Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day at Ss Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Cemetery - 27 May 2013

Below you will find my remarks from Ss Peter and Paul Cemetery on Monday 27 May 2013 in honor of Memorial Day.  It was my honor to piece together these snippets of history on the men and women who served our country and are buried here.  Thank you for the opportunity. 

 (Please check back as I have more pictures of these individuals on the way.  If you have a loved one buried here, please contact me and I will include any pictures you'd like with their story.  Thank you.)

"There is a lesson here, among the hundreds of stories that lie with the men and women who served in the United States Military.
Donna Blauch - Her dad Don Blauch served in
Korea.  "Summer Went Too Soon."  Donna
died in the VA Hospital in Wilkes-Barre,
succumbing to the effects of Multiple-Sclerosis.

This small, peaceful cemetery is the final home of over 150 veterans.
There’s a Civil War Veteran, a Spanish American War Veteran, fourteen are from WWI, nineteen are from the Korean War, and fifteen are from the Vietnam Era.

But most impressive of all is the roughly 100 who served during WWII.
Some served in more than one war, a few served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
Anthony Dougher lived on Alum Street in Lehighton before the war.
He was born in Wilkes Barre on 15 October 1895 with blue eyes and black
hair and was working here as a Switchman on the Lehigh Valley Railroad.
His serial number was #1960-414 and he enlisted 15 May 1917. 

 Anthony Dougher Jr is buried here.  He was a World War I veteran, recovering from the wounds of the war at Camp Sherman Ohio in October of 1918.  Over 5,600 of our soldiers were sickened by the Spanish Influenza at Camp Sherman alone, 1,176 died there, so many, they were “stacking the men like cordwood” in places like the Majestic Theatre.  Anthony Dougher Jr of Lehighton was one of them.

I found two husband and wife veteran teams here:
Frank Bayer’s parents, Frank and Mary, are buried here too.  They met because of WWI.  Mary was Mary Kennedy from Mauch Chunk, a nursing student who signed onto the Canadian Nursing Corps, serving in England before the U.S. got involved. 
Mary was a Kennedy from East Mauch Chunk.  She
died at an early age of cancer.

Frank Bayer owned and operated "Bayers Paints" in
Lehighton, while together with his brothers owned
two movie theaters in town as well as a 500+ acre farm
in Beaver Run that which became the Ukrainian Homestead.

Frank Bayer Sr, was gassed and cut down, shot in both legs during the war.  It took a year at a veteran’s hospital in Carlisle for him to recovery.  It was his future wife Mary who took care of his wounds, and from there is where love bloomed.

Another husband and wife veteran team was Helen and Gerard Kelleher who both served in WWII. 

The Bubick family, Mahoning Valley farmers, first generation Polish Americans produced nine children from 1916 to 1936: six sons and three daughters; five of them served in our armed forces are buried here: Walter, Anthony, Joseph, Michael all served in WWII; Anthony receiving the Purple Heart.  Youngest son Edward served in Vietnam.

Another Polish American family lived in Packerton, two sons John and Stanley Szpak fought in WWII.  They had a neighbor Ed Kelowitz who also served, he died at the age of forty-four.  All three are buried here.

There is no telling why Ed Kelowitz died so young, we do not know the unwritten toll service can take out of a person.  

As one grave comments, “Summer Went Too Soon.”

On average, only six out of the forty-five or 13% of the veterans of WWI, WWII and Korea died before reaching the age of sixty.

There are still many Vietnam Veterans among us (I was happy to be able to say hello to “Ski” Savitsky today at the cemetery after last seeing him so many years ago.)  But the Vietnam War seems to have taken a particular toll among these veterans:  Of the fifteen buried here, ten died before reaching the age of sixty.  That’s 66% died before the age of sixty, most were in the thirties and forties, only two reached their fifties.

Marie Conroy served in both WWII and Korea.  She was only forty-seven.

One Vietnam era veteran who died before her time was Donna Blauch
Donna is the daughter of Don Blauch, who was one of six Lehighton High School  friends who enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1948 and fought in Korea.  One of those friends was my Dad, Randy Rabenold.

Donna Blauch was a dental hygienist in the Navy during the
Vietnam era.  Through her husband and her father-in-law (who both were
ranking officials) she became the hygienist who took care of President Carter
and his family, even making a visit to Camp David with the Carters. 

It is important to know their stories, in doing so we find the humanity that went into their service, we know the sacrifices they made, so that freedom and our way of life here, going forward, can go on.
Add caption

They served for us:
These veterans, lying in this field were rare contradictions:
They loved America so much that they were willing to spend long years in foreign countries. 

They loved freedom so much, that they gave up their own free time to serve. 

They valued life so much, though only some of them died for it, ALL of THEM stood ready to die for us, for our future.

They rest here within this soil, in this peaceful corner of town. 
Your presence here honors them.

They have carried it as far as they could,
It lies here, placed at our feet,
This mantle of freedom,
Take it with you where ever you go, for

Freedom too, is a contradiction. 

We cannot see it, though we know what it is like when we don’t have it.
It doesn’t require air or food for sustenance, but it too often requires our living blood to sustain it.

