of "The Millwright's Guide."
Who authored "The Millwright's Guide," portion of "The
Young Mill-Wright and Miller's Guide," by Oliver Evans, 1795? it
has not been questioned that it was created by Thomas Ellicott. Thomas Ellicott
was trained as a miller in Maryland at the Ellicott's Mills. After "The
Young Mill-Wright and Miller's Guide," he builds himself an Oliver
Evans mill in Occoquan, Virginia. Until now what was know as an "Ellicott
Mill" may suddenly be in fact a "Bury Mill."
The mill above may be one of the Ellicott's mills that was built on the
Patapsco River after the flood of 1780., or a Pennsylvania mill. Some have
said the above mill is highly influenced by English millwighting traditions,
and others have said that it is a typical American mill of the time period.
Looking for a topic for a disseration? Mine was on luster ceramic
Thomas Ellicott (1738-1799) may have only acted as an innocent "front"
to get "The Millwright's Guide," published for the real
author, John Colbrook Bury (1764-1850). Was it created by a man of 57 years
or of 31 years of age? You be the judge. Please read carefully the following
text. Mention of mills is highlighted in bold letters.
A FIRST CHAPTER FOR THE HISTORY OF THE FAMILY OF BURY OF CLEARVILLE
Being an account of the settlement of the family in Career North America,
Written in 1881 by EDWARD BURY
Of Orford Township, Kent County, Ontario; the eighth son, and eighteenth
child, of John Colbrook Bury (1764-1850) and the twelfth child of Elizabeth
Traver, second wife to John Colbrook Bury
Transcribed in 1948 by J.W. Warwick, great-great-great-grandson of John
Colbrook Bury and his first wife Dorothy Sherwood; from the original manuscript
in the possession of Mrs. Lottie (Bury) Lee, daughter of Edward Bury.
John Colbrook Bury was born in London, England at No. 52 Cheapside, March
4th 1764 AD at 4:00 AM. His ancestors claimed to be descended from the
ancient Britons. When invaded by the Saxons, Danes, And Normans, they were
overpowered by all these invaders. Some of them lost their holdings rather
than submit to the supremacy of the foreign tyrants. The family name was
very numerous as far back as the invasion of England by the then King, William
the Conqueror, from Normandy. As far as I can ascertain by statements from
the family there are towns in England by the same name. There is a place
in Somerset Shire called Glisten Bury to this day and there are other places
of note. There are people that spell the name Bary, Some calls our name
Berry; it is a mistake. It is said the Britons at one time were so temperate
they lived to the age of 140 years before they began to get old. It is said
the purest English blood is in the people of Wales. When England was invaded
by foreigners the Welsh fled to the mountains with all they could take with
them and concealed themselves from their foes and not mixed so much with
the Anglo Saxon race. The Burys were always loyal to the best interests
of their country, but never willing to submit quietly to the supremacy of
John C. Bury was the third son of William Bury. He had one sister,
Harriet. His oldest brother, George Bury, was an officer in the British
Army, and settled on the Isle of Rhodes in the Greek Archipelago. The second
son, Richard Bury died when quite young. Harriet Bury married a man by the
name of Archer and lived in Wales at a place called Bury Windon (?). She
was 97 years of age when I heard from her last, many years ago, and wrote
a plain steady hand. George was 98 when I heard from him long since, and
healthy. He was six feet three inches then. My father's mother died when
he was a child. He was properly educated and then bound apprentice to an
architect and builder where within two years of the expiration of his time
he out-generaled his master in architecture and mechanical works which cleared
him of his time. The law provided for such a situation at that time. When
an apprentice could teach his master he was no more held apprentice to the
same but was employed as a journeyman. This transaction occurred when erecting
a very fine and extensive residence in the county of Wicklow, Ireland, near
the city of Dublin for a man by the name of George Sherwood. Some portion
of the work the contractor considered he himself was incapable of doing
and went to London for a man to complete the work. John Bury considered
that he had ingenuity to complete the same. By drawings he satisfied the
foreman till he convinced him to his ideas. He then engineered the work.
