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John Hans Ulrich Bergey
Mary Clemens
Christian Clymer
Barbara Unknown
(Abt 1697-1776)
John Bergey
Anna Clymer (Clemmer)
Abraham Barkey


Family Links

1. Mrs. Susanna Barkey
2. Catherine Borneman

Abraham Barkey

  • Born: 24 May 1773, Upper Salford Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania 49,50
  • Marriage (1): Mrs. Susanna Barkey before 1800
  • Marriage (2): Catherine Borneman on 7 May 1808 2
  • Died: 10 Sep 1833, Harmony Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania at age 60 51
  • Buried: Harmony Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania

bullet  Noted events in his life were:

• Occupation. 24 I served my community as a schoolteacher. My schoolhouse was built of stone. The desks were placed around the edge of the room and pushed up against the walls. The pupils occupying them sat facing the windows. The smaller students used benches without backs, which were placed around the wood-stove in the middle of the room. The classroom was furnished with a teacher's desk, a huge wood-stove in the middle of the room, a bucket, tin-cup, splint-broom, and what was called a "pass" (a small paddle, having the words "In and Out" written in opposite sides). It was customary at noon for the older boys to cut the wood for the wood stove and carry the wood into the schoolhouse placing it under the desks for use later. The older girls took turns in keeping the room clean.

The cost of building the schoolhouse was met by voluntary contributions. Whenever a neighborhood felt the need for a schoolhouse, one was erected at some point convenient to those who contributed towards its construction. The patrons selected trustees whose duty it was to take charge of the school property and to select a teacher for the school. If the teacher chosen by the trustees could secure pupils enough to warrant him in opening the school, he would do so; if not, he would seek a school elsewhere. Those who sent pupils to the school paid the teacher. The rate was two dollars per quarter or three cents per day for each pupil. Those who could not pay received instruction at the cost of the county, according to the act of 1809. The outfit of a pupil cost about one dollar. The school supplies consisted of an English Reader or a New Testament, a Comly's or Byerly's Spelling-Book, a Pike's or Rose's Arithmetic, a slate and pencil, six sheets of foolscap paper stitched together, a small ink bottle in a broad cork stand and a goose quill.

No matter how many were learning the alphabet, each student was in a class by himself. The student would come to the front, name the letters from A to Z, head back to his seat while another went forward, and so on till the last. In arithmetic there were as many classes as there were pupils studying that branch. I would assist such pupils as needed help, even while a class was reciting in spelling or reading. In a large school it would take from one to two hours to get around to each student. The task was time consuming based on the fact that many classrooms had twenty students or more at different levels of study, in different sections of a textbook, or even in different textbooks altogether with increasingly complex problems that often stretched beyond my capabilities. Of course, the little fellows were busy during that time, especially when I was particularly interested in some difficult problem in Pike, Gough or the Western Calculator. Woe to the unlucky fellow who was caught being busy at anything else than learning his spelling-lesson or looking steadily at his letters! If it took me until noon to get through with this process the spellers and reader, would get their forenoon's lesson in the afternoon, unless, perchance, there were many hard questions in the afternoon, in which case they were almost sure to get them the next day. There was no special time for any recitation except the last one in the evening, which was usually a Testament in which the whole school took part. The Old and New Testament constituted the reading books. Saturday was devoted to spelling, committing and reciting arithmetical tables and reciting from theBible.

Our schoolhouse was often used as meetinghouses. In the vicinity where anyone led as preacher, by virtue of his calling, he was expected to assume the position of Schullmeister over the rising generation.

• Religion: Mennonite.

• Bible. 2 I owned a Bible that was printed in the German language in Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1776. It was about 2 inches thick, and about 14 inches by 12 inches in size. I wrote some of my family history on a sheet of paper that I placed in the Bible. I wrote the information entirely in German. Here is the English translation of what I wrote in my bible:

As far as my father is concerned, he reached the age of 75 years and a little over, and died the 19 of June 1804.

As far as my mother is concerned she died eight years before him, and she reached the age of 64 years and a little over, and she died on June 15th. I wrote this with my own hand on February 4, 1806, Abraham Birki.

I Abraham Birki, born on the 24th day of May 1773, and married with Catharine Bornemanin on the 7th day of May 1808, and my wife was born on the 6th day of November 1785.

A daughter was born to us on the 30th of March 1809 named Elizabeth. She died on the 31st of March 1809. She attained the age of 22 hours.

A son was born to us the 14th of February 1810 called Henry.

A son Daniel was born the 17th of November 1811. He died 1833.