It is to be enjoyed, but comes with responsibility:
Fight for it, labor with it, carry it upon your back, protect it, cherish it, wear it proudly upon your chest,
They can rest here, contently knowing,
That we the living,

Will advance it from here."

Moravians - My Homeroom's Turn Post 4 of 4

          Part 1 - Early Settlement & the Walking Purchase by Tia Tyson

          On March 4, 1681, William Penn was granted a charter by Charles II to wilderness land in America.  The King of England owed Penn's father money and this land was repayment for the debt.  Penn wanted to provide a place where Quakers and people of other faiths could have religious freedom.  They were to name the new colony Sylvania and added Penn which means Penn's woods. Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf helped organize a group to live first in Georgia in 1735.  The Moravian Church which was founded in 1457.  They moved to Pennsylvania in 1740.  He wanted to convert the Indians but they became hostile and Zinzendorf was persecuted and nearly killed three times.  The colonists had many problems in the new world.  In 1737 Thomas Penn, one of William's son now in control of the colony and eager for more land, made an agreement with the Indians to sell Penn as much land as "a man could walk in a day and a half" starting at the Junction of the Delaware and Lehigh River.  The Indians claimed the white men cheated by using the three fastest runners in the colony.  Thomas Penn along with some Natives walked 40 miles to see how much land they could cover in a day and a half.  He did gain 1,500 square miles of hunting land.  Another setback to the settler-Native relationship happened when a smallpox  epidemic broke out and many people died. The French and Indian War started in 1754 because both the French and British claimed they owned the same land and wanted it for fishing and fur trade.

Part 2 - Moravians by Cassidy Yackinicz

William Penn started the "Holy Experiment" in 1643.  This was because of his firm Quaker beliefs and his desire to start a colony based on them.  Penn said, "I desire, that we may always live with each other as neighbors and friends."  Native Americans and other people from different religions and cultures could join the colony.  He also said, "People from different nations could live together in peace with others."  Soon, Penn determined his colony would be sufficient.  This was Penn's dream, however, you could say that eventually, eleven people in Lehighton would die for their religion.

Back in Europe was a man known as Count Nicholas Von Zinzendorf who was being persecuted for his beliefs.  He opened up his vast estate to allow other Moravians to live without fear.  Eventually, he came to America and lived among the Natives.  In 1736, an order of banishment was placed against him.

The Moravians first went to Georgia in 1735 and left there for Pennsylvania about 5 years later.  They first started Nazareth, then Bethlehem, and by about 1744 started Lehighton, then named "Gnadenhutten."  This was on land taken during the "Walking Purchase" of 1737 and later a smallpox epidemic spread through these settlements, killing eighteen Indians at Gnadenhutten alone.

The Moravians went to Gnadenhutten with the hope they could start a longer mission in the Susquehanna Valley.  Zinzendorf almost died three times.  The Moravians tried to convert the Natives to Christianity.  Things were going well, but something bad was going to happen there.  Some Moravians stayed while others left to go to Weissport or "New Gnadenhutten."  

Though many Natives lived and trusted the Moravians and converted to Christianity, there were some bent on going on the Warpath.

Part 3 – The Massacre – by Natalie Morris
One of two trips to ascertain the location of Ben Franklin's Fort Allen in Weissport.  
On November 24, 1755, in Gnadenhutten PA (current Lehighton), there was a 
massacre.  Twelve Shawnee Indians came and tried to kill fifteen Moravians.  Ten were murdered, shot and scalped.  There were five survivors, but one, Susan Nitschmann died of her wounds six months later. 

          It all started that night when Joachim Senseman remembered that the door to the meeting house was left open (Senseman was another one of the survivors.)  When he went to lock it, not knowing that the massacre was happening.  He, along with Joseph Sturgis, Susan and George Partsch and Peter Worbas.  Sturgis and Susan Partsch escaped by jumping out the window.  George Fabricius wasn’t so lucky.  He stumbled, was caught and scalped.

A couple of months before that on July 9, 1755, the French and Indians ambushed General Braddock’s troops leaving the Pennsylvania Frontier without protection.  The French took advantage of the situation by urging the Indians to reclaim the land the white settlers had taken away from them.

That tragic day the settlers were finishing up their evening meal, when the dogs started barking, warning them that strangers were approaching.  They thought they were just the militia coming in for the night.  Within seconds voices and footsteps were heard. 

Martin Nitschmann opened the door and gazed into the painted faces and was shot on the spot.  Then they started shooting in the house, eight of the fifteen made it to the attic.  Some were shot and scalped.  The rest burned inside the attic.

The next day, the remains were found among the ashes and were buried on the nearby hilltop in a peaceful grave behind the house which is today the Lehighton Cemetery.  Today a wooden plaque at the corner of 4th and Bridge Streets in Lehighton marks the site of the massacre.

Part 4 – Protecting the Frontier by Abigail Hoppes

            It all started when the British and the French crossed paths. They were fighting over who owned land that they both thought were theirs. The British sent George Washington who was not yet president, to deliver a letter to the French that stated that the land they were on belonged to them. Their response was not what they had hoped. 

The French did not want to leave. This time Washington came for the French with 150 soldiers, to build a British fort where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers crossed. But the French were a step ahead, already building one. Washington and his soldiers attacked and defeated a group of French soldiers, and the French did the same back. This marked the beginning of the French and Indian war.

