As children, Rebecca, her younger brother William (b. 1770), sister Jane, and another brother David (not the David above who was their cousin), grew up in Cecil County, Maryland. It is said that their cousin, the infamous David, also grew up in Maryland, and it is assumed that this was in or near Cecil County, so the cousins no doubt would have known each other. Rebecca's Uncle James Bradford had moved to western Pennsylvania in the early 1780's, some of his adult children having already located there. His son, David Bradford, was admitted to the Washington County bar when he was 22 years old in 1782. Just one year later, this brilliant young laywer was apppointed Deputy Attorney General of the State of Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, his aunt and uncle, Samuel and Sarah Bradford, had remained behind in Maryland. Their daughter Rebecca had grown and married William Miller in 1778. About four years later, William and Rebecca also moved out west to Fayette County, which adjoins Washington County, Pennsylvania, again only about 50 miles from their cousin David. At some point, Rebecca's brother William Bradford also moved to Washington County near his cousin David. William and David were obviously close in proximity, in familial ties, and apparently in friendship, and it was to William that David Bradford looked for help in carrying out the plan to rob the U.S. mail. Five years later, William would marry Margaret Parkinson, believed to be the daughter of Benjamin Parkinson, another one of the rebels. But at this time, as far as is known, William was 24 and unmarried.
The dark plan conceived, it was now just a matter of carrying it out. In the next post we will examine the deed itself.
(picture courtesy of www.bradfordhouse.org)