Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
A Short History of Asylum by Ingham
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
A Short History of Asylum

by J. W. Ingham, 1916

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ISAAC WELD, JR., an Englishman, who had been travelling in Canada and the United states during the years 1795-1797, visited Asylum, and wrote in his journal as follows:

"The whole way between Lochartzburg and Wilkes-Barre are settlements on each side of the river at no great distance from each other. There are also several towns on the bank of the river, the principal one is Frenchtown, situated within a short distance of the Falls of Wyalusing, on the western side of the river. The town was laid out at the expense of several philanthropic persons of Pennsylvania, who entered into a subscription for the purpose as a place of retreat for the unfortunate emigrants who fled to America from France. The town contains about 50 log houses, and for the use of the inhabitants a considerable tract of land has been purchased adjoining to it which has been divided into farms. The French who have settled here, however, seem to have no great inclination or ability to cultivate the earth, and the greater part of them have let their lands at a small yearly rent to Americans, and amuse themselves by driving deer, fishing and fowling. They live entirely to themselves. They hate the Americans who live in the neighborhood, and the Americans hate them, and accuse them of being an idle, dissipated set. The manners of the two people are so very different it is impossible they should ever agree."

The Englishman was evidently prejudiced against the French. England and France had been at war so many times their people did not love each other. There were two classes of people in Bradford county at that time, the same as elsewhere in the world. Respectable Americans liked the French, who were courteous, polite and respectful, and the French liked Americans, who were intelligent, honest and upright.

Hubert, son of Madame d'Autremont, married Abigail, daughter of Major Oliver Dodge of Terrytown, four miles below. Augustus François, another son of Madame d'Autremont, married Sarah Ann Stewart, an American girl. A Mr. Beaulieu also married an American wife. Surely these young Frenchmen of noble birth would not have been likely to marry into families they hated.

Mr. Weld makes a mistake in his geography. He says: "Frenchtown is situated within a short distance of the Falls of Wyalusing." The Falls of Wyalusing are in the river at the lower end of Quick's bend, more than then miles by (and on the nearest road), and not less than fourteen by the crooked river. The Wyalusing Falls, which Mr. Weld mentions, though not so long and rough, as the Conewago Falls, on the Susquehanna below Middletown, or the Wells Falls on the Delaware River, were great enough to be spoken of by some writers before Mr. Weld's visit. In 1750, Bishop Cammerhoff and David Zeisberger, Moravian missionaries, who passed up the river in a canoe with an Indian guide, speak of Wyalusing Falls as being of considerable magnitude. Since then there have been some tremendous ice gorges in view at Quick's Bend, just below, which caused great dams, and when these dams started the ice tore out the rocks that made the falls, and drove them down the river into the deep water at Rocky Forest just below. At the present time instead of a short rough falls, we have a rift nearly a mile long.

Mr. David Craft, the historian, in his pamphlet, "A Day at Asylum," says: "Among the conspicuous characters at Asylum was Charles Felix Bue Boulogne. He was a native of Paris, and during our struggle for independence, became one of our enthusiastic admirers, and was one of that large number of young Frenchmen who came to this country with Lafayette, and offered us his services in the contest. After the war, having become proficient in our language and acquainted with the country and its great advantages, he determined to remain in it. Boulogne bought on his own account the General Simon Spalding farm on the east side of the Susquehanna, where he probably lived, and where he died in 1795 or 1796, and was buried in the little consecrated ground on Broad Street, at Asylum."

Mr. Craft is generally very careful and accurate in his statements, but here he was mistaken. Charles Felix Bue Boulogne was drowned in attempting to ford the Loyal Sock Creek at Hillsgrove, July 20th, 1796. The creek was very high at the time. His body was recovered and buried at Hillsgrove, Pa., it being the first burial in the cemetery.
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