|Home of David Bradford in the town of Washington, |
Washington County, PA
We learned that in 1794 there were a "series of meetings at
Who attended these meetings? Why were they so desperate as to be willing to rob the US Mail? And what of the mysterious Blackhorse Tavern? Did it really exist?
From the Monongahela Valley History, Section 5, we read:
"The rebels next move was the most disastrous. They conspired to rob the
mail because they wanted to find out what the dispatches going from
Pittsburgh to Harrisburg and Philadelphia said about them. The plot was
devised at the Canonsburg Tavern of Henry Westbay, called the Black Horse
Tavern, and was carried out by William Bradford, cousin of David Bradford,
and William Mitchell, hired by David Hamilton.
"They waylaid the mail carrier about 22 miles east of Pittsburgh near the
present Route 51, took only the letters they were interested in, tied the
carrier so that they would have time to get away. The mail was taken to
Benjamin Parkison/Parkinson and then to Col. Canon and David Bradford in
Canonsburg. Although there was to be a meeting at Parkinson's Ferry in 17
days, Bradford became so incensed by the content of the letters that the
militia was commmanded to meet at the Mingo Church and proceed to Braddocks
Field to march on Pittsburgh." (For more information on the outcome, see previous post).
We see 3 names in that paragraph of interest to us genealogically speaking. First, as mentioned already, is Rebecca's cousin, David, but who is David's cousin that is mentioned, a William Bradford? He is none other than Rebecca's own brother, who was a 15-year-old teenager at this time.
They had all grown up together as children in Cecil County, Maryland. As adults, several of the families eventually headed west and settled very near to each other in Fayette County and adjoining Washington County, in southwestern Pennsylvania, living only about 45 miles apart. Rebecca and her husband, William Miller, along with her mother and siblings, lived in the Dunbar/Connellsville area of Fayette County, and David, several other siblings and his parents settled near the town of Washington in Washington County, PA. Canonsburg was only a few miles north of Washington. William must have been close to his older cousin David, who in turn must have trusted the young William to help carry out the robbery of the U.S. mail!
In fact, both of there faces are immortalized on 500 hand-made Whiskey Rebellion Commemorative plates! (see below)
|Whiskey Rebellion Commemorative Plaque|
And finally, the Black Horse Tavern was indeed the stuff of legend, as the rebels met there to make their plans within its walls of secrecy. Some sources identify the tavern as the birthplace of the Whiskey Rebellion. According to the newspaper, the Beaver County Times, in a May 27, 1976 article that included comments from local historian, James "Doc" Herron, it is also where the stolen mail was read: "In a backroom of the inn, in the dead of night, Bradford and six others opened and were infuriated by five critical letters addressed by Pittsburghers" (see source #1 below). Was David's young cousin and our Rebecca's brother, William Bradford, one of "the six?"
I believe he was. From a previous post we read “William Bradford, a relative of the writer, had procured the pouch near
|The Black Horse Tavern, Canonsburg, PA|
Your comments are most welcome!
Source #1: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2002&dat=19760527&id=dV0vAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FdsFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2591,5860390