When the contractor returned with the white elephant, the work was already
completed in such a manner that the sharpest critic could not detect a fault,
although he was severely censured for attempting the same. The great trouble
was the master losing the apprentice. Some years after he married Miss
Dorothy Sherwood, Daughter of the aforementioned George Sherwood, then living
on his estate in Wicklow. The Sherwoods were of English origin. From this
marriage there were six children. All of them settled in Canada and raised
families and died at a remarkable old age. Two of my father's first family
were born in Ireland and two in New York. He came to New York in the
year 1793 or 1794. His wife was in delicate health and went home to visit
her friends. The voyage on shipboard at that time was very long and tedious,
she took ill on the way from which illness she never recovered, and died
in a few weeks after arriving home. Some time after he contracted to build
a mill in Baltimore for a man by the name of Ellicott. That was the first
mill on record with elevators for cooling the flour, it was his invention.
It was many years after in the Old World before they worked on the same
principle. While in Baltimore he wrote a book of plans entitling it "The
Millwrights guide". He went to Philadelphia to have it printed there.
They would not print it unless he would take the oath of Allegiance to the
United States. He refused returning to Baltimore and presented the work
to the two young men that worked with him. They were great favourites of
his for their mechanical ingenuity. They were by name Ellicott and Evans.
Talking with a man about twelve months since he told me the mill is still
called Ellicott's mills and improved according to the times. The mill was
built about the year 1796. After that time he went to Pennsylvania. Here
he bought a privilege and built a flourmill of his own at the Susquehanna
River. He sold his property there and married my mother at a place called
Logantown. He Maiden name was Elizabeth Traver. He came to Canada in the
year 1802 or 1803 to Kingston. He remained some time there with his family
and did considerable work there. He came west to the township of Oakland
and there resided to about the close of the War of 1812, not far from a
place called Malcolmtown, now called Scotland. There was a family there
called Malcolm Findlay. Malcolm, the head of the family was a sea captain.
They were Scotch people of considerable enterprise. It was there the survey
of Talbot Street was commenced by the advice of Findlay Malcolm to the government,
through the country to Sandwich, surveyed by Colonel Burwell, Surveyor.
The Malcolm family was very kind, hard working people and very charitable.
They had built a small flourmill on Malcolm's Creek for which they received
a small bonus from the government, it being the mill farthest west at the
time. My oldest brother William, then a young man was an officer of
volunteers in the Burford Militia in the War of 1812. His company was ordered
to the scene of action at the Battle of Lundy's Lane. They marched in the
night and soon arrived. After the battle was over they remained under arms
till daylight. I often heard him tell of the heart rendering sight of the
mutilated bodies and the moans of the dying and wounded too much for words
to express. The first man that he saw that he knew was a man by the name
of Frank Butler. He belonged to the Kent Militia. There were a few settlers
on the River Thames in the County of Kent at that time. They had come there
by water, up the river, as there were no roads but the waters of the lakes
and rivers. Frank Butler was a young married man then. Whether his friends
ever know what become of him or not further then that he was killed in the
above named battle I never knew. Some of his friends I believe lives at
or near the Sydenhame in Devon. As I heard some years ago there was an old
woman that died there, that she was called Nelly Butler and that her husband
was killed in the battle above-mentioned. My brother set about lifting him
up but found he was quite dead. He was shot through the head. At that time
the Americans had possession of that part of the country. They gathered
all the grain they could, put it in Malcolm's mill and then set fire to
the mill and burnt it down. After that the neighbors gathered and cut logs
and raised the building. My father and brother worked at the running gears
and in six or eight weeks from the time they commenced the mill was running
again. In the summer of 1815 my father started west in a small sailboat
that he built. , 17 feet long, 4 foot beam amidship. In the bow there was
a small cabin for the purpose of holding provisions, a few tools, which
consisted of saw and axe, an auger, a square, a case of nautical instruments
and compass; guns, ammunition, a small tent and blankets, chisel, hammer
and a few nails and tar, to repair the boat in case of accident also some
sketching apparatus. He drew a sketch of the lake shore and river to what
is now Port Sarnia. And marked the places where he stopped over night or
was wind bound. There were a few settlers at Kettle Creek, now called Port
Stanley. Some may say how did this stream of pure spring water cone to be
called Kettle Creek? I was informed some Indians had camped on the bank.