          As the war went on, the French had sided with the Iroquois and gave them weapons so they could attack the British. This caused the British to build Fort Allen. The British had large amounts of open frontier to attack by angry Indians. The governor chose Ben Franklin, and James Hamilton to be in charge of building it. They and 100 men in all were done building the fort in a week. A 16 foot well was dug to furnish water. The fort was named Fort Allen after William Allen who planned the city of Allentown.

          When the war finally ended in 1763 after the Iroquois turned to the British side. And Britten sent more men to fight. The British had won! The Treaty of Paris was signed ending the war for good. Britten took over most of New Spain, and the Spanish took control of everything west of the Mississippi.

          The Native Americans were not happy. They had hoped to gain land and power by being on the winning side. A Ottawa leader named Pontiac was very, very upset. He gathered together a group of Natives together to attack the British fort, and settlements. It became known as Pontiac’s Rebellion. The British wanted no more fighting. The proclamation of 1763 gave the Natives all the land west of the Appalachian Mountains. They hoped that giving the Natives all that land would stop the fighting.

Part 5 – Pontiac’s Rebellion by Devin Greene

Pontiac, an Ottawa Indian chief, had his tribe revolt against the British in 1763 because he thought they just wanted to wipe them out.  Other tribes joined and they attacked forts and settlements along the Ohio River Valley and around the Great Lakes.  Pontiac won many battles before he was stopped.  British King George III issued a “Proclamation of 1763” because he was afraid of fighting with the Indians on land they won from the French.  It said that no one could move any further west than the Appalachian Mountains.  It was hoped this would keep the peace.  However colonists who wanted more land now became more upset with the King and began opposing British rule. 

Moravians - Mr. Knappenberger's Class' Turn - Post 3 of 4

Mr. Knappenberger’s Class:
Part 1A – The Walking Purchase by Alison Miller
Part 1
The Walking Purchase
By: Alison Miller
          In 1682 the Delaware Indians agreed to sell William Penn a track of land. The agreement said that William Penn would give them 500 acres of land.  The agreement also stated “as far as a man could walk in a day and a half,” the Indians agreed.  This was known as The Walking Purchase.
     However, Thomas Penn, William Penn’s son also had the idea of a” Walking Purchase”.  Thomas Penn’s “Walking Purchase” was different.  He produced 2 witnesses to the signing of the agreement to his “Walking Purchase”.  The Indians were unsure of what to say, so they had a powwow over lunch and afterwards they agreed to Thomas Penn’s “Walking Purchase” because they did not believe a white man could walk very far in a day and a half.

      On September 19th 1737, the “Walking Purchase” began and turned out to be a run and not a walk because Thomas had selected the three fastest runners even though the agreement clearly stated “a” man not “three”.  Marshall, one of Thomas’ men, was the only one who finished the race.   The other two men died.  Marshall did not get the 500 acres he was promised for finishing the farthest. He asked Penn again and he said, “Just take this $5.00 and get out”. As you can see, Thomas Penn was much different than his father William Penn.
  In 1742 the Indians found out that Thomas Penn’s deed of 1686 was a fraud, so they killed Marshall’s wife and son.  Sometime later Thomas met with the chief, gave him some wine and got him drunk and convinced him that his deed was not a fraud.  A year or so after the chief was drinking and fell asleep, his tent caught fire and he burned to death.
Part 1B – The Walking Purchase by Mike Guzenski
The Walking Purchase was an unfair deed for land.  In 1737, Thomas Penn selected the fastest runners but when the Walking Purchase was over, the Indians found out that they were cheated.  They were cheated because the runners ran.
Since the other two men that were in the event died, the Natives turned their attention and harassed Marshall because Marshall ran in the Walking Purchase.  They killed his son and wife.
William Penn wrote the real deed and so they walked it.  But then Thomas Penn wrote a fake deed to get more land and the Natives were not happy because they lost 1,500 square miles.
Part 2A- The Moravians by Josh Smith and Anders Hochberg
          At dinnertime on November 24, 1755 hostile, non-Christian Indians attacked old Gnadenhutten.  Days and weeks before this, people had heard rumors that the Indians had plans to attack Old Gnadenhutten so some moved to New Gnadenhutten in Weissport.  Previously, a smallpox epidemic had killed 18 Natives here. The Moravians are a group of white English settlers. Count Zinzendorf was the Moravians leader.
The Moravians lived in Germany and then they moved here. A Holy Experiment is where people from different nations and of all religions could live together in peace. William Penn wanted to build a colony based on his religious beliefs. William Penn was a Quaker. William Penn came to Pennsylvania and did a Holy Experiment.
          Teedyuscung left Gnadenhutten rejoining the Delawares.  Count Zinzendorf almost died three times by being scalped, by snakes, and by drowning. The Moravians settled in the land between 4th and 7th streets in Lehighton, Pennsylvania. The remains of the Gnadenhutten victims were buried in the Lehighton cemetery behind the settlement. The Gnadenhutten massacre was between 4th and 7th streets in Lehighton, Pennsylvania.

