Frontier Inhabitants' Religious Agreement

The following was submitted by Robin L. W. Petersen of [TBD] for inclusion at the Genealogy in Washington Co., PA web site in January 1998.

Copyright 1998 Robin L. W. Petersen.

We, and each of us, whose names are underwritten, being chiefly the inhabitants of the western frontier of Washington County, considering the many abounding evils in our own hearts and lives, as also the open and secret violation of the holy law of Godd, which dishonors His name and defiles and ruins our country; such as ignorance, unbelief, hardness of heart, contempt of God in his ordinances, law, and gospel (in particular in setting our hearts upon the creature in one line or another more than upon God), breach of his Sabbath, disobedience to parents, backbitings, entertaining bad thoughts, and receiving groundless evil reports of others, unfaithfulness to God for His mercies, profaning His name, uncleanness, defraud, deceit, over-reaching in bargains, gaming, horse racing, cock fighting, shooting for prizes, lying, covetousness, discontent, fretting against the dispensations of God's providence, unfaithfulness for God (in suffering sin to remain on our neighbor unreproved), denying God in the neglect of family and secret worship, catechizing and instruction of our children and servants or slaves, vexatious wranglings, and law suits, together with innumerable evils, provoking God to send down heavy judgements on our land, and to withhold or withdraw His gracious presence, and unfit our soul for enjoying any solid happiness, which we desire to acknowledge with shame and sorrow of heart before God, and do in the strength of God and depending on His Grace for support, solemnly promise (to our power, according to our various places and stations) to engage against, both in ourselves and others, as providence shall give us opportunity, and prudence direct.

In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands, the 14th day of February, 1782. (N.B. This is not to be a barrier to prevent any from signing at any time hereafter.)

Robert McCready, William Vance, John Stone, James Edgar, William McCandless, Robert Dunbar, John Robinson, John Donahey, Matthew Hilles, Benjamin Bearkus, John McMillen, Samuel Hindman, George McCulloch, John Ekin, Moses Wallace, David Thompson, Henry McBride, John Dodds, John Strain, James Barr, Thomas Hanna, James Dabbin, Thomas Strain, Samuel Jeffrey, Alex. McCandless, Samuel Leeper, James Matthews, William Smith, Thomas Bay, Ebenezer Smith, John Cowen, Thomas Barton, Hugh Sherer, Hugh Newel, Arthur Campbell, John Stephenson, Samuel Johnston, James Loop, John Hustein, William Thompson, William Reno, William Rannells, Henry Graham, William Hughes, William Campbell, Patrick McCormick, John Singer, Joseph Patterson, Daniel C. McCoy, David Kerr, John Morrison, John Stone, William Park, William Smiley, George Marquiss, Mary Marquiss, Thomas Marquiss, Joseph Vance, John Marquiss, William Wallace, Samuel Reed, James Marshall, Elias Newkirk, John Cooper, William McCullough, Alexander Wright, James Jackson, Agness Jackson, Mary Cowen, Sr., Mary Cowan, Jr., Martha Dunbar, Prudence Matthews, Elizabeth E. Hughes, Janet McCandless, Anne Vance, David Rannells, Elizabeth McCullogh, Ruth Rannells, Annie Park, Mary Johnston, Martha Edgar, Mary Graham, John Hughes, Gabriel Walker, Alexander Kidd, Jean Patterson. --86.

The above signed the first day. Attached is a second additional clause, with 28 names added to the first list. The second clause and names read thus:--

We desire to acknowledge the goodness of God, who hath continued his precious gospel with us in purity, and especially for his late gracious outpourings of divine influence on many parts of the land, and especially here where we were so sunk in carnal secutiry and wordly mindedness, floating along with the flood of vanity. And we desire to lament our barrenness and leanness under these gracious favors, and we do now, the strength of God, relying on His grace, resolve that we will seek to the Lord for help to improve these precious favors, and knowing that some do oppose the work, and aspersing it as a delusion, &c., we will be guarded in our conduct, careful or our company, and we believe that it is the duty of awakened sinners next to their supplication to the throne of grace to lay open their case to ministers and experienced Christians, lest Satan and corruption might get the advantage of them, and that we will be careful and watchful to perform the duties required by Christian rules in the families we belong to, as we stand related severally as parents and children, husbands and wives, masters or mistresses, and servants.

Signed in 1786 by Angas Sunderland, Jane Sunderland, Thomas Bay, Elizabeth Bay, Mary Patterson, Sarah Vance, Jean Marquis, Martha Rannells, Robert Morgan, Margaret Marshall, Susannah Patterson, Robert Marshal, Elizabeth Thompson, Tabitha Kirk, Sarah Marquis, Susannah Parke.

May 31, 1787, Thomas Hays, Jos. Colville Vance, William Huston, John M. Cloan, Joseph Wiley, Catharine Edgar, Catharine Phillis, John Sanders, Andrew Ferguson, Elizabeth McMillen, Mary Edgar, Sr., Hannah Huston.

To which names are added these words, "Whole number 114--dead 26." James Edgar, Esq., makes a note below the additional clause of these words, "I believe this additional clause was made on the second day's signing."


Alfred Creigh, HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, B. Singerly Printer, Harrisburg, Pa., 1871.

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