One of them went to bring some water. His kettle slipped from his hand and
sunk to the bottom. He exclaimed "Kettle, Kettle ­p; Creek, Creek"
I remember hearing of this when I was very young. Colonel Talbot had erected
a log cabin at Port Talbot; he was land agent for the crown. My father went
on to number 9 Creek and there were a few settlers there. A Few families
had settled there in 1812 by the names of John Pierce and family, Lesley
Peterson and family, and John Story and family. They had settled on the
lakeshore a little east of Tyrconnel. They come form the state of Pennsylvania
and were of Irish origin. The kindness of those people should never be forgotten
for their charity to the people going west. There were no settlers for many
miles west. The settlement at creek nine was called Ireland on account of
the people or their being from Ireland. My father camped over night at the
mouth of Clear Creek and marked the place there. He spent some little time
there, looked round and shot some game, which was very plentiful. He called
at the Point of Pines, Rondeau. He pronounced it the best place on the lakeshore
for a harbour of refuge for shipping some day later if properly managed.
He was wind-bound for three days at Point Pelee. While there he made a sun
dial. He put down a post, set the compass by the north Star, and set the
dial which he carved from a piece of slate fastened on the post with four
nails. I was on shore at this place in the year 1829. The post was still
there with his name carved in it, and the year 1815. But the dial was gone.
(This was the 17th of July 1829). On his return, from what is now called
Port Sarnia, home he stopped two days at clear creek. He followed the creek
to the head of the spring and found it was the purest of spring water. On
his return he concluded to settle at Clear Creek. He had the names of himself
and two of his sons entered for nos. 69, 60 and 61, 200 acres each. No.
60 he occupied to his death. In the year 1816 about the later part of April
or the 1st of May he arrived at the mouth of clear creek with his family
and put up a tent till they could build a rough shanty. That was up in a
few days. The roofing was what they called clapboards split thin about three
feet long. The flooring was logs cut at the proper length and split in two.
The upper side hewn smooth, the bottom was skived down where they lay on
the sleepers the edges hewn straight; they were laid down and any extra
wood on the upper side was dressed off with an adz. This made a very good
solid floor. The upper floor was timber split thin and hewn to about two
inches thick. When the ground floor was laid down the family moved in. There
was a doorway and a window cut in the side of the house, and greased paper
made a very good substitute for glass. There was a quilt or blanket hung
up which answered very well for a door. Then chopping commenced and burning
brush and logs. The logs were cut and then rolled together by hand, as there
were no oxen to haul them. As soon as a few rods of ground was cleared in
this way it was planted with potatoes and corn and garden vegetables. This
was continued as long as there was time for them to ripen. When the corn
and potatoes were matured for using they were very acceptable. Then the
clearing was continued for wheat. When the corn was ripe it was dried over
the fire, shelled. It was then ready for manufacturing into corn meal. This
was done by cutting of the end of a log smooth, and fastening a sort of
box on the end to hold the corn. Then it was ground by pounding the corn
with a plunger made of hard wood for that purpose. When a small quantity
was ground in this manner another was and so on. This corn meal with a little
stewed pumpkin made most excellent johnnycake. There was a sufficient quantity
raised the first crop to last the family to the next crop in the year 1817.
When the first crop was planted of corn and potatoes, turnips and other
vegetables, the work was continued for the clearing of wheat. In the latter
part of the summer of 1816 when the brush was burned, my father and brothers
drove a yoke of oxen and log-chained two cows through the wilderness for
many miles. There were no roads at that time. More logs were hauled together
and burned, the new ground was cleared up and sown with wheat. There was
about five acres of wheat. The wheat for bread cost two dollars per bushel
and brought in a boat by water some 20 miles. The corn stalks were carefully
taken care of which made fodder for the oxen while working. The balance
of the time the cattle got their feed from the wilderness. When the wheat
was sowed there was an addition raised to the house and made comfortable
for winter, and a small barn was put up and stabling for the cattle before
the winter set in. Chopping the clearing for next year's crop was continued.