Part 3A: The Massacre: The Deaths of the Innocent by Aidan Malloy
          Even though the Natives were mad at the white settlers, the Moravians didn’t deserve a massacre. The peaceful, pacifist Moravians had only tried to practice their religion. But the French and Indian War had only helped the Natives get away with it.
          The Indians had reasons for the attack, but none of them had to do with the Moravians. The Indians were furious at the white people for the Walking Purchase. They were infuriated about how the white settlers brought over the smallpox disease and killed 18 Indians while the settlers had been immune to it.
          After Braddock’s defeat, the frontier was abandoned. All soldiers were to fight in the French and Indian War. This left the Moravians completely unprotected. The French saw this and used it to their advantage. The French told the Indians that this was a chance to take back the land that Thomas Penn stole during the Walking Purchase. This would befriend the Natives and lead the Natives to join the French in the French and Indian War.
          Some Moravians had heard of an Indian attack.  So, most of them moved to the other side of the river and built a new settlement known as “New Gnaddenhutten”. (Not to be confused with “Old Gnaddenhutten”, the first settlement.) Although word of an attack was spreading, 15 Moravians stayed at “Old Gnaddenhutten”. This was a fatal mistake.
          The Moravians were sitting down having their evening meal on November 24, 1755. Suddenly, they heard dogs barking wildly. Joachim Sensemann took this seriously and sprinted to lock the door. This action spared his life. While the dogs were barking, the Moravians heard voices and footsteps.  Martin Nitschmann opened the door to see what the matter was.  He was the first to be killed as he gazed into the enraged eyes of 12 Shawnee war-painted warriors.
          Since the door was still open, the warriors fired a volley of bullets into the open air injuring John Lesley, John Gattermeyer, and Martin Presser. The remaining nine pacifists dashed for the attic. As they were running up the stairs, Susanna Nitschmann was overcome, shot, and bound right there and then. The Indians had special plans for her that would be put into action soon.
           The eight Moravians that had survived so far successfully reached the attic. George Sweigert immediately slammed the trap door shut and barred it closed with his arm. Unexpectedly, the shouting and pounding stopped. Then, the Moravians worst fear came true. The Shawnees had set the house ablaze.
Joseph Sturgis waited until the Indians were relaxed, and then jumped from the burning building. He hit the ground running and fled as far away from the settlement as he could. Joseph Sturgis lived through the massacre. Susan Partcsh did the same and then followed Joseph. George Fabricius was not so fortunate. He tried to do the same but stumbled when he hit the ground. This caught the attention of the Natives right away.  George Fabricius was shot twice and then scalped.
Susanna Nitschmann was carried away from the scene of the massacre and taken to the Wyoming Valley Christian. Women tended her wounds and Susanna was carried off to a cruel and brutal Indian that treated her horribly. She died from illness six months later.
The day after the massacre, the survivors tenderly carried the bodies of the deceased out of the ashes and up the hill by the back of the settlement. The bodies were buried in a large grave next to the smaller graves of the Moravians who had died in Gnaddenhutten in advance of the massacre.
I wonder if George Swiegert hadn’t blocked the door with his arm, if the others would have been killed. Since there was an attempt to get in, the Moravians probably would’ve been killed. Plus, the Moravians were peaceful, pacifist people, and when the attack came, they didn’t even defend themselves.

Part 3B – The Massacre –by Tinaya Klotz
            The Gnadenhutten Massacre
          November 24, 1755 is one of the most tragic events in Carbon County history, the Gnadenhutten Massacre. That day it happened 12 Shawnee Indians killed 11 Moravian settlers out of 15 settlers.
          Dogs barked to let Moravian settlers know that strangers were approaching. The attacking, I think, was the saddest part of all.
Joachim Sensemann saved his own life by remembering that the door in the meeting house was opened and went to close it. Martin Nitschmann opened his door and was killed by a blast of gunshot. He died first. The Indians poured a volley of gunfire into a room wounding John Lesley, John Gattermeyer, Martin Presser. Susanna Nitschmann was shot falling into the hands of the enemy, who took her captive.
          Eight people reached the attic of a house. George Sweigert used his arm as a crossbar to keep the door closed so the Indians couldn’t get in. Then, the Indians caught the house on fire! Joseph Sturgis was the first to jump from the burning building. He made it out alive. Susan Partsch did the same. But, George Fabricius jumped out and didn’t survive. He was shot twice before being scalped. Only 4 people survived – Susan and Joachim Senseman, Sturgis, and a man named Peter Worbas.
          Susanna Nitschmann was took as captive. A Christian Indian woman treated her wounds and she recovered. She was then forced to live as the squaw of a brutal Indian. Sadly, six months later she died.
          The Gnadenhutten Massacre happened in Old Gnadenhutten. Old Gnadenhutten and New Gnadenhutten were on different sides of the river. Some people traveled across the river to get to New Gnadenhutten. This saved their lives because the Indians didn’t attack there.
The Indians did this because they were angry over the Walking Purchase. They were also angry over smallpox deaths. Smallpox killed 18 Indians. That is why I think they were mad. This was a very sad time.      

