VIII. PENNSYLVANIA MCCORDS IN THE REVOLUTION

Of over 60 McCords serving in American Revolution, more than 30 were from the colony Pennsylvania where McCords settled early, in 1720. Some McCords were at Valley Forge with Washington and in most of the major battles of the Revolution

Over 30 of the McCords who served in the Revolution were from Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's role in the American Revolution was many and varied both in civil and military roles. The Continental Congress, for example, met in Philadelphia during most of the war and at York during part of it.

INDEPENDENCE HALL, PHILADELPHIA WHERE THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS MET

The McCords served in both Washington's Continental Line, the Regulars, and in Pennsylvania's militia forces which had volunteered for duty immediately, as early as 1775 with Washington.

FRONTIERSMAN WITH HUNTING RIFLE. OTHERS WITH MUSKETS

The Pennsylvania, Virginia, Carolinas and Tennessee frontiersmen could fire 300 yards with their smooth bore rifle. The musket ball dropped off at half that distance, at 150 yards. The frontiersmen were legendary with their accuracy with their rifles.

The names of a few of the Pennsylvania McCords who served in the American Revolution were: William McCord, Sr., William McCord, Jr., and David McCord, Sixth Cumberland County Battalion (Col. Joseph Armstrong, Commander); two other William McCords and Matthew McCord (one in Capt. Bayard's company; one under Capt. Joseph Erwin's; and Matthew McCord under William Butler) and Mark McCord who was at Valley Forge with Washington.

MCCORDS SERVED AS CONTINENTALS AND AS FRONTIER RIFLEMEN

William McCord and his sons of the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania are an example of McCord families who fought with Washington from Pennsylvania. William and his three sons volunteered to fight with Washington and were in many of the major Revolutionary War engagements and battles.

Mark McCord was at Valley Forge with Washington. One of the McCords died from that experience.

In addition, in February 1778 George Washington wrote one of his generals in another area that he was sending Patrick McCord to him from Valley Forge.

A DRAWING OF VALLEY FORGE NEAR PHILADELPHIA IN THE BITTER WINTER OF 1777-78

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The 1777-78 winter was most severe at Valley Forge and Washington was trying to hold his army together and get them food and clothing. Some were without shoes or blankets or adequate clothing and were marching around on the snow without shoes and with bleeding feet.

Washington made a desperate plea to Governor Patrick Henry for any help he could provide and Governor Henry responded with all he could muster in clothing and food. Washington at this time was highly critical of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison who were then in Williamsburg, Virginia, the capitol, enjoying warm houses and figuratively eating roast ducklings with all the trimmings. Washington wanted to know why Jefferson Madison, and others were not helping with everything at their command either by serving in the Continental Congress or presumably in Washington's military. Jefferson and Madison did neither. Washington had to turn to Governor Patrick Henry for real help, and Henry responded.

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Home of Quaker minister Isaac Potts at Valley Forge which was Washington's headquarters.. Here Potts spoke of observing Washington praying in the snow outside his home in the woods regularly

Washington Praying at Valley Forge

Some of Washington's prayers were answered while at Valley Forge. When word reached Washington on May 1st by intelligence that France had recognized the independence of the colonies, Washington on May 7, 1778,   issued the following general order:

" 'It having pleased the Great Ruler of the universe to defend the cause of the United American States,, and finally to raise up a powerful friend among the princes of the earth, to establish our liberty and independence on a lasting foundation, it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the divine goodness, and celebrating this important event, which we owe to His divine interposition.

" 'The several brigades are to be assembled for this purpose at nine o'clock tomorrow morning when their Chaplains will communicate the intelligence contained in the postscript of the Pennsylvania Gazette (Ben Franklin's) of the 2d instant, and offer up a thanksgiving and deliver a discourse suitable to the occasion...."

