Archives

Old St. Luke’s has embarked on an ambitious project to place some of its important papers on the web site. Here you will find information about the Whiskey Rebellion, Christian history, land claims of Virginia, and other topics that will be of interest to the serious researcher, historian, or family genealogist. In most of these papers the original spelling and syntax have been kept. Articles related to OSL and American history are also included.

This page is by no means complete, and is an ongoing project. For more information, or to make contributions of historic papers related to Old St. Luke’s or the Whiskey Rebellion, contact Bob Carlson; E-mail rcar616071@aol.com or call 724-255-9919.


1765 – A very busy year here and there – The Rev. Richard W. Davies looks at some of the “taxing” events leading up to the American Revolution and Whiskey Rebellion. (PDF Format)

1978 Restoration – A photo of some of the people who helped restore Old St. Luke’s

2001 – Unveiling of OSL’s Roadside Marker – The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission officially recognizes the significant role of Old St. Luke’s Church in the history of Western Pennsylvania


A Brief History of OSL’s Buildings – The Rev. Richard W. Davies traces the edifice of Old St. Luke’s, from the 1790’s Frame Church to the restored structure of today

A Dowsing rod and unmarked graves in the Burial Ground – Did you ever wonder if “dowsing” works?  It is science or art..or hokum?  The Rev. Richard W. Davies tells the story of a modern-day dowser and the Old St. Luke’s graveyard

A PITTSBURGH BENEFACTOR – The story of John H. Shoenberger, an early industrialist and philanthropist in Pittsburgh, as told by Rev. Richard W. Davies

American Coinage and Church Pews – The financial health of the Pittsburgh area was often affected by a variety of foreign coinage in the early days of the country.  The Rev. Richard W. Davies traces coinage, and the financial health of the local church


Before and After the Naming of Pittsburgh – 1758 – In this 250th Anniversary year of the British occupation of the site of Ft. Duquesne, The Rev. Richard W. Davies writes a short history lesson, describing the founding of Pennsylvania through what life was like in the Ohio valley

Brackenridge, Hugh Henry – A look at the life of one of Pittsburgh’s most endearing characters of the early Federal period – an article by Richard R. Gideon

Brackenridge’s role in Westsylvania – Hugh Henry Brackenridge’s role in quashing efforts to create a new state from western Pennsylvania and Virginia; an effort he later regretted.  From the book “Law Miscellanies,” and edited by Richard R. Gideon

BRIGADIER GENERAL JOHN NEVILLE   1731 – 1803 – An article by Rev. Richard W. Davies from the Old St. Luke’s Newsletter of July, 2003 in commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the death of General John Neville

Burial Ground & Garden – Cemetery listings, showing names and locations (where known) of those buried in the grounds of Old St. Luke’s. A genealogical resource..


Cemetery Headstones – Examples of Carnegie Mellon University’s ground-breaking scanning technology in use at OSL to recover headstone inscriptions lost to time.

CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS IN STAINED GLASS WINDOWS, and LET THEIR BE (GAS) LIGHT – From the March 2011 newsletter, a double article about Christian Art and how it was once illuminated – by The Rev. Richard W. Davies

Christopher Gist, pioneer; and Sequoyah – From the March, 2007 newsletter, Rev. Richard W. Davies assembles information from the Jones family concerning their interesting relatives, one of whom developed the Cherokee alphabet

Clergy – The call for Independence – From the March, 2003 newsletter, The Rev. Richard W. Davies traces the role of the clergy in framing the Declaration of Independence.

Coal Mines under Old St. Luke’s Church – From the November, 2012 newsletter, a listing of three coal mines known to have operated very close to OSL

Colonial Care of the Poor – The Rev. Richard W. Davies provides insight into a time when the “established church” provided civil services


Dramatis Personae – Notes about some of the principles of the Whiskey Rebellion – compiled by Richard R. Gideon


Early Postal Service and Lea the Postmaster – A look at the early postal system in the United States from 1787 to 1906 – From the November, 2005 newsletter by The Rev. Richard W. Davies


French and Indian War – Information concerning the French and Indian War, and activities coincident with the war

Fee Tail_ 200 years Ago This Year (2002) – Traces the lineage of Old St. Luke’s Church to the “Fee Tail” will of Maj. William Lea.  An article by Rev. Richard W. Davies


General Daniel Morgan – Sharpshooter – The Rev. Richard W. Davies looks at the life of Gen. Daniel Morgan, patriot and Federalist, and his connection to the Whiskey Rebellion

Grave Changes over the Decades in Pittsburgh – The dead sometimes do not remain “undisturbed” in their graves.  Rev. Richard W. Davies discusses the relocation of the dead in and around the Pittsburgh area


Health in Pittsburgh – A table showing the decline in death due to a variety of diseases

History and Incidents of Old St. Luke’s – A selection of vignettes from the days when St. Luke’s had an active congregation.

HOLMES JR, OBADIAH (1760-1834) – From Doddridge’s “Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars,” Obadiah Holmes, Jr. (who is buried at Old St. Luke’s) and his role in the Moavian Indian massacre.


JAMES FRIES and his dog WHISKEY were here in 1794 – Perhaps not as well-known, the Fries Rebellion nearly matched the Whiskey Rebellion in terms of the government’s response to the “House Tax” protest. An article by The Rev. Richard W. Davies

JAMESTOWN – The Rev. Richard W. Davies sheds light on the beginning of the Anglican Communion in the United States.

Jane Lea Nixon, Pioneer Woman in the Chartiers Valley – The Rev. Richard W. Davies looks at one of the endearing characters of early OSL and Chartiers Valley history – Jane Lea Nixon.

