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whether or not to attack the enemy at once. Wayne, Smallwood, Potter, Irvine, and Scott were in favour of a bold measure. Stephen, Nash, McDougal, Sullivan, Knox, Greene, Muhlenberg, Sterling, Conway, and Armstrong, were opposed. Cadwalader and Reed did not vote. A compromise was decided upon in determining to approach the enemy and seek an opportunity to strike a blow. This led to the Battle of Germantown. After the battle McMichael writes:
We then marched up the Skippack Road to Pennypacker's Mill, where we betook ourselves to rest at 9 P.M. Thus hap pened the memorable event of the battle of Germantown, in which great numbers were killed on both sides and which lasted from 5 until 10 o'clock. That of Brandywine was not in any measure such a general attack, neither was the loss at that place anyway equivalent. I had previously undergone many fatigues but never any that so much overdone me as this. Had it not been for the fear of being taken prisoner, I should have remained on the road all night. I had marched in twenty four hours forty five miles, and in that time fought four hours, during which we advanced so furiously through buckwheat fields that it was almost an unspeakable fatigue.
There is a touch of considerate courtesy on the part of the Commander-in-Chief in the incident related by the Chevalier de Pontgibaud, who was with the army:
We for our part might almost have forgotten that we were in the presence of an enemy if we had not received a chance visitor. We were at table at headquarters, that is to say, in the Mill which was comfortable enough, one day, when a fine sporting dog, which was evidently lost, came to ask for some dinner. On its collar
were the words “ General Howe.” It was the British Commander's dog. It was sent back under a flag of truce, and General Howe replied by a warm letter of thanks to this act of courtesy on the part of his enemy, our General.
And so on October 8, Washington wrote to the President of Congress his last letter in the house of Samuel Pennypacker. Taking down his great Bible with its brass clasps, Samuel wrote in it in German:
On the 26th. day of September, 1777, an army of thirty thousand men encamped in Skippack Township, burned all the fences, carried away all the fodder, hay, oats and wheat, and took their departure the 8th. day of October, 1777. Written for those who come after me, by
The death of Samuel Pennypacker occurred February 23, 1826, in his eightieth year. His son Samuel succeeded him and spent his long life of eighty-four years upon the place. In 1802 he married Catharine Wireman, and their daughter Anna married John R. Detwiler who took the estate at the valuation put upon it by seven neighbours. Anna Detwiler's daughter Catharine married Josiah E. Hunsicker and lived in the old homestead until 1900. On October 4, 1877, the one hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Germantown, fifteen hundred of the descendants of Henry Pennebecker assembled at the house in a great family reunion when addresses were made by many famous members. Returning to Philadelphia afterward, the train filled with people from the celebration plunged into a washout and the reunion closed amid a scene of tragic disaster. Following came
pilgrimages of the Montgomery County Historical Society on September 16, 1896, the Pennsylvania Society, Sons of the Revolution, June 17, 1899.
In the year 1900, one hundred and forty-four acres of the original tract came into the possession of the Honourable Samuel W. Pennypacker. An addition has been built to the northward but the original appearance has been preserved as well as many of the features within. Furniture, household, and farm implements from the early settlement abound, and the place is a veritable museum showing the life of the people through many generations.
This is the story of Pennypacker's Mills, the only headquarters of General Washington remaining in the name of the family which owned it at the time of his occupancy. Important and interesting events have followed one another since the seating of Peter Pennypacker in 1747. The present owner was Governour of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, from 1903 to 1907.
NSEPARABLE from the very atmosphere of every old house is a pathos which every person feels whether they be fully conscious of it or not. It is the pathos of the generations of human lives lived therein.
It is a sense of the human tragedies and comedies that have there been enacted in the continuous drama of existence, the tragic side, perhaps, being the more apparent. The sum total of all the follies and frailties of the men and women who have dwelt within its walls, their graces and virtues, their joys and sorrows, their loves and hates—all these we grasp by a kind of intuitive perception.
Of no old house can this be said more truly than of Graeme Park. Its successive owners have had careers of unusual dramatic interest. Sir William Keith, the scion of an ancient Scottish family, by a freak of fortune became Governour of Penn's Colony in 1717, his personality and conduct having strongly commended him to those who controlled affairs. His geniality and generally amiable qualities of character made him at once popular with the people and always kept him so. At first he was acceptable to the Proprietaries, but his sympathies falling naturally with the people and, in time, being arrayed against the Proprietary interests, he was superseded by Governour Patrick Gordon, in 1726.
In 1718 Sir William Keith bought a tract of twelve