" Washington with his lady and suite, Lord Sterling and his lady with other general officers and ladies attended the religious services of the Jersey Brigade when Reverend Mr. Hunter delivered a discourse....When he (Washington took his leave) there was universal huzzaing, ' Long Live General Washington!' The huzzas continued until the general had preceded a quarter of a mile and and thousand hats where tossed in the air..."


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ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS OF ALL SKETCHES, GENERAL WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE RIVER TO ATTACK THE BRITISH IN A SURPRISE VICTORY

This attack came after Valley Forge. Washington was probably the most capable military strategist America has ever had.


Many of the McCords in America had their beginnings in Pennsylvania. These are some of the areas they lived in.

MODERN DAY LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

Lancaster County has some of the best farmland in the United States. This rolling countryside in this photograph is similar to that around Derry (now Hershey) Pennsylvania where David McCord of Derry lived and around Chambersburg, Pennsylvania where William McCord of Ft. McCord lived.

Both David and William McCord received land patents from the Penn family in the early 1750's.

McCord Crests:

McKorda Crest (MacCorde, McCord, McKorda, MacKorda)(from James Fairbairn's Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, page 359, Crest 9, Plate 186, published 1870 London and New York: Cassell, Petter and Galpin). The McKorda Crest is both Scottish and Irish. Crests were worn on the helmets of Clan Chiefs to distinguish them in battle (Adam)

 

 

 

JANUARY 3, 1752 LAND PATENT WARRANT FOR DAVID MCCORD IN DERRY (LONDONDERRY) TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA

 

DERRY CHURCH HERSHEY PENNSYLVANIA

PASTOR'S STUDY DERRY CHURCH BUILT 1732

HEADSTONE FOR JOSEPH SHANON (SHANNON) MCCORD IN DERRY CHURCHYARD

(above three photographs courtesy of Dr. Symm McCord)

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Joseph Shannon McCord farm near Hershey (formerly Derry) PA which had been in his ancestor's family (William McCord) from the 1750's to the early 1770's. Farm is north of Hershey

 


Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and descendants of the Scottish Covenanters

Derry (now Hershey) where David McCord lived in the 1720-1758 period and Ft. McCord near Chambersburg Pennsylvania where William McCord lived in a similar period, were originally in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Dr. William Egle, noted Pennsylvania historian and Superintendent of the Pennsylvania State Archives, wrote that,

"Between 1680-1688, 18,000 Scotch were put to death in defense of the Solemn League of Covenanters and Christ's headship over the Church."

"In looking over the list (of these Covenanters of Scotland) one is struck by the fact that among the Covenanters are the very surnames of Scotch-Irish immigrants to this section (Lancaster County, Pennsylvania).

"(They include)...the Allisons, Stuarts, McCords, Grays, Thompsons, Robinsons, Rutherfords, Kerrs, McEwens, Halls, Boyds and Montgomerys..." (from William Egle, History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania)


FT. MCCORD WAS LOCATED MIDWAY BETWEEN SHIPPENSBURG AND FORT LOUDOUN IN THE MAP ABOVE

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(painting in The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh)

"The (this) watercolor sketch of Pittsburgh in 1790 by landscape artist Lewis Brantz is the earliest known view of the city that was destined to serve for many decades as port of entry to the Ohio Valley"

There were a substantial number of McCord families living in and around Pittsburgh in 1790. They included the family of Howard McCord, Vice- President of the McCord Clan Society.

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1850 Ohio Cabin

The large section of this farm home in Ohio, the portion with the fireplace, was built in 1850.  The smaller section of the home at the back was added later. Many of the settlers in Ohio came from Pennsylvania via Pittsburgh, including some of the McCords.

 

 


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Painting of New Orleans in 1803, the year of the Louisiana Purchase

OLIVER POLLOCK OF CHAMBERSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA: "FINANCIER OF THE REVOLUTION" IN NEW ORLEANS AND HIS FRIEND SPANISH GOVERNOR DE GALVEZ

SPANISH GOVERNOR IN NEW ORLEANS BERNARDO DE GALVEZ IN 1781

Oliver Pollock and his family had land adjoining the McCords at Ft. McCord, near present-day Chambersburg, PA. After the Revolution, Pollock returned and sold land there and bought land elsewhere in the Lancaster Pennsylvania area. Some McCords married into the Pollock families.