John McMillan & Francis Reno – What happens when a Presbyterian pastor and a Methodist student get together in early Western Pennsylvania? An Article by The Rev. Richard W. Davies.

Lea-Nelson Marriage Record – From the 1774 record of marriages performed at Christ Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Lea, Henry Pay Record – A 1770 pay voucher for Major William Lea, who left the land upon which Old St. Luke’s was built.]

Lee, Henry – “Light Horse Harry” & Washington County –  “Light Horse Harry” Henry Lee, the father of Robert E. Lee, is sent by President Washington to quell the disturbance in Western Pennsylvania. An article by The Rev. Richard W. Davies.

Lesnett, Christian – Christian Lesnett was a cabinet-maker who moved to Western Pennsylvania after service in the French and Indian War. Lesnett Road, in Upper St. Clair Township, is named for him.

Lewis, Meriwether – “Meriwether Lewis in Our Midst” – The Rev. Richard W. Davies describes Pittsburgh’s role in the Lewis & Clark expedition, and offers a short biographical sketch of Meriwether Lewis.

Louisiana, or Virginia, or Pennsylvania – The Rev. Richard W. Davies traces a short history of claims and counter-claims to the region of Western Pennsylvania.


McFarlane, Captain James – A photograph of the tomb of Captain McFarlane gives another view of General Neville. Captain McFarlane is buried in the Mingo Creek Cemetery. The perspective is by The Rev. Richard W. Davies.

Militias, A Standing Army and the Whiskey Rebellion – The Rev. Richard W. Davies describes the condition of the army in post-Revolutionary War America.

Miller, William – From Incidents of the Insurrection in the Western Parts of Pennsylvania in the year 1794, by Hugh Henry Brackenridge, an account of the pivotal incident that sparked the outbreak of hostilities.

Montours_Ohio_River_Island_and_John_Neville – A short history of Pittsburgh’s major Ohio River island by The Rev. Richard W. Davies.

Motivations to_begin_and_end_church_buildings – What were the reasons for constructing or tearing down a church building in 19th Century Pittsburgh? Find out in this article by The Rev. Richard W. Davies which includes a listing of Public Events in Pittsburgh 1845-1869.


Neville, General John – A ledger from the Craig-Neville plot in section 11 of the Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh.

Neville, History of General John Neville – A short history of General John Neville, including the names of his wife and children.

Newsmaker Light Horse Harry Lee – The father of Robert E. Lee makes news in Western Pennsylvania during the Whiskey Rebellion. An article by The Rev. Richard W. Davies.

Nixon, Sgt Thomas – A letter to Sgt. Thomas Nixon (buried at Old St. Luke’s), congratulating him on firing the last shot into Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House.


Oh! Those Pittsburgh churches – The Rev. Richard W. Davies explores the development of Pittsburgh church life during the period 1754-1805.


Parkinsons Ferry, “Whiskey Point” and Monongahela – Combined problems threaten the stability of the Western Pennsylvania region, culminating in the “Whiskey Rebellion” – an article by The Rev. Richard W. Davies


Reno, Rev Francis – A short biography of The Rev. Francis Reno (1758-1836), the first settled Episcopal clergyman west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Restoration Memories – From the Old St. Luke’s Newsletter, April 2000. Cleaning a restoration work in the years 1949-1963.

Role of Clergy and Albert Gallatin – Albert Gallatin counsels moderation and peace while doubting the Constitutionality of the Whiskey Excise Tax – not unlike many local clergymen – an article by The Rev. Richard W. Davies.


South, Daniel – Daniel South served in the French and Indian War.

Steamboats, Livelihood and Fire – What did the early settlers in the Chartiers Valley do for a living? The Rev. Richard W. Davies answers that question and more.

Steel, David – David Steel is responsible for establishing a garrison fort on the land now occupied by Old St. Luke’s.

Strategic Location of Old St. Luke’s – A discussion of the reasons for locating Old St. Luke’s along Chartiers Creek.


Two Similar Churches – Maryland and Pennsylvania – The Rev. Richard W. Davies explores the similarities between OSL and Emmanuel Church in Cumberland, Maryland.


War, Moravians and Neolin – A look at the union of American and Christian history as it relates to the end of the French & Indian War.

Washington Family Stone and Old St. Luke’s Church – The Rev. Richard W. Davies describes how a stone from the Washington family home in England became part of the wall of Old St. Luke’s Church.

West Augusta County Virginia Court Records – Virginia Court records pertaining to the dates 1775-1778. The bold-faced references are those tied to Old St. Luke’s.

West Augusta County Virginia, District of – The act of the Virginia legislature creating West Augusta County, and defining the boundaries thereof.

West Augusta County Virginia, Map of – An original map of the area of Western Pennsylvania claimed by Virginia, and was included as part of the court records for the period 1775-1780.

Westsylvania – A short discussion of the petition attempt to create a new state west of the Allegheny Mountains.

What David Steel’s Table Stone Might Reveal – The table stone over Captain David Steel’s grave can tell us more than that he lived from 1749-1819. To the careful observer, this table stone can point to Steel’s religious and political convictions. From the June 2013 Newsletter – an article by The Rev. Richard W. Davies.

Whiskey Flags – Vexillologist Richard R. Gideon describes the flags used during the Whiskey Rebellion. Reprinted courtesy of the North American Vexillologocal Association and copyright holder Richard R. Gideon.

Why, Aaron Burr, did you fire? – OSL Director and Historian, The Rev. Richard W. Davies recounts the events leading up to the July 11, 1804 duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

William Lea’s 1787 Pennsylvania Land Patent – OSL’s existence on William Lea’s land is courtesy of King George, III. The Rev. Richard W. Davies describes how Lea got his land patent.