The tender parts of the brush made feed for the cattle, it being cut all
the time fresh through the winter. When the lake was frozen up, my brother
started with the oxen and sled to John Pierce's, one of the first settlers
at Tyrconnel; then called Ireland (some 20 miles east) and got a load of
straw and brought it up on the ice. With a little straw every night and
browse through the day the cattle wintered first rate; and with plenty of
salt, browse is very healthy green fodder in winter for cattle. In the spring,
the wheat ground was sown on the snow with grass seed, which answered for
pasture the next season after the wheat was harvested. It was put in small
stacks by the barn, in order that one stack could be put in at a time and
thrashed. The grain that was not thrashed in the fall for bread and seed
was thrashed in the winter. It was all done by hand with a flail. This first
crop of the yield was about 160 or 170 bushels. After that there was no
scarcity for bread and to _____. My father made a handmill for grinding.
This was constructed by dressing two stones about 10 inches in diameter.
The bed piece was fitted in what we call a gun ­p; a piece sawn off a
hollow log and the bed stone fitted in the runner. There was a hole drilled
in the centre to run the wheat in; and one in the edge of the stone for
the purpose of putting a small stick with the upper end in a hole in the
joist overhead to take hold of to turn the mill round. This was good exercise
on a cold winter night to grind the flour for the next day's bread.
In 1817 there were several families settled on Talbot Street. Then there
was a market for the wheat, but seldom any money. Sometimes a bushel of
wheat for a days work and so on. My father and mothers rule was never to
let anyone go away without a meal and something to take with them. If there
was any to spare a part of what they had was divided with the needy. Before
the first crop of wheat was grown, sometimes there was not a particle of
wheat bread in the house for weeks at a time. As for meat, there was plenty
of game in the woods and fish in the lake. The fish was caught by means
of a night line. It was always handy to obtain and have plenty on hand.
The animals in the woods did not seem to be very shy. At times they would
stand and look as much to say, "What right have you here to trespass
on our domains". When a deer was shot the skin was taken off, stretched
out and dried, and when tanned was made into moccasins and excellent wearing
pants and jackets as they were called, but in this age of 1881 they would
not be so highly appreciated for they were not very handsome wearing apparel.
If they got wet in a storm, when dried they would shrink up to about halfway
between the ankle and the knee and would require about as much rubbing down
as a horse would after a journey in the mud. The flesh of the deer was called
venison. It was generally cut in small pieces and dried. It was a very handy
and excellent food. Now then as I have wandered awhile ahead of the time
of landing at Clear Creek, I will return back to that time. If I remember
right, it was in the afternoon of the 29th day of April, A.D. 1816. My mother
was a weaver of cloth, a little above the medium size with dark eyes and
auburn hair, very resolute and with great energy, very kind in sickness
and in health. She brought with her, her loom and yarn for a web of linen.
The loom was put up between two small trees. Some poles put across and sheets
covered over to keep the storm off. After her own linen was woven, she had
weaving to do for John Pierce's family. The linen yarn was brought twenty
miles by water then wove into cloth. The price for weaving a yard of linen
was a York Shilling. Sometimes she would get a little money, sometimes flour,
sometimes promises to pay. Money was very scarce; the most of it was cut
silver. An English Shilling would be cut in four pieces every article was
up to war prices except labour. Tea was twelve to fourteen shillings per
pound; it had to be brought a long distance. There was roots grown in the
woods that was sometimes used for a drink, sometimes burnt peas, or corn,
or beans. When one thing was used up there was some other used for a substitute.
Now then I will commence with the time of my birth, which was the 31st day
of August 1816 at 12:00 PM. I was the first child of white parents that
was born in the township of Orford, or at least the first there was ever
any record of. The wheat that was grown in the fall of 1816 was harvested
in the summer of 1817. Late in the fall there was grist prepared for the
grinding of about 25 bushels. The boat was made ready for the carrying the
same; provisions were prepared for the journey. A portion of the boatload
was to purchase some tea and other trifling articles in exchange for wheat.
As for sugar there was plenty made from the sap of the maple trees in the
spring of 1817 to last to the next spring. My two brothers started on their
journey of about 50 miles in the month of November to Baskusville, below
Long Point. Sometimes they would be wind bound for days at a time. On such
journeys there was always fireworks such as flint, steel, and spunk with
other lighting combustives. This was always in store ready for use. Before
the bags of wheat was laid in the boat, there was always clapboards set
in the bottom to prevent the wheat from getting wet in case the boat leaked
or shipped water over the gunwales. When the wheat was ground the four was
tightly packed in bags, then the wet would not penetrate in to the flour.
