CCC Vol. 2 p. 85 Joseph W. Buck .

Campbell Cousins Correspondence

521 Robinson Building,

Elmira, N. Y.,

April 21, 1924

Dear Cousins:

I wish to apologize for my failure to have answered your previous letters, requesting report [sic] for the Cousins' Book. My work has taken so much of my time1 during the past few months that I have been compelled to neglect any personal matters. My neglect, however, does not indicate any lack of interest in the good work that is being done.

I had intended to work up some information in reference to our great-grandfather Campbell, which I believe would be of interest to all.

When we broke up grandmother's home, I discovered some old copy-books and a diary which were dated around 1810-1820. Evidently some pages are missing from the diary, and part of the writing is illegible, so that it would take quite a little time to translate and compile the information contained therein2. The first pages of the diary show the sale of certain property in Londonderry, Ireland, which evidently was done just prior to the time that the Campbells came to this country3. There is some description of the voyage over to America. They landed in Perth Amboy and then came up the Susquehanna River to Williamsport and from Williamsport they finally came to Nelson4. There is quite a vivid description of the character of the country, the crops that could be grown and the abundance of game, such as bears, deer and the like5.

I am going to make every effort to see if I cannot write up an interesting resume of the papers which I have. I first contemplated having photostatic copies made, but I do not believe that this would be practical as the writing is faded and the pages discolored to such an extent that I am sure we could not get clear copies.

1. For a small law firm in a small city, Joe had an amazing list of corporate clients, including being counsel for Corning Glass. He definitely was "a local boy who made good."

2. Many of us would give our eye teeth for that diary or a transcription of it. Joe's son, Joseph C. Buck, looked and looked for it among his parents' papers, but to no avail. However, Joseph W. did included key excerpts of the diary in his letter the following year. --- see Vol. 3, p.72. A careful reading of those excerpt leads me to conclude that the diary was not that of Joe's great-grandfather, but that of his great-great-grandfather, also named Joseph.

3. Our Campbells didn't all come then, Portions came in at least 3 separate voyages. See "Who Came When".

4. Only the Joseph Campbell born in 1748, wife Mary Harper, and their youngest children sailed to Perth Amboy, NJ. The other members of the family were mostly in Lancaster Co., PA or Philadelphia. Some remained in Lancaster Co. and never came to Nelson. Those going to Nelson assembled at the farm of Sam Hazlett, which at that time may have been near Stroudsburg, PA, or may have been in Lancaster Co., PA. If it was near Stroudsburg,  they would have followed the Sullivan Trail to the Susquehanna at Wilkes-Barre. Or, if Sam's farm was still in Lancaster Co. they would have reached the Susquehanna at, or below, Harrisburg. Regardless of where they reached the Susquehanna, then followed it to Sudbury, PA. According to one account, the party split up at Sudbury. The women and children followed the main branch of the Susquehanna to Athens, PA, then the Chemung River to  Painted Post, NY, then picked up a road going South to Lawrenceville, PA. In thas version the livestock, accompanied by most of the men, followed the West Branch of the Susquehanna to Williamsport, as Joe described. And then came north by a route approximated by US15 to Lawrenceville.There were no roads along the Cowanesque then, but they followed trails to the Beecher's Island (later the called Nelson). Is that story correct? The route though Athens and Painted Post is pretty level, but longer. The one via Williamsport is shorter, but much steeper. The logistics of dividing the party and rendezvousing in Lawreneville seem complicated.

5. The valley was filled with a virgin forest of Eastern White Pine -- very tall. To the pioneers they were weeds, to be cut down and disposed of via huge bonfires. They were so plentiful (and in the way of farming) that it wasn't till later that the settlers realized the could be sold as lumber. Wildlife included elk, cougar, and wolves.

- Volume #2 - Page #85 -
(Joseph D. Campbell Family)


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In reading over these old papers, I am impressed more and more with the fact that in our day and age our life is pretty easy, - that we do not and cannot understand the great debt which we owe our forefathers for their labor and efforts in opening up what was then a wilderness.

I trust that all will accept my humble apologies for my apparent lack of interest and neglect in submitting my report.

  Very truly yours,

COUSIN JOSEPH W. BUCK.

- Volume #2 - Page #86 -
(Joseph D. Campbell Family)

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