Monday, July 4, 2011


Philadelphia Inquirer July 4th 1909
Chalkley Mansion was said to have been built by the Quaker Missionary by that name around 1701, when he first settled on the plantation of forty five hundred acres at Frankford on the Delaware. Chalkley was also master of his own sailing vessel with which he traded in the West Indies and used to spread the Quaker Religion throughout the early colonies from New England to the Carolina's. For many years past the John Wetherill family has owned the property since early in the 1800's. A son, Edward later had greatly improved the property and made a handsome country home until the Pennsylvania Railroad built a bridge across the Delaware and ran its tracks within yards of the mansion. Lately the property has been a delightful country home for children and their mothers when Edward Wetherill loaned the stately mansion to the College Settlement of Philadelphia. It will soon be closed and become a municipal improvement, an industrial park.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


It was near the middle of the year 1669 that the Swedish adventurer, one Marcus Jacobson, alias John Brickson, &c., but better known to the inhabitants of the Delaware Colony as "Long Finn" because of his lofty stature. Long Finn had succeeded in imposing himself on the Swedes as the son of Konnigsmark, a noted general of Sweden, and it was alleged , was inciting the settlers of that nationality to rebellion against the English authority. with the design of re-establishing the Swedish power to the province. With his was associated a wealthy Finn, Henry Coleman. The Rev. Lawrence Lock, former Swedish Chaplin , was said to have played the "Trumpeter" to the disorder, and Mrs Pappygoya, a daughter of Governor Printz, was charged with intermeddling " in so unworthy a design".
Governor Lovelace, of the New York Colony, issued an order for the arrest of Long Finn and his fellow conspirators on August 2, 1669. Along with the arrest order were instructions as to the manner in which a trial should be conducted and this trial became the first 'trial by jury' in Delaware..
A Captain Carry caused the arrest of the Long Finn, who was thrown into the fort at New Castle on Delaware in 'irons'. Henry Coleman \, learning of his intended apprehension , abandoned his property, fled to the Indians, with whom he seemed to have had a great influence, and is never more heard of. Dominic Lock and Mrs. Pappehoya gave security for their appearance to answer the charges against them when required.
The case was held at New Castle, December 6, 1669 and heard by the commission appointed by the governor and the jury. The jury, as was expected, found Jacobson guilty who was thereupon sentenced in accordance with the punishment prescribed by the Council, that Long Finn Maucus Jacobson, " shall be publicly and severely whipped and branded in the face with the letter "R" , with a larger inscription upon his breast, after which he be secured until he can be sent and sold to the Barbadoes or some other remote plantation".
On January 25, 1670, the "Long Finn" was put aboard the ship "Fort Albany" and transported and sold to the Barbadoes, after which date nothing further respecting him is known.
The accomplices were sentenced to forfeit to the King, one half of their goods and chattels, while a small fine was placed upon those of lesser note.
This case will always be an interesting one for it is the first recorded trial under the English on the Delaware in which a prisoner was formally indited, arraigned, and had a jury of twelve men impaneled, subject to challange of the prisoner, who are charged to render a verdict in accordance with the evidence.
Source: "History of Delaware Colony- Ashmead-Chapter XVIII"

Friday, July 1, 2011


Mr. Grey, an ingenious gentleman of Sussex County, on the Delaware, invented a non-explosive burning fluid, and invited a few friends ro come witness a test of its qualities. He gathered a select circle around a barrel of the fluid in a garret and to prove how non-explosive it was, stirred it with a red hot poker. Within seconds, the inventor and his friends were seen to emerge through the roof, with pieces of wood, shingles and other 'things' on their heads, on the way northwest toward the river, all enjoying a birds eye view of Sussex county at some thousad feet above sea level. Mr. Grey observed to a friend nearest him that he thought he had made a mistake and mixed too much benzine in the fluid. Mr. Greys widow will sell the patent for the non-explosive fluid very cheap, she needing the money badly because Mr. Grey was scattered so much around Sussex County when he came down that she had to bury him gradually for the next three weeks.