Sometimes it would take tow weeks or more for the journey according to the
state of the weather. There was a faithful watchdog belonged to the house
and he would always follow the boat if not prevented. They started about
daybreak in the morning. The wind was fair, the sail was spread and they
were sailing about five miles an hour. After about 12 miles they happened
to see the dog following along the shore. They shifted their course toward
the shore, the dog swam to the boat, was taken aboard and remained with
them till they returned home. At this time my father was away from home
at Hamilton or York (now called Toronto). He used to be away working at
the building trade. My mother had been expecting the boys coming and had
not taken off her dress for the night. When she was left alone she always
in them times had a gun charged with buckshot for long range and some other
weapon for close quarters. She generally put some wood on the fire to have
a little light. She heard the door latch gently raise and the door open
and a great tall Indian came in. She sprang off the bed, grabbed the gun
and cocked it. The Indian said, "No, no, me good." And laid down
his gun. The Massacre of the Mohawk Valley by the Indians led on by Butler's
Rangers flashed before her in an instant, her mother a poor widow woman
fleeing with her children, looking back to see her effects plundered and
her house laid in ashes. Just at that time the welcome sound of the rowboat
as it came to shore was conveyed to her on the gentle breeze. The faithful
dog was the first to enter the door, which had not been shut since the Indian
entered. She had so scold him to prevent him from biting their visitor.
The reader may judge of the joy of my mother on the arrival of the boys
that night. There were three hardy sons brought up in the wilds of North
America who feared no earthly being. Since there was a warm meal prepared
awaiting the boys, the Indian ate very heartily and then lay down before
the fire and slept comfortably till morning. There were quite a number of
Indians around at times they were generally civil. They would ask for bread
and sometimes there would be no bread if the women were alone. Sometimes
they would frighten the women into giving them bread. In a week's time the
same Indian re-appeared with his squaw and four children and wanted bread.
It was given to them with some flour and potatoes. The poor things went
away very satisfied and did not return anymore. I may here say my mother
was a very healthy woman of great physical strength and firm mind, and a
great provider for the family's comfort. At that time I was about a year
and four months old. The process of clearing the land was carried on in
the way I have stated. Sometimes after the wheat was harvested the stubble
would be harrowed up and sown with rye and wheat. They were the only produce
that there was any market for. Sometimes a bushel of wheat would be exchanged
for one yard of print, sometimes more or less. Rye would be exchanged for
whiskey. The settlers on Talbot Street and over that neighborhood had whiskey
for their logging bees and raisings. Sometimes the whiskey would be exchanged
for work. My father bought two ewes and the first spring they had two lambs
each. Those two sheep were brought a long distance by water. The increase
from the initial two sheep soon brought quite a flock. The wool was shorn
and it was carded, spun and woven in the house all by hand. The process
of "fulling" a portion of the cloth for coats and pants was this.
It was put in a trough made for the purpose with soap and warm water, then
it was trampled with the feet. The more it was worked this way the better
it was. It was fine sport for the children till they would get tired. When
it was "fulled" it was rinsed, stretched, and dried and made into
garments. It was very comfortable for cold weather. The means of coloring
the yarn was a strong liquid made from the bark of butternut or walnut bark
or walnut husks. The first sawn lumber that was in the township was sawn
by hand. The way this was done was by digging a pit in the side of a hill
of sufficient size and depth for plenty of room to work. There were two
posts put down in the ground and two round sticks stretched from the level
of the ground. The log was gigged back and forward as required. One sawyer
stood on the log. The pit sawyer was below. It this way two good sawyers
would saw 200 to 300 feet a day. The care of the sheep was this: They had
to be watched frequently in the daytime to prevent them from being worried
by the wolves. For their protection at night there were large pens built
high of logs with roof for shelter over a part of the pen. The sheep had
to be shut in every night. I have seen wolf tracks round the outside of
the pens in the morning. This was a very common occurrence. The bears would
sometimes kill the pigs. In the fall when there were plenty of nuts they
generally did not meddle with them as they were very fond of the beech and
hickory nuts and got very fat on them. The bears were very fond of corn
and would frequently come to the cornfields, pull down the corn, take the
husk off it and eat the corn right off the cobs. When they were satisfied
they would leave the field. I remember one circumstance that occurred with
a bear in the corn, which I am not likely to forget. My mother sent me to
bring some green corn for dinner. I went to the cornfield and was getting
the corn in the bag when I observed a large bear sitting there holding an
ear of corn in his paws, and eating it. I was not long in making up my mind
that if I could kill the bear it would be a fine thing for me. I ran to
the house, where there were three muskets. One of them was very little used
as I heard them say the barrel was sprung so much that they could not depend
on it for carrying straight to the mark. Unfortunately this was the only
one that was loaded. It had been loaded with ball cartridge for over a year.
