(Reading time 4 minutes)
In 1751, some German immigrants came to American shores.
Shelter was the number one job among their chores.
Called Pennsylvania Dutch, they built stockades, of logs from trees,
As their shelter from the Indians, and the winter’s freeze.
One summer day in 1761, some stockade dwellers had a picnic.
They ventured from the stockade, grouping under a tree, by a crick.
Indians at that time were unfriendly, quite hostile in fact,
Was why these settlers lived in stockades, sheltered from attack.
The families gathered
brought food and drink, that they had made,
Dining at a safe distance to run back home,
if need for safety and aid.
This day Delaware Indians raided the picnic,
and everyone ran for their lives,
Except one woman, called big Aunt Fannie,
who was scalped by their knives.
When the Indians were finally befriended, folks could then venture out,
It was then settlers started with their farming, 1754, or there about.
Early families cloistered, and kept their settlements small,
Half dozen houses would suffice as homes, for each family all.
Such places were usually known, by the family’s name,
Then adding “town, ville, burg” or whatever they would proclaim.
The Mosser family built their first Hamlet, in 1792,
And most are now still the homes, of their descendants too.
The men were farmers and loggers, back in those days,
Raising crops and farm animals, using wagons and sleighs.
History records a man named Frederick Leaser, had a day of fame,
He became a hero by a stroke of fate, and that was all he could claim.
On a wagon trip to sell his crops, in Philadelphia town,
He traveled from Lehigh Valley to the city, a two-day trip down.
There he met neighboring farmers, who gathered for some brew,
In the town’s City Tavern, for some spirits long overdue.
Celebration and merriment, took place there and then,
That was until soldiers arrived, that night about ten.
“We are commandeering your wagons”, said they, one and all,
“In the name of General Washington, to be used to haul.”
“Your wagons will be dispatched, to a place far away.
Soldiers will be your guides, and show you the way.
You will take the bells, from the Philadelphia churches,
To safety elsewhere, to protect from seizures or searches.”
The task was to remove the bells, from the belfries in town,
Hide them from the British, who would melt them down,
For bullets and cannon balls, as ammunition for the war.
They’d never suspect farmers, transporting crops to the store.
The farmers complied, though they all insisted,
That they drive their own wagons, albeit soldier assisted.
The officers agreed, and the wagons were loaded,
With secrecy, care and caution foreboded.
The bells were all covered, with big bales of hay,
Orders given were to move out, before the light of day.
They headed north toward Allentown, a two-day trip,
Along the Bethlehem Pike, under the army’s leadership.
Frederick Leaser drove the biggest wagon, and heaviest load.
When they reached their destination, in the unloading mode,
He brushed away some hay, that covered the bell,
And thereon it was, which made this a story to tell.
It read: “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land,
Unto all the inhabitants, thereof.”
It was The Liberty Bell,
big and grand.
True is this story of this author’s family,
which I am proud to relate,
All by coincidence of a journey to market,
a mug of brew, and a stroke of fate.