Oliver Pollock played a most vital role from the earliest days in the American Revolution in New Orleans where he obtained and sent critical military supplies to Washington's army which Pollock acquired through his friendship with Bernardo de Galvez, Governor of "New Spain," or the Spanish territories in America.

Pollock has been called "The Financier of the Revolution." In addition, Pollock spent $300,000 of his own funds to support the American Revolution.

Colonel George Rogers Clark with his frontiersmen from Southwest Virginia and Washington County Tennessee floated 1000 miles down the Ohio River from Ft. Pitt in wintertime to capture the Northwest for the American Revolutionaries.

Pollock's help to Colonel George Rogers Clark of Virginia and Kentucky in getting from the Spanish Governor ammunition and gunpowder and clothing was very essential in Clark's winning the Northwest for America in the American Revolution. Virginia's Governor Patrick Henry had made special appeals to Spanish Governor Galvez through Oliver Pollock for aid to Clark.

SPAIN IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

SPAIN PROTECTED AMERICA'S SOUTHERN COASTLINE DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION FROM THE BRITISH AND GAVE VITALLY NEEDED GUNS, AMMUNITION AND SUPPLIES TO VIRGINIA'S GOVERNOR PATRICK HENRY AND TO WASHINGTON'S ARMY.

OLIVER POLLOCK OF PENNSYLVANIA PLAYED A CRITICAL ROLE IN GETTING THIS SPANISH AID FOR WASHINGTON'S ARMY AND GEORGE ROGERS CLARK IN THE NORTHWEST.

Oliver Pollock was related to the McCords indirectly, through James Pollock of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania,. from whom Oliver Pollock inherited land. James Pollock lived near Ft. McCord. Oliver Pollock appears to have been a brother of James Pollock.

The McCord links to the Pollocks is this. John and Elizabeth Lowry were in the same congregation in Derry Pennsylvania in 1733 with William McCord and his family, in the Spring Creek Presbyterian Church there. The church is still in Derry (now Hershey) Pennsylvania.

William McCord, who died in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1739 and who had emigrated to America in 1720. had a brother John McCord, born 1702, who died in 1762 in Paxton near Derry Pennsylvania.

This John McCord was a brother-in-law of James Pollock, mentioned above.

James McCord had married Jane, a daughter of John Lowry, and James Pollock married another daughter of John Lowry, name unknown.

Thus, if Oliver Pollock was the brother of James Pollock as is believed, John McCord was the brother- in- law of Oliver's brother.

In addition, John and Jane McCord Lowry had a daughter Sarah who was captured at the Ft. McCord massacre in 1756. She was later recovered.

James Pollock was in 1777 one of the Commissioners of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania which was a prominent wartime position.

Oliver Pollock was even more prominent. On 12 June 1777, Oliver Pollock was chosen Commercial Agent of the United States in New Orleans by the Secret Committee of the United States, consisting of Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris and Charles Lee. The Secret Committee was under the Continental Congress.

In 1762-64 Oliver Pollock had moved to Havana Cuba where he engaged in mercantile pursuits, connected with a large merchandising house there. He became influential and a friend of the Governor of Cuba, Don Alexander O'Reilly who became his friend for life.

In 1765 Oliver Pollock married Margaret O'Brien of the prominent O'Brien family of Clare and Kennedy of Ormond. She died in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1799.

In 1769, Oliver Pollock went to Baltimore, Maryland and purchased and fitted out a brig, loaded it with flour and set sail for New Orleans. In the meantime, his friend O'Reilly had been appointed Governor of the Province of Louisiana in behalf of the King of Spain.

