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Home: Surnames: Freeland Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Fort Freeland Penn Family
Posted by: Michael W. Freeland (ID *****1711) Date: November 11, 2007 at 19:21:44
In Reply to: Fort Freeland Penn Family by Margaret Williams of 1275

In the year 1772 Jacob Freeland, Samuel Gould, Peter Vincent, John Vincent and his son Cornelius Vincent, and Timothy Williams, with their respective families, cut their way through and settled within some two miles of where the fort was afterward built. They were from Essex county, New Jersey. Jacob Freeland brought the irons for a grist mill, and in the years 1773 and 1774 he built one on the Warrior run. There were several more families moved up from the same place, and they lived on friendly terms with the Indians until 1777, when they began to be troublesome and to remove their own families. In the summer of 1778 they had to leave the country, and when they returned in the fall they picketed around a large two-story log house which had been built by Jacob Freeland for his family, inclosing half an acre of ground. The timbers were set close and were about twelve feet high; the gate was fastened with bars inside. Into this fort or house the families of Jacob Freeland, Sr., Jacob Freeland, Jr., John Lytle, Michael Freeland, John Vincent, Peter Vincent, George Pack, Cornelius Vincent, Moses Kirk, James Durham, Samuel Gould, Isaac Vincent, and Daniel Vincent all gathered and lived that winter. * * * In the spring of 1779 the men planted corn but were occasionally surprised by the Indians, but nothing serious occurred until the 21st day of July; as some of them were at work in a cornfield back of the ort they were attacked by a party of Indians about nine o'clock A. M., and Isaac Vincent, Elias Freeland, and Jacob Freeland, Jr., were killed, and Benjamin Vincent and Michael Freeland were taken prisoners. Daniel Vincent was chased by them, but he out-ran them, and escaped by leaping a very high log fence. When the Indians surprised them, Benjamin Vincent (then ten years of age) hid himself in a furrow, but he thought he would be more secure by climbing a tree, as there was a woods near, but they saw him and took him prisoner; he was ignorant of the fate of the others until about two o'clock P. M., when an Indian thrust a bloody scalp in his face, and he knew it was his brother Isaac's hair. * * * Nothing again occurred until the morning of the 29th; about daybreak, as Jacob Freeland, Sr., was going out of the gate, he was shot, and fell inside of the gate. The fort was surrounded by about three hundred British and Indians, commanded by Captain McDonald; there
were but twenty-one men in the fort, and but little ammunition. [the narrative continues with a detailed account of the massacre]. Bell's History of Northumberland County, PA, pp. 125-126, online at

The ancestry of the Freeland/Vreeland family that settled at Fort Freeland has been researched, and there are two published items in the collections of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania: (1) The Freeland families of New Jersey and Northumberland County, Pa. : miscellaneous notes; and (2) A Freeland history: being a genealogical record of the descendants of Mary (Pollock) Freeland of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 1746-1971 / by Harry A. Focht [and others].

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