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after his homecoming, he married Rebecca, daughter of Edward Warner, a wealthy and prominent citizen.
At Laurel Hill they had as neighbours on either bank of the river the Whartons, Mifflins, Fishers, Simses, Swifts, Galloways, Penns, Peterses, Warners, and many more well-known families. Unfortunately Francis Rawle did not live long to enjoy the pleasures of his plantation. In 1761, he was mortally wounded by the accidental discharge of a fowling-piece while shooting near the Delaware and died, leaving a wife and three small children, to wit, Anna, who later became Mrs. Clifford; William, and Margaret, who in time married Isaac Wharton. By his will he left all his property to his widow, including Laurel Hill, and there during the summer months they lived.
Mrs. Rawle, in 1767, married Samuel Shoemaker, himself a widower with children and formerly the intimate friend of her first husband. Thereafter the united Rawle and Shoemaker families divided their time in summer between Laurel Hill and Mr. Shoemaker's own estate in Germantown. Mr. Shoemaker was an accomplished, estimable and much respected gentleman of large means. He held many important public posts in Philadelphia under the Royal and Proprietary governments, and from 1755 to 1776 was continually in office, serving at one time or another as councilman, alderman, assemblyman, city treasurer, mayor, judge of the County Courts and justice of the peace.
When the War for Independence broke out he, like many other conscientious and worthy people, remained staunchly loyal to the government under which he had so long lived and held office, and when Philadelphia was oc
cupied by His Majesty's forces during the fall, winter, and spring of 1777–1778, at the request of Sir William Howe, he assumed charge of the city's civil affairs along with his friend and neighbour, Joseph Galloway. In consequence of their attitude and action, the State Legislature, then sitting at Lancaster, declared him and other prominent citizens guilty of high treason and all their property forfeited to the State unless they surrendered themselves by the twentieth day of April following. This Shoemaker did not do and, with his stepson, William Rawle, left for New York, in June, a few days before the British forces evacuated Philadelphia.
Directly the Revolutionary authorities returned to the city, they directed strenuous measures of confiscation against the Loyalists and Mr. Shoemaker's property was among the first to claim their notice. The Act of Attainder provided that after twelve months the real estate of the attainted persons should be sold and that in the meanwhile the president or the vice-president and Supreme Executive Council might rent out the said estates for a time not exceeding two years, paying the taxes and other expenses and managing them until they should be sold in the manner thereinafter directed. In their excess of vindictive zeal the agents of the State seized Laurel Hill, disregarding the fact that it did not belong to Mr. Shoemaker, but to his wife, and did not therefore come within their purview, and allowed the President of the State, General Joseph Reed, to occupy the premises.
The diaries kept and exchanged by the separated members of the Rawle and Shoemaker families during this period throw much interesting light upon what was going
on here and in New York, and make it quite plain that the lot of the Loyalist families and sympathisers who remained in Philadelphia was not one of unalloyed bliss. A chronicle of the annoyances and indignities to which they were subjected by the authorities and the rowdyism they suffered at the hands of the baser sort would fill a volume. Several extracts from Anna Rawle's diary which she wrote for the information of her mother, then in New York, in the latter part of October, 1781, when tidings of Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown had reached Philadelphia and were received with acclamations of joy, show the plight of quiet and inoffensive neutrals and Loyalists because they did not choose to illuminate their houses in honour of an event they honestly regarded as a disaster.
October 25.--Fifth Day.--I suppose, dear Mammy, thee would not have imagined this house to be illuminated last night, but
A mob surrounded it, broke the shutters and the glass of the windows, and were coming in, none but forlorn women here. We for a time listened for their attacks in fear and trembling till, finding them grow more loud and violent, not knowing what to do, we ran into the yard. Warm Whigs of one side, and Hartley's of the other (who were treated even worse than we), rendered it impossible for us to escape that way. We had not been there many minutes before we were drove back by the sight of two men climbing the fence. We thought the mob were coming in thro' there, but it proved to be Coburn and Bob Shewell, who called to us not to be frightened, and fixed lights up at the windows, which pacified the mob, and after three huzzas they moved off. A number of men came in afterwards to see us. French and J. B. nailed boards up at the broken pannels, or it would not have been safe to have gone to bed. Coburn and Shewell were really very kind; had it not been for them I really believe the house would have been pulled down. Even the firm
Uncle Fisher was obliged to submit to have his windows illuminated, for they had pickaxes and iron bars with which they had done considerable injury to his house. In short it was the most alarming scene I ever remember. For two hours we had the disagreeable noise of stones banging about, glass crashing, and the tumultuous voices of a large body of men, as they were a long time at the different houses in the neighbourhood. At last they were victorious, and it was one general illumination throughout the town. As we had not the pleasure of seeing any of the gentlemen in the house, nor the furniture cut up, and goods stolen, nor been beat, nor pistols pointed at our breasts, we may count our sufferings slight compared to many others. Mr. Gibbs was obliged to make his escape over a fence, and while his wife was endeavouring to shield him from the rage of one of the men, she received a violent bruise in the breast, and a blow in the face which made her nose bleed. Ben. Shoemaker was here this morning; tho' exceedingly threatened he says he came off with the loss of four panes of glass. Some Whig friends put candles in the windows which made his peace with the mob, and they retired. John Drinker has lost half the goods out of his shop and been beat by them; in short the sufferings of those they pleased to style Tories would fill a volume and shake the credulity of those who were not here on that memorable night, and to-day Philadelphia makes an uncommon appearance, which ought to cover the Whigs with eternal confusion.
J. Head has nothing left whole in his parlour. Uncle Penington lost a good deal of window glass. . . . The Drinkers and Walns make heavy complaints of the Carolinians in their neighbourhood. Walns' ' pickles were thrown about the streets and barrells of sugar stolen.
Strange as it may now seem, the ruffianly behaviour of this rabble crew appears to have been condoned, and even to some extent concurred in, by those that would not