Part 4A – Building of Fort Allen by Aleah Nothstein
     After the Gnaden Huetten Massacre, the Moravians from Lehighton and Bethlehem asked the military for protection to help protect the frontier from the French and Natives.  Soldiers were sent from Bethlehem to the frontier which kept the Natives away for a little while.
     New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) in 1756 a few soldiers were ice skating on the Lehigh River and they saw some Natives.  The soldiers called to the others for help, but they were tricked by the Natives.  The Natives ambushed and killed the soldiers.
     After this ambush one hundred men got together under supervision of Benjamin Franklin and Captain Wayne to build Fort Allen.  The men started marching towards Gnadenhutten on Saturday, January 18th but had to return to Opplinger’s barn (today’s Aquashicola) because the rain made the fire-locks of the muskets become damp and Franklin thought it was better to go back to the barn to stay safe, warm and dry.   The men headed out again Sunday and reached Gnadenhuetten that afternoon.  It took them about one week to build the fort.  The fort was one hundred twenty-five feet in length and fifty feet wide. There was a well dug sixteen feet deep.  The reason it’s called Fort Allen is because it was named in honor of Judge William Allen.  Fort Allen was built in Weissport.  Weissport was named after Jacob Weiss.
     The current Fort Allen Hotel is built in the same area as the original Fort Allen. The original well can still be seen behind the hotel.
The French and Indian war was won by the British General James Wolfe and his soldiers when they took control of Quebec (capital of New France) in September 1759.  The war ended in 1763 when Britain and France signed the Treaty of Paris.
     The French and Indian war impacted the North American Natives.  The Natives land became part of the British Empire and the British wanted to own this land.
     The Natives tried to keep the British off their land.  Pontiac, an Ottawa leader told the Natives that the British “seek only to destroy them.”  Natives attacked British forts and settlements.  This fight is known as Pontiac’s Rebellion. Britain didn’t want to keep fighting so Britain’s King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763.  It said colonists were no longer allowed to settle on land west of the Appalachian Mountains.  The Natives did not like this proclamation and tension began to grow between the colonists and the British government.    
Part 4B - Protecting the Frontier by Luke Wilusz

On July 9, 1755, famed General Braddock was defeated by the French.  This was the start of the French and Indian war.  The Indians were starting to massacre people in places such as Tulpehocken and Gnadenhutten.  The Indians were also ambushing soldiers. On January 1, 1756, several soldiers were ambushed and killed by Indians.  The British then started to do something about it. Ben Franklin came to present day Weissport to build a fort to keep the settlers safe.  They built the fort in a week, but only worked three or four days because it was raining.  The fort was called Fort Allen.  It has an important factor in the French and Indian War.  The fort was 125 by 50 feet long.  It had two cannons and a sixteen foot well.  The only remaining trace is its well.
Most people believe that the Fort Allen Hotel is within the bounds of Fort Allen.  During the flood of 1862, a horse stayed in the Hotel.  When the horse floated by, someone grabbed its bridle and pulled it in.  After the flood, the building remained undamaged. 
          In London, British leaders were worried about the way the war was going. In 1758, Britain sent in more forces to win the French and Indian war.  The British won.  Britain made the Proclamation of 1763, which made the colonists not be able to settle west of the Appalachians.  This led to Pontiac’s Rebellion, which won several victories before being put down by the British. 
          This war started bad relationships between the colonists and the British. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Moravians - Mrs. Lusch's Class' Turn - Post 2 of 4

Today you will read the second of four posts written by my students about the early colonial period from the Walking Purchase of 1737 up to the end of the French and Indian War here in Carbon County.  
Congratulations to Karissa Hough, John DeMatte, Mykayla Engle, Ben Schatz, and Jade Steber for some excellent research and writing!

Part 1: The Walking Purchase – By Karissa Hough
            In 1682, William Penn and the Delaware Natives walked “as far as a man could walk in a day and a half”. A Walking Purchase is a way to buy land by walking. William Penn and a group of men walked 40 miles of land.

            On the other hand, William Penn’s son Thomas Penn had a “land grab”. Thomas Penn inherited Pennsylvania which at the time was quite small. Thomas Penn made a fake deed that states that the Natives sold them all the land west of the Delaware River “as far as a man can walk in a day and a half”. Then, he selected the three fastest runners in the colony to do the “walking” purchase. He selected James Yates, Edward Marshall and Sol Jennings.  For the next two years Thomas Penn cleared a path for the runners. 

On September 19, 1737 the walk started. Marshall, Jennings and Yates kept on running.  Immediately, the Natives protested “no fair you run.” After the first 18 miles Jennings was overcome by fatigue and quit.  His health was ruined and died years later. Later on during the walk Yates became blinded and died a few days later. Marshall ended up as the only one to survive the walking purchase of the three men.

            The Natives were very mad at Thomas Penn for many reasons. One reason is that he selected the three fastest men in the colony and they ran instead of walking. Another reason is that Thomas Penn spent two years clearing a path for the runners. The Natives lost 1,500 miles of hunting ground.

            After the Walking Purchase, Edward Marshall spent the rest of his life living in a brick house in the middle of the Delaware River. He was harassed by the Natives and his wife and son were killed.
            All of this will lead to something terrifying in the future.

Part 1 (Continued)  - by John DeMatte

         Thomas Penn tricked the Delaware by forging William Penn's signature. The deed said, "as far as a man could walk in a day and a half."   Thomas changed "one man" into 3 of the fittest men in the colonies, but not only that, they were the fastest runners in the colonies! To make sure the runners could gain the most land, for the next 2 years, they made a path in the woods they were going to run in.

