That he returned with the remnant of Colonel Crawford's army after
his defeat at Sanduskey and joined his former company under said Captain
Sipeney after being absent in Crawford's campaign about six weeks.
That he continued under said Sipeney until the first of October A.D. 1782
making in all eleven months under Captain Sipeney and six weeks ora
month and a half in Crawford's Campaign against the Indians at
Sanduskey along the frontier up and down the Ohio River partly in the counties
now called Allegheny and Beaver and partly on the north side of said
river and after pursued and chased the Indians from the frontier
"Pennsylvania Archives'' lists Sampson among the privates in Capt.
Cunnigham's company of Washington County militia. He also served in
Capt. Andrew Hood's company on the ill-fated campaign led by Col.
William Crawford in June 1782. (4) Crawford's force was sent
against the Indian villages near Sandusky, Ohio, believed to be the source
of attacks on the settlements. However, the Indians received word of
the troops' approach and were able to evacuate the villages. A battle
did erupt and the militia held its own during fighting on June 4. But
the next day, the Indians were re-enforced and Crawford decided to
withdraw. While the militiamen prepared to retreat, the Indians
attacked and scattered them. Many were captured and killed. Col.
Crawford was captured, scalped and burned at the stake. (5)
The Revolution on the frontier was far different from that in
the East. Instead of English soldiers, the primary foes were Indians
stirred to action by the British and their sympathizers. Indian
raids meant scalpings, kidnap and torture. The settlers often replied
with equal savagery. The Indians continued to be a threat until 1794,
when they were vanquished by troops under Gen. Anthony Wayne. (6)
Sampson was listed as a lieutenant in the 4th Company of the
First Regiment of the Allegheny County militia on May 1, 1792. He was
promoted to captain in 1794, according to "History and Genealogy of
the Pearsall Family in England and America."
Sampson may have been such an avid fighter because his father
had been killed by Indians several years before, according to the
Pearsall family history.
Records show Sampson paid taxes in 1791 in Mifflin Township,
Allegheny County, which was formed from part of Washington County.
He moved to what is now Beaver County in 1796. At the turn of the
century, Beaver County was established. Sampson appears on the tax
listsof the new county's Sewickley Township in 1802. At that time
he owned two 200-acre parcels, two horses and two cows. (8)
Sampson took an active role in Beaver County's government. On
Aug. 15,1803, Sampson was appointed as one of the first two justices for
the county's fifth district, which was north of the Connoquenessing and
east of the Big Beaver, population 116. (9) He also served as county
commissioner from 1831 to 1834. He was a Democrat. (10)
The rest of this account follows "The History and Genealogy of
the Pearsall Family in England and America Vol. III,'' which was
published in1928. However, that history has some gaps and tends to paint
rather flattering portraits of its subjects. Although Sampson was a
prominent citizen and did hold public offices, it is unlikely he was as
powerful a man as the history makes him out to be.
The Pearsall history claims Sampson was not only a leader among
his fellow frontiersmen, he was like the "lord of the manner.'' He acted
as attorney for Eastern proprietors who owned huge tracts of land in
Western Pennsylvania. He conducted their business on the frontier
and represented them in disputes.
The history states: "The land belonged to the Hon. Benjamin Chew
and the Hon. William McKean, well known historical characters in
Pennsylvania history. It is interesting to read their letters to
Sampson Peirsol wherein they defer entirely to his judgment as to
the disposition of their vast domain in Beaver County. At the death of
William McKean he devised certain of these lands to Andrew Pettit of
Philadelphia, who, and his children also, depended upon the advice
and assistance of Sampson Peirsol. No doubt there were many men who
under similar circumstances could have directed the settlement of a
wilderness, but there are very few who could have retained the
friendship and confidence of the settlers to the same extent as
Sampson Peirsol. For as long as he lived he was father, counsellor and
advisor to the whole community which radiated from his farm. In a well-worn
book found among his papers he records the names of over fifty of
his neighbors for whom he was practically transacted all their business.
Sampson Peirsol performed this duty for very little remuneration, in
fact it seems to have been thrust upon him by the insistence both of
great landed proprietors and by those who they sold
Among Sampson's contributions listed in the history is the
foundation of a small church. On March 20, 1830, Sampson was among
the original members of the Mouth Pleasant Bible Class. A church
building was later built on his farm in North Sewickley and he was buried
Sampson died Aug. 8, 1842. (11) The Piersols are buried at
Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Beaver County, near Ellwood City.
(1) Sampson's tombstone at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Beaver
County Pa., says he was 78 years old at the time of his death in 1842. The
"Daughters of the American Revolution Patriot Index,'' page 522, says
he was born June 7, 1764. "Daughters of the American Revolution
Lineage Book, Vol. 98,'' page 288, lists his year of birth as 1764. It is
listed as 1765 in "The Genealogical and Personal History of Beaver
County,'' page 506, and "Inventory of the County Archives of
Pennsylvania, Beaver County, No. 4,'' page 375. It is listed as
"circa 1764" in "History and Genealogy of the Pearsall Family in England
and America Vol. III,'' page 1452, which is also the source for the names
of Sampson's parents. Sampson's application for a pension for his
Revolutionary War service -- 522937 -- says he was born "in Chester
County in Pennsylvania. I think in the year 1764 in June or July.
I have now no record of my age." The application was filed March 6,
1834 in Beaver County and Samson said he was 69 years old.
(2) "The History and Genealogy of the Pearsall Family.''
(3) Pension application and "DAR Lineage Book, Vol. 98.''
(4) "Pennsylvania Archives,'' Series 6, Vol. 2, pages 239 and 392, respectively.
(5) "A History of Northwestern Ohio,'' pages 29 to 42.
(6) "The Indian Wars of Pennsylvania.''
(7) "Pennsylvania Archives,'' Series 3, Vol. 22, page 649.
(8) "Complete Index of Remaining Tax Records, Beaver County, Pa., 1802-1840,''
(9) "History of Beaver County, Pa.,'' page 123.
(10)``Inventory of County Archives of Pennsylvania, Beaver County, No. 4.''
(11) Date comes from his tombstone. His will was registered Aug. 10, 1842,
according to Beaver County Will Book B, page 303.
-By Brian Bowers email@example.com