My mother was in the garden, my brothers were on the next farm cutting some
timber, so I got quietly in the house and out again with the old fire-lock
and back to the cornfield. The bear was still eating corn, so I got quietly
to a stump, laid the gun on it, took aim and fired. The gun kicked back
and bled my face, blacked my eye and sent me over backwards. I couldn't
hold the gun up to shoot without laying it on the stump. When I got up I
saw no more of the bear. I lay the gun carefully out of sight through the
fence and started home with the corn. As I was getting over the fence a
small pole, part of the fence, broke and let me fall which was very fortunate
for me. My mother wanted to know how I got hurt so badly. I told her I fell
off the fence when I was getting over it with the corn. The fall did not
hurt me, but it was lucky in my case, there were no more questions asked.
My face was cleaned and a plaster put on. In the afternoon I got the gun
back in the house and put up in its place, and the family never knew anything
about it to this day. The report of the gun was heard, but that was a common
occurrence, and no notice was taken of the same. This occurred in the year
1826. In those times wolf, deer, and bear were very plentiful. The wolves
worried many of the deer. When chased by the wolves, they would run around
in a circle of considerable dimensions, as they were superior in the chase.
They would stand and listen then turn on their track back some distance,
then turn in a different direction to evade their pursuer. If the wolf continued
the chase, the next resource was to take to the lake, swim out for a long
distance, change their course up or down then make for shore and stand in
the edge of the water. If the wolves had given up the chase they would come
out, but generally remained close to the water for some time. I have seen
them travel a long distance along the edge of the water. This would prevent
the wolves from scenting their tracks. I once saw a deer swimming to the
shore, and went with my gun intending to shoot it. As I stood on the beach,
the water was ice cold. The deer came in and stood in front of me. The poor
thing was so chilled and fatigued and looked so pitiful I could not shoot
it. It remained on the sunny side of the hill not 15 rods from the house
the remainder of the day. Schools ­p; The first school that was taught
in Orford Township. was commenced on lot No. 57 south on Talbot Street.
This lot was taken up by a man by the name of David Smith that came over
from Ancaster. He had built a small shanty on the north corner of the lot
close to the street. The house was fitted up to teach school in, with a
few rough boards that was split out and hewn out. The teacher's desk was
made the same way but higher. The teacher's chair was made of four posts.
Two for the back were longer with slats across. The seat was of swamp ash
the same as the Indians make the baskets of. There was a door and two small
windows of six lights each of 7"X9" inch glass. The first teacher
was an Englishman by the name of George Riggs. The books in the school were
of different kinds. Some would have the Bible; others the New Testament;
some had the alphabet and small speller and so on. In this way they managed
to read and write if they could get paper. Some would have a slate to write
on. When they wrote it full they could wash off the slate and commence anew.
Under such a system of teaching and learning it is nothing very strange
that the youth of some sixty years ago would be very illiterate and destitute
of education. This school was about two and a half miles distant from my
father's house with a sled road through the bush between them. The school
was only open in the winter season. With deep snow the children could not
get to school half the time. When the spring opened, the school closed and
they were at work at home. In this way we received very little benefit form
the school. Some time after when there were small quantities of wheat to
spare it would be sold and exchanged for goods when there was some demand
for shipping it. Money paid was sometimes $.37 Cents and sometimes $.50
cents per bushel The wheat was taken to Buffalo or St. Catherines. In the
Township of Orford at Clear Creek was a small stone house built for the
purpose of storing wheat.