     In September of 1737, the Delaware and the Quakers gathered at Stenton. The three runners, Edward Marshall, James Yates, and Solomon Jennings, were getting ready for their task. When the Delaware said that they were ready to start walking, the troublesome trio bolted. The natives were confused at first, but then they realized what was going on a moment later. They chased the 3, but they couldn't catch up to them. A few miles later, Jennings collapses because of fatigue. Without hesitation, Marshall and Yates keep on running. A few more miles later, Yates goes blind and collapses in a river. Marshall drags him to shore and carries on. Yates dies hours later.

     Marshall finishes the "walking" purchase around the Lehigh Gap. With the natives losing 1,000s of acres of land, they are outraged and mark Marshall's family for death. Marshall returns to Thomas for his reward of 500 acres of land, but instead only gets five pounds and no land! After the natives killed Marshall's family, he builds a house on the Delaware River for protection from the natives. The Walking Purchase fraud began a bad relationship with the settlers and the natives.  I wonder if the Delaware will get their revenge, and if so, how will they?

   Part 3 - The Massacre – By Ben Schatz

            On July 9, 1755 the French and Indians ambushed General Braddock’s troops.  Now Pennsylvania did not have protection.  The Moravians heard about this and some went to New Gnadenhuetten.  Fifteen of the Moravians stayed.  Wait until you see what happens next.
            November 24, 1755, the Moravians were finishing their dinner when Martin Nitschman heard noises.  He opened the door and got shot.  The Indians started firing guns everywhere wounding three people.  The massacre continues next.
            The rest of the people tried to make it to the attic.  Susanna Nitchman got shot on the stairs.  Eight of them made it to the attic.  George Sweigert put his arm in the attic door to keep it closed.  Of the eight, three tried to escape.  Joseph Sturgis jumped out the window and escaped.  Susan Partsch did the same.  George Fabricius tried too but stumbled and got killed.  Peter Worbas and Joachim Senseman The final massacre moment is next.

            The rest of the people in the attic saw that the Indians stopped trying to attack them.  Then they saw that the Indians had set the house on fire.  The entire house burned with the people inside.  This is known as the Massacre.      
Part 4 - Protecting the Frontier – By Mykayla Engle

             Benjamin Franklin started building the Fort Allen building the day after his 50th birthday.  Fort Allen is considered to have been one of the most important factors in protecting the frontier of Pennsylvania during the French and Indian war.

            The French wanted territory in Pennsylvania so they gave guns and ammo to the Indians to fight the English settlers.
            The Moravians who lived on the banks of the Lehigh River asked for military protection from the armed Indians.
            Because of Gnadenhutten Massacre of 1755, the military sent troops to protect them from any Indian violence.  The military’s present was a success.  It kept the Indians quiet but not for long.
            Then on New Year’s Day 1756, several soldiers saw Indians on the river bank.  The soldiers immediately gave chase.  However it was a trick that led the soldiers into an ambush and six of them were killed.
            Hearing this Governor Morris of Pennsylvania appointed Benjamin Franklin and James Hamilton to supervise the defense of the frontier.  The land along the Lehigh River must be maintained The French and Indians cannot be allowed to build forts in this area.
The construction of this fort in the Gnadenhutten area was very important. So Ben Franklin and his son William left Philadelphia at once.  Fifty people joined them and within 2 days, they began to build the fort.
            Approximately one week after the group arrived the fort was completed.
            The fort consisted of 3 blockhouses and 2 cannons placed at the far corners of the structure.  A 16 foot well supplied water.
            They named the fortress “Fort Allen” in honor of Judge William Allen, who planned the city of Allentown.
            Fort Allen served its purpose.  It wasn’t perfect but it made the settlers feel safe.  The peace would last approximately 20 years, until the Revolutionary War began.  Then once again the violence would resume.

Part 5: The French and Indian War  by Jade Steber
In London, British leaders were starting to worry about the way the French and Indian War was going.  Many troops were struggling, so, they decided to send more soldiers to help fight in North America.  With the extra help, British forces began winning battles against the French.  The Iroquois joined British forces in 1759.  They helped the British win many battles.  The Iroquois also increased British power by helping them maintain control of their lands.

The main part of the battle was fought in Quebec (the capital of New France).  British General James Wolfe led British forces to Quebec and captured it for the British in September 1759.  The victory in Quebec helped Great Britain win the French and Indian War.  Finally, when the war officially ended, Britain and France signed the treaty of Paris in 1763.

Dividing the land, Britain gained control of most of New France.  Spain also gained land.  Spain got lands west of the Mississippi River. 

Back during the French and Indian War in Pennsylvania, things were not so good.  General Braddock had been defeated on July 9th, 1755, and as far as safety goes, the Pennsylvania frontier was left practically defenseless.

The French, who hoped to gain territory in Pennsylvania, supplied furious Indians with weapons for raids on white settlers.  Knowing about the dangers of staying where they were the peaceful Moravians asked the military authorities for protection.

