This post continues the story of Rebecca Bradford Miller’s brother, our great, great uncle, William Bradford. In the last post we learned that Rebecca and her brothers lost their father, Samuel Bradford, probably very soon after their move (in about 1783) from Cecil County, Maryland, to
Of this time, family researcher, Shirley Ramsey writes: “It appears that the father of William died when the son was but a child, and the little fellow was placed in a family of strangers, somewhere in Virginia, with whom he lived until he grew to the years of manhood. In 1819 he left
This post will examine the period of “lost time” on which the preceding paragraph is notably silent – that is, from when William as a child was “placed in a family of strangers” until the time that he, as a fully grown, married man, moved to
I submit that it was to his Uncle James Bradford’s family, just over the county line in Washington Co, PA (an area that historically was considered part of Virginia1) that young William was sent. What of the “strangers” remark? Though relatives, possibly these people were like strangers to the young William. While the families probably lived near each other in Cecil County, Maryland, William’s uncle and family had moved west earlier, and this youngster probably had not seen his relatives for a long time. Thus, they would have been as “strangers” to William. His uncle James had become fairly well-to-do and William’s mother, Sarah Bradford, having just lost her husband, probably felt it wise to send her young son to live with her better-situated brother-in-law in the next county.
Here, William would have grown up with his cousins, including the “older and wiser” David, and William’s association with this particular cousin changed his world.
For this cousin, David Bradford, grew up to become the infamous instigator of the little known, but very important incident in American history known as the Whiskey Rebellion.
For more information about the Whiskey Rebellion, the reader is encouraged to search online for the many accounts of this historical event2, as well as to review posts from this blog (just put “Whiskey Rebellion” in the blog search box).
To summarize, in 1789 the Federal Government imposed a tax on whiskey, a commodity of great importance to farmers of southwest
David Bradford (who, again, was cousin to our Rebecca and her brothers, including William Bradford, the subject of this post) was, in fact, the ringleader of this rebellion. And he brought his younger cousin William right into the middle of the fray!
David and other insurgents were certain that President George Washington was going to send troops to quell the rebellion. In order to discover more details of the government’s plans, David concocted a plan to steal the
Word reaches the President and within days
John Cannon Esq