Best regards and thanks for your interest.
A. Donald Kiddle
Sr. Business Manager,
General Motors Business Unit
Collins & Aikman Corp.
Dear Don Kiddle,
Thank you for the interesting e-mail. The Ellicott family had several mills
on the Patapsco River near Ellicott City, Maryland. My understanding of
what happened. Since they heard that Oliver Evans has invented in 1782-83
an elevator for lifting flour vertically in the mill and a hopper-boy (named
for the boy who used to do the physical job) for cooling flour, and several
other device. The Ellicotts were the big family in the flour milling business
in the Baltimore area. Since they did not want to be outdone by Oliver Evans
a wheelwright, inventor, turned shopkeeper, they developed their own idea
for moving material vertically in the mill and a device for cooling the
flour. These had no resemblance to Oliver Evans' devices. The one thing
Oliver Evans did was patent his inventions and his system of automated flour
milling so he took them to court their use of their versions of the devices.
Evans inventions were superior to Ellicotts inventions.
Thomas Ellicott wore a book called, "The Millwright's Guide."
And Oliver Evans wrote a book called, "The Miller's Guide." They
basically showed up at the publishers office the same day, and the Ellicott
book was turned down. My understanding does not record the events of how
it came about, if Oliver Evans met Thomas Ellicott outside of the publishing
company, and Evans made a deal with Ellicott to include his portion of the
book with Evans half or it was the publisher's idea. But in 1795 "The
Young Mill-Wright and Miller's Guide," was published. Now Ellicott's
book was the millwright's craft at the state of the art at the time, but
when you factor in Oliver Evans devices into the mills, it made Ellicott's
plans obsolete. A mill with Oliver Evans devices needed better water wheels
that could generate more power and better gear train systems that could
operate more than just the millstones. That is the book's biggest downfall,
and why most people just don't understand it. Beside the fact that you need
prior knowledge to make sense of it from a mechanical standpoint. The book
does not address how to make the marriage between the Oliver Evans devices
and the water wheel and gear system. The book does not make any solution
on how to get power to operate Oliver Evans' devices. For a book that went
through 15 editions to 1860, and was has been known as the miller's bible,
it has one big shortfall. How to make it work???
What happened was that Thomas Ellicott when to build an Oliver Evans mill
in Occoquan, Virginia, and Oliver Evans sold his interest in the pro type
mill on Red Clay Creek in Delaware. Oliver Evans moved to Philadelphia and
set up a company to make his devices to be installed in mills while his
brother Joseph traveled around and acted as his agent.
This you sent me is very interesting because what some people have been
calling as Ellicott design may in fact be the work of John Colbrook Bury!!!
So "The Millwright's Guide." was actually written by John Colbrook
Bury? So this makes more sense now. I never understood why Ellicott was
not able to make the changes to "The Millwright's Guide," to show
the connection between Evans and Ellicott. Oliver Evans was not trained
as a millwright. And so what was missing was actually the portion or the
third person in the deal, John Colbrook Bury.
So I would guess that he was a Quaker? There were some Quakers who fought
in the Revolution, others who would not take the oath of Allegiance to the
United States. They either went to Canada, or went into the milling business.
The trade of the miller and millwright has traditionally been exempt from
military service. It was also the Quakers who gave us the idea of profit,
because originally you could only claim your fair share for your work. That
meant only what it cost to make something, nothing extra, nothing more was
you due. The Quakers are the ones who developed the merchant mills in the
United States and the commercial flour milling industry.
(Theodore R. Hazen)
Ted: The Bury biography seems to scramble the biography of Oliver Evans
into it. And about 20 years too late.--John McGrain email@example.com
Ted:........Thomas Ellicott was the family member who stayed in Bucks County,
Pa., wrote the fifth part of the millwright book; I think we could credit
him with standardizing the dimensions of U.S. mills. John McGrain, County
"Above the old village of Occoquan are the falls in the creek and
utilizing the difference in the level of the water; a flume or race which
might be called a small canal was built ever so many years ago to carry
water to turn the wheel of a cotton facrory, now a gray and stately ruin
and also to turn the wheel of a venerable grist mill." July 4, 1920,
This Was Virginia 1900-1927 As Shown by the Glass Slides of J.Harry Shannon,
The Rambler, "The village of Occoquan, the old mill town to which the
Mary Washington [River Boat] used to run on excursions...was established
a town by Act of Virginia legislature January 5, 1804, though it was quite
a milling and manufacturing seat before the town was created." Thomas
Ellicott (1738-1799) built this large style "merchant mill"
using the Oliver Evans system of automated flour milling in 1796.