Soon after the Gnadenhuetten Massacre at 1755, British troops were sent from Bethlehem to prevent any Indians from attacking.  Everything after that, safety, precaution was well until on New Year’s Day, 1756, troops at Gnadenhuetten were attacked suddenly.  As they were skating on the Lehigh River, some soldiers spotted Indians hiding on the river bank.  Alarmed, the soldiers immediately called to the others and chased the Indians away only to find themselves tricked into being ambushed and killed.

When the news reached Governor Morris of Pennsylvania, he decided that better protection was needed along the Lehigh River.  The French and Indians needed to be prevented from building forts in the area, so he appointed Benjamin Franklin and James Hamilton to supervise the defense of the frontier.

Franklin left Philadelphia immediately with his son William and 50 other men.  Another group of 50 men joined them a little later.  This group was led by Captain Wayne.  Two days after they reached the intended destination and began the building of their fort.  It took less than a week to build the fort but actually only 3 days were used to build the fort.  It was built of timbers about 18 feet long and one foot in diameter.  It was 125 feet in length by 50 feet wide.  Also, 3 block houses were placed along with two cannons placed at the far corners of the building.  Finally, a 16 foot well was dug to supply water.

In honor of Judge William Allen, they named the fort Fort Allen (the judge had planned the city of Allentown.  After he was reassured that the frontier along the Lehigh River was secure, Ben left for Philadelphia.  Towards the end of the French and Indian War, Fort Allen remained in use as a defense until permanent settlement of Weissport was begun by Col. Jacob Weiss.

Many Native Americans resisted the new British settlers, and in 1763 an Ottowan leader named Pontiac called on his warriors to revolt against the British.  He said that Britain only sought to destroy them.  Native Americans from many different tribes attacked British settlements and forts in the Ohio River Valley. This fighting was known as Pontiac’s Rebellion.  Pontiac and his followers won many battles against the British before the British finally put down the rebellion.

Alarmed by Pontiac’s Rebellion, British leaders did not want to continue fighting Natives on land won by France so Britain’s King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763 as an official announcement that said colonists were no longer allowed to settle on lands west of the Appalachian Mountains.  The King of Britain hoped this proclamation would prevent further native rebellions.  The Proclamation of 1763 was not popular among many colonists who wanted new lands to settle.  The colonists were frustrated and angry about the plan.  They felt the Proclamation of 1763 was very unfair.  As time went on, tensions between the colonists and British government began to grow, eventually leading to the Revolutionary War.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Memorial Day 2013 - A Tribute to Dad and his First Division Marine Corps Buddies

Below is the transcript from my speech about Dad, Randy Rabenold, delivered at the Lehighton Area Middle School Memorial Day Program, Wednesday, May 22, 2013.  A presentation of 37 slides accompanied the original speech, key photos are reproduced here.
Other Posts:
Part 1 Of Randy Rabenold's Korea Story
 Part 2 Of Randy Rabenold's Korea Story
Part 3 of Randy Rabenold's Korea Story
The Trench Art of Randy Rabenold from the Korean War
UVO Members Glenn "Smokey" Trotman, Randy Rabenold, Henry Long, Captain Semanoff, and his dad Gene Semanoff
Vietnam-era veteran.

Ron and Randy Rabenold, Captain Pete Semanoff, main speaker with Nate and Jon Rabenold at the Lehighton Area
Middle School following the 2013 Memorial Day Program.

I have a lesson for you today.

I’d like to share with you some research and interviews I have done on my Dad, Randy Rabenold and his friends when they served in the Marine Corps. 

In it, I hope you will hear what service to one’s country means.

My Dad and his 5 neighborhood friends were known as “the Bulldogs.”  They were the best of friends.  They did everything together.  They played football, basketball and track.  They even joined the Marines together.

 On the day after graduation from High School, while their other classmates had a picnic, their class outing,  the 6 Bulldog friends were on a train to Boot Camp at Parris Island.

They were: Bill Kuhla, Bobby Kipp, Dad’s cousin Ray, Dick Carrigan, and Duke Blauch.
Dad was assigned to the First Division where he met more friends from all over the country.  
One friend, Tadashi Yamaguchi was known as “Jack” to his friends.  He and his family were Japanese Americans. 

Because of the sneak attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, our government thought it best to place Americans of Japanese Heritage into Internment Camps during World War II. 
Jack Yamaguchi was a prisoner in his own country during Word War II, but chose to serve by joining the Marines
in 1948 at the same time my Dad did.  This slide shows my Dad at play at about the same time Jack and his family
had their freedoms taken away.

So while my Dad and his other friends were free to go play, Jack Yamaguchi, at the age of 12, was a prisoner of war in his own country

But Jack was willing to forgive his country.  He said, “I knew in my heart I was an American, and nothing or nobody could change that.”  “I always say in the long run, everything worked out for me…

I was never angry about what happened to me…I always say, when you’re angry, you are your worst enemy.”

And so, 4 years after his release, he too joined the United States Marine Corps.
One of my favorites of Dad's friends.  Jack Yamaguchi died last spring.  One of those lives that touches other lives without that person really ever knowing.  Rest in Peace Jack: You unknowingly inspired the tone and subtext of my message I gave at Ss Peter and Paul Cemetery On Memorial Day 2013.

Few people join the military because they love war.  They do not hope to die for their country, but they join realizing that dying is a distinct possibility.