On 17 August 1779 O'Reilly arrived at New Orleans with 3,000 troops, doubling the population there. Food soon became in short supply and the provisions O'Reilly had ordered for his troops failed to arrive. At this critical point, Oliver Pollock's brig arrived with its flour. The last barrel of flour had just been sold in New Orleans that day and it brought $30, a large sum then.

Oliver Pollock immediately put his brig load of flour at the disposal of the Governor, requesting that he set the price. The Governor refused to do so. Pollock wrote: "I then said that as the king had 3000 troops there and the inhabitants in distress, I offered my flour at $15 dollars or thereabouts, per barrel and he (the Governor) immediately agreed and he observed that he would make a note of it to the King (of Spain) and that I should have a fine trade there as long as I lived; and I did enjoy that as long I stayed in the country."

"Thus he (Pollock) laid the foundation of the large fortune which subsequently he placed at the disposal of the United Colonies," wrote another writer.

"In 1775, when the conflict with the United Colonies and the mother country began, among the many merchants from the colonies residing in New Orleans, Pollock was the most prominent and the most energetic. His sympathies were at once enlisted in favor of the Colonies and his services rendered secretly and effectively.

"On the 10th of July 1776, Don Bernardo de Galvez, then Colonel of the Regiment of Louisiana was appointed Provisional Governor of Louisiana, succeeding Governor Unzaga, February 1, 1777.

"Galvez was then a young man of talent, energy, and character, the son of then Viceroy of Mexico, and the nephew of the Spanish Secretary of State.

"Pollock was introduced to Galvez by General Unzaga with the assurance that 'If the Court of Spain was going to take part with Great Britain, Oliver Pollock should not remain in the country 24 hours, but if the reverse were true, that they were going to take part with France (against England), Oliver Pollock was the only man he could confide in in the colony--meaning as an English merchant."

"Pollock and Galvez became warm friends. In the expeditions which Galvez commanded against the British possessions during the war between Spain and England, Pollock accompanied him, doing personal service and largely aiding the armies of Spain (and in turn the United States)."

It is clear that Oliver Pollock was the counterpart in New Orleans with Spain of Robert Morris, the "financier of the American Revolution" in Philadelphia, a role and support which were both critical to the success of the Revolution.


OLIVER HAZARD PERRY'S GREAT VICTORY OVER THE BRITISH ON LAKE ERIE OFF PENNSYLVANIA IN THE WAR OF 1812

On September 10, 1813, a "crowning naval triumph during the war (occurred), one of the most brilliant, in fact in all naval annals, won by Oliver Hazard Perry near Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie over the Britisher Barclay, naval veteran who had served under Lord Nelson at Trafalgar. The fleets were well matched, the American numbering more vessels but the fewer guns.

"Barclay greatly exceeded Perry in long guns, having the latter at painful disadvantage until he got near. Perry's flagship, the Lawrence was early disabled. Her decks were drenched with blood and she had hardly a gun that could be served.

"Undismayed, Perry, with his insignia of command, crossed in a little boat to the Niagara. Again proudly hoisting his colors, aided by the wind and followed by his whole squadron, he pressed for close quarters where desperate fighting speedily won the battle. Barclay and his next in command were wounded, the latter dying that night.

"'We have met the enemy and they are ours,' Perry wrote to General Harrison, 'two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop,' " he said.

Private Alexander McCord was one who fought in this battle and shared in the prize money for capturing the British ships.

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A replica of the U.S. Brig Niagara, now based on Lake Erie

(courtesy of the Flagship Niagara League, Erie PA)


By 1790, a number of McCords were living in Western Pennsylvania around Pittsburgh and up on Lake Erie, at North East, Pennsylvania, and were poised to move down the Ohio River into the Northwest Territory which had just been opened up as a federal territory.

Many moved into Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois via that route.

By 1820 there were over 400 McCord families in the U.S., many of them out on the frontiers and among the first settlers of the states just mentioned.