Early History of the First Presbyterian Church of Carlisle, Penna.


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The New Lights were refused seats in Synod, so later the/
formed a Synod of their own. Old Side connected with Philadel-
phia, New Side with New York. The Donegal Presbytery was in
existence at this time, since 1732, of which our church was a pari.
This is the second oldest Presbytery in our country .
About 1750 the Indians in their depredations almost broke up
the settlements not only in Western P ennsylvania, but here in
Cumberland County as well. All points west of the Susque-
hanna were considered frontier 'posts. Ft. Louther, in Carlisle, con-
sisted of only twelve men, so gave little protection.
Rev. Steele’s churches at Mercersburg and Greenoastle were
burned in 1755, by the Indians. He filled charges at Nottingham,
Md., York and Shrewsbury before coming to Carlisle.
Rev. Steele was not only a minister, but a captain of the
Colonial Armies. After 1755 a part of his time was spent in Car-
lisle, as our Cumberland Valley from the Susquehanna to the Poto-
The Old Meeting House—Fronting Southward.
mac was a battlement against the Indians, so when Captain Steele
came to Carlisle in 1758 as a pastor, he was no stranger to the
In 1756 General Armstrong with 280 provincials surprised the
Indians at Kittanning and forever broke their power in this State.
Kittanning lies 45 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The victors are
said to have sustained little loss, as the surprise was complete.
Many monuments are erected to General Armstrong in the western
part of our State, as he was one of the most prominent men in the
Colonies durinjg the colonial period, and as he was a member of
our church, his record becomes part of our history.
Rev. Duffield’s first wife died in Carlisle, in September, 1757.
How much earlier he was here can not be determined, but likely
several months.
As General Armstrong’s letter dates June 30th, 1757, it is reo-
sonable to say Duffield was in Carlisle at that time. During the
period 1753 to 1758, Rev. Steele and Rev. Duffield were captains of
companies and were called to go on expeditious up the rivers and
over the mountains. In May, 1759, an application was made to
Presbytery by Rev. Duffield and Rev. Steele for advice as to
whether they should erect two meeting houses or only one in Car

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