September 23, 1814 (3 pages); and September 27, 1814 (2 pages). Smiley explained the history and details of a dispute about the ownership and use of a religious meetinghouse and schoolhouse that had been constructed in 1808. Part of the building stood on land owned by Edward Bird, who sold the tract to Henry Wise and Peter Brause, Germans and dissenting English Methodists who had recently moved to White Deer Hole Valley. Smiley outlined the ensuing dispute between Wise and Brause, who claimed ownership of the building, and his congregation, who had initially funded the project, and requested that Bird intervene. Smiley discussed several unsuccessful compromises that the Baptists had offered to the newcomers and reported that Wise and Brause had broken a lock and illegally entered the building. The letters pertain to the building's funding and construction, surveying efforts, land prices, and possible agreements between the involved parties. The first letter is co-signed by John Oakes and John Lewis, and the beginning of Edward Bird's response is present on the third letter.