In the 18th Century our country was often divided by opinions about what or whom one owed their allegiance to and under what circumstances these should be kept or change. It is estimated that on third of the population stayed loyal to the crown of England with the coming of the War for Independence. Here we will share the stories of these people. Some biographies about these people and how their lives changed with the war.
Fort Roberdeau was built to protect the mining operation from those supporting the crown. The mining operation had British POWs brought in and they were used as labor in the mines.
There are many instances of peoples allegiances changing through the course of the war. Many of those families names are never recorded, because after the war it was thought unkindly to bring it up. It has been a goal in most communities to heal old wounds and repatriate those who's opinions and loyalties had been on the losing side.
In the Fifth Series, Volume V in the Pennsylvania Archives there is a list of "Those who were under arms in Bedford County Against the United States of America". The list follows:
Pennsylvania Militia Muster Rolls, Bedford County, Pennsylvania Archives, Series V, Vol. 5, pp. 47-121
1. John Weston, their Chief killed by the Indians, both of Frankstown
2. Richard Weston, Township, Bedford Co.
3. William Shillings, late of Baltimore County, Maryland
4. John Shillings,
5. John Campbell,
6. William Campbell,
7. James Little, all of the Path Valley, Cumb. Co.
8. Henry McGee,
9. James O'Neal,
10. Edward Gibbons, Amerson's Valley, Cumberland Co.
11. James De Long,
12. Andrew Smith,
13. Robert Nixon, Lack township, Tuscarora Settlement, Cumberland
14. John Armstrong
15. James Armstrong,
16. Jacob Hare,
17. Michael Hare,
18. Samuel Barrow,
19. Adam Potmercer, all of Barree Township, Bedford County.
20. Adam Potmercer, Jr.
21. Peter Potmercer,
22. Jacob Yost, Taylor.
23. James Bridges,
24. Peter Shaver, Taylor.
25. Peter Dailey, Dublin Township, Bedford County.
26. William Humpson, Barree Township, Bedford County.
27. Joseph King, Path Valley, Cumb. County.
28. William Right, Blue dyer.
29. Dominick McNeal, Tuscarora, Cumberland County.
30. Cornelius Hutchison, Path Valley, Cumberland County.
31. John Stilwell, Tuscarora, Cumberland County.
"John and James Armstrong confessed to me the subscriber, in the Goal of Bedford County that they were under
arms to join the Enemy at the Kittaning against the United States in Company with the others within named.
Certified by me this second Day of August, 1778." ROBERT GALBRAITH.
The following men were identified as Tories by Richard Weston, who was captured and questioned by Daniel Roberdeau on April 27,
1778: John Weston, Richard Weston. Brother of John Weston, Benjamin Elliot, Francis Clugget, Samuel Berrow, Jacob Here Michael Here, Peter Shaver, Peter Daly, Adam and Peter Portmerser, and their father, “Old” Portmerser, McKee, James Little, John Campbell, William Campbell. (Examination of Richard Weston, Pennsylvania Archives, Series 1, Volume 6, 1778, pages 542-543)
There are other places Tory names crop up associated with this incident as well: William Hamson, James Armstrong, John Shilling, William Shilling, John Hess, Zebediah Rickets.
An alphabetical list of all persons attainted of high treason, Pennsylvania Archives, First Series, Volume 10, 1784, pages 251, 254, 256
October 31, 1778 The Pennsylvania Packet
A PROCLAMATION. By the SUPREME EXECUTIVE COUNCIL of the Common Wealth of PENNSYLVANIA.
And Richard Weston, yeoman, now or late of the township of Frankstown; and Jacob Hare, Michael Hare, and Samuel Barrow,
yeoman; all now or late of the township of Barrett; all now or late of the county of Bedford.
Pennsylvania Packet, (a newspaper) Oct. 31, 1778
POWs were being used for labor throughout the war. Fort Roberdeau had British POWs brought to the fort to assist with labor .