When the Korean War broke out, Dad and his friends were in the thick of the fighting.

At first, it was going badly for us.  We were barely holding on to an area known as the Pusan Perimeter. 
Then Dad and all his friends made it safely through the Inchon Invasion.  Suddenly, the war was going in our favor.  Surely everyone would be home safely by Christmas.

But one night, there was a mortar attack.  There was fear and confusion, bombs seemed to be coming from everywhere.  The men, deep in their two-man foxholes said prayers, not just for themselves, but for their buddies, and their families back home.

Bobby Kipp and his foxhole buddy were dug in. But it wasn’t enough.  In the morning, they pulled his foxhole partner out, unconscious, but alive.  But Dad’s friend Bobby was dead.  Bobby was buried back home here in Lehighton, 9 months later.

At about this same time, my grandfather, my Dad’s dad, died back home here in Lehighton. 

The war was going well enough now for the Marines to allow my Dad a 30-day leave to be with his Mother.
While he was gone, the rest of his buddies did as Marines do, they pushed forward to a place called the Chosin Reservoir. 

But there was a huge problem.  The Chinese were there and they were waiting for us. 

When our 8,000 Marines got near the Chosin, 300,000 Chinese Communist soldiers entered the war.  At this point the men had been fighting for two months straight without even enough time to change their clothes.  The Chinese attacked us at night, for 12 days straight.  Our men barely had any time to sleep.  It was extremely cold, 20 degrees below zero. 

The Chinese had us surrounded and completely outnumbered.

Our Marines, my Dad’s friends, were trapped.  There was little hope they could get out alive.

Just then, Dad was returning back to Korea from his 30-day leave.  He and a small band of men were told they had to fight their way in, to get our trapped men out.  Dad said a little prayer for his buddies who were in trouble.

Luckily, by the time they got there, most of the Marines had fought their way out.
They made it through, but at a heavy cost.  Many of our Marines were killed, many were badly wounded.  Almost all of them had severe frostbite. 

Among the dead was another of Dad’s friends, Gene Holland. 

Dad often said, how being sent home because of his dad’s death, may have saved his life in Korea.

I thank God my Dad came home safely.  I also am thankful he and so many men and women dedicate themselves to serving our country.

And that is precisely what we must remember about Memorial Day. 

Look around you.  You are surrounded by Veterans who served and sacrificed.
Before I go, I want to leave you with the lesson of Dad’s story.

No matter what you do in your future, I want you to consider putting these 3 words into your life:



Soldiers are a rare contradiction: They love America so much but they are willing to spend long years in foreign countries.  They love freedom so much, but they give up their own free time to serve.  They value life, and yet they stand ready to die for us and our future.

When Dad and his friends came home from war, they didn’t stop serving.  They got married, raised their families, and helped serve and build their communities in many ways. 



The legendary Navy Seal motto is: “The only easy day was yesterday.” 
Think about that.  That means each of us, every day, has hard work to do for our country.
The soldiers we remember on Memorial Day put in many hard days for us. 
They paid it forward to us.  If we are unwilling to carry it forward, we are wasting the gift of their sacrifice to us.
So, on Memorial Day, we owe it to them to remember their sacrifice. 



One of Jack Yamaguchi’s favorite expressions, one he always ended his phone calls with was: “Keep the Faith.”

My Dad and his friends had Faith in each other.

And that too is what Memorial Day is all about: keeping the faith, for all those who served, who fought, and who died, for us, and our country.

War is never good, but unfortunately, it becomes necessary.

The danger we face is when freedom becomes an expectation and when people feel entitled to it without being willing to work for it.

Dad: We are all proud of you and thankful for your service, sacrifice, and faith.
Semper Fi Dad – You were always faithful.

Memorial Day is a day to remember their service to us.  We too must sacrifice ourselves for our country.  The easiest day was yesterday.  It is up to us to remember and work hard for them as they did for us.  They are counting on us.  They have faith in us.

Thank you.
As you leave here today, say thank you to all the veterans you see:
The men here in uniform, and the ones not in uniform:
  •          My Dad
  •      Captain Pete Semanoff, Bronze Star Receipient and his dad Geno Semanoff
  •       Members of the UVO in Attendance: Jim Zanders, Frank Bokan, Dave Bryfogle, Oscar Lesley, Carl Haydt, Hans Keller, Billy Fisher, Smokey Trotman, Henry Long, Eileen Morgan, and Roger Diehl.
  •       Members of the Lehighton Area Middle School Staff: Mr. Dennis Semmel, Mr. Steve Ebbert,  Mr. Kevin Long, Mr. Eric Schlect, Mr. Keith Paterson, Mr. Charles Bachert, Mrs Heather Solt, and Mr John Stemler. 
The Lehighton Area Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Chorus sang "Of Thee I Sing, America" under direction from
Mrs. Laura Welkey during the Memorial Day Program held Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

Captain Peter Semanoff was the keynote speaker.  A decorated, Bronze
Star recipient of both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
 My Dad, Randy Rabenold with UVO Bugler Henry Long.

The UVO Color Guard take their ease in the first row during the program.

"Hand, Salute..."

"...Ready, Two."
While Henry Long plays "Taps.