Where is Buttermilk Falls?
Wedding Site of John Colebrook Bury & Elizabeth Traver?
1. In his brochure for the 1952 Bury Reunion, J.Melville Warwick, clan historian
narrates that JCB, enroute to Canada on the Susquehanna River after the
death of his first wife, Dorothy Sherwood, discovered a mill site, purchased
the rights, completed a partially built mill which had been abandoned, and,
at nearby Loganville, met and married Elizabeth Traver, born in 1792, whose
father had been killed by Indians in the Revolutionary War.
2. In another narrative re the Bury family, the site of the mill discovery
was "enroute to Lancaster".
3. A problem was discovered in an attempt to find the site of the mill;
there is no record of a Buttermilk Falls, nor of JCB, nor of Elizabeth Traver
in any of the archives, church records, nor vital statistics for the area
of Loganville, PA, situated about five miles S. of the City of York. There
are, however, Buttermilk Falls in Centre County on a tributary of the West
Branch of the Susquehanna, and a LoganTON town about 75 miles East thereof
in Clinton County. Research is needed in these counties to determine whether
Warwicks location was an editors insert after examining a map and finding
the town of LoganVILLE prominent on the Susquehanna Trail between the Maryland
border and York and Lancaster.
4. Still another Buttermilk Falls exists in the vicinity of Stroudsburg,
PA but there is no Logan----in that area.
5. In one of the Ontario newspaper series on JCBs clan, the marriage site
is given as LoganTON.
7 For the moment, the location of JCBs Mill is considered unknown.
8. A relevant fact is that while there is no Traver family recorded vic
of Loganville, and only a single reference to a Traver plot in the land
records of Lancanster, there is a 1790 census record of a Mary Traver with
a household of six females, including herself as head of = household, in
Luzerne County (in which the City of Wilkes-Barre is situated) on the Susquehanna
N. of LoganVILLE and East of LoganTON and about equidistant from these two
places. Research is needed for the Traver family in Luzerne County because
other narratives of the Traver family describe Elizabeth and her
sisters, with their Mother, hiding on a forested ridge above Cherry Valley
along the Mohawk during the Cherry Valley massacre. The narrative does not
state that her father was killed in that specific engagement but the story
does appear relevant to the 1790 census record of a Mary Traver and five
William W. Higgins firstname.lastname@example.org
Colonel William W Higgins, 5904 Mount Eagle Drive #401, Alexandria, Virginia.
Dear Theodore Hazen-
I thank you for the correspondence with Don Kiddle. Now, what are my chances
of obtaining a copy of all of your and Dons' data re John Colbrook Bury.
My data includes details of hfeis education, emigration, commission to build
for the Ellicotts, marriages, emigration to Canada, and his life there.
Most is contained in the Bury Bulletin by Warwick of1952. Other data is
from a Canadian Nespaper series. I will be pleased to exchange copies of
data with you and Don and any others who have relevant info.
My cousin Gordon Bury and I are interested in sponsoring a Bury reunion
in Ontario in 03 or 04. Let me know if you are interested.
Col (Ret) William W.Higgins
5904 Mount Eagle Dr #401
Alexanadria, VA 22303-2536
(703) 960-9575 WWHiggins@msn.com
NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com (note dot between home and bill).
Information also sent to:
John McGrain, Baltimore County Historian, and Maryland Molinologist.
Steven Kindig, former technical advisor Old Mill News, mill historian
Robert A. Howard, former Curator of Engineering Hagley Museum &
Library, millwright & hydraulic engineer.
Colonel William W Higgins, decendent of John Colebrook Bury.
Richard D. Abbott, former volunteer Perice Mill, and President of
Friends of Perice Mill.
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