On Friday the 18th of June 1813, early in the morning, a daughter was born called Maria. In the year 1815, on Friday the 30th of October, forenoon, a son was born to us called Enoch (Enos).

In 1818 the 25th November in the afternoon at 4:00, a daughter was born named Catherine. She died 1833 December 3.

In December 1820, a daughter was born to us, she died 6 hours afterwards.

On January 10th, 1822, two children were born to us a boy and a girl. Both died, one after 8 hours, other after 5 hours.

On Tuesday 25th March 1823, in the evening between 6 and 7 o'clock a son was born called John, in Fredrick Township.

• lived, Bef 1800, Upper Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

• Administerd Will, 26 Jul 1804. 50,52 I administered my father's will in 1804.

• Widowed, 20 Feb 1806. My wife, Susana died February 20, 1806.

• War of 1812, 1812. 53 Thirty years after the colonies had achieved their independence and twenty-three years after the constitutional Union was established, Congress declared war against Great Britain. The war came about in the third year of the first administration of James Madison. The war was supported by the Democratic Party as an administration measure, and resisted by the Federalists. Seventy-nine members in the House of Representatives supported the bill. Forty-nine of the one hundred and twenty-eight present entered their protest against it, and the measure passed the Senate by a light majority.

The war was provoked by the English insistence upon the right of search and impressments of naturalized American citizens into English naval service. Thousands of American citizens were serving out terms of impressments in the British navy, many of them suffering imprisonment and subjected to extreme cruelty.

On the 20th of May 1812, “the Hornet” arrived from London, carrying the intelligence that England refused to repeal or suspend her restrictions upon American shipping interests, and further insisting upon her right of search and impressments. This information brought public affairs to a crisis. June of the following year, the President transmitted to Congress a special message, disclosing to the nation the unwarranted attitude of England. He presented the need to protect the rights of naturalized' citizens, enumerating the grievances suffered, and submitting the question whether they should continue to endure such treatment from England. Congress deliberated on the measure with closed doors and on the 18th of June passed an act declaring war against Great Britain.

• Cold winter, 1816. The winter of 1816 was so hard and long that snow was still falling into June and July. It was a hard year on the crops in Pennsylvania and on the people who lived there.

• Depression, Between 1819 and 1825. The United States suffered an economic depression between 1819 and 1825.

• Cholera Epidemic, Between 1820 and 1822. 54 A Fever epidemic swept through Pennsylvania from 1820 to 1823. disease continues with unabated mortality down the river.

• lived: Frederick Township, 1823. I moved my family to Frederick Township in 1823 where I took a teaching position.

• Moved, 1830. 55 We moved our family to Harmony, Pennsylvania in 1830. I was asked by the Mennonite leaders in the Harmony area to come and teach at their school. We traveled clear across the state by wagon.

Rev. John Boyer was our first Mennonite preacher. Abraham Ziegler was the principal supporter of the church beginning in 1816, when a building was constructed, to his death in 1836. In 1825, he saw to it that a stone building was erected, which is today the house of worship. Rev. Abraham Tinsman succeeded Mr. Boyer, and Rev. Jacob Kulp came after Tinsman. Then Rev. Joseph Ziegler became pastor, and for forty years preached to the little congregation. In 1816, the Ziegler, Stauffer, Schwartz, and Wise families formed the congregation.

The Ziegler's were long time friends of the Barkey family. In 1815, Abraham Ziegler took possession of land that was originally owned by a commune that called themselves the Harmonist or Economites headed by a gentleman named Rapp. Abraham brought his family with him, but soon found himself embarrassed to meet the unpaid balance of the purchase money and its accruing interest. He accordingly made a trip to New Harmony, Indiana, saw Rapp, and offered to return the land and improvements to the Economists. There he learned, however, that they too were deeply in debt. Rapp urged him to hold the property, cancelled some interest coupons and agreed to pay fifty cents a pound for all the wool, which Abraham would produce on the old Harmony estate. Returning, Abraham entered at once on sheep farming, and within a few years he cleared the land of all encumbrances. In accomplishing this, he was aided by David Stauffer, John Schwartz, Jacob Swain, Samuel Swain and other settlers. They were to act as shepherds for him a stated time and receive a certain area of land round their homes in compensation. The contracts were faithfully carried out and all parties concerned reaped rich rewards, bringing in a large number of German settlers from Eastern Pennsylvania.

Our German settlement did not begin until about the year 1830, and from that time onward for a quarter of a century. German settlers could be found in every Township in the county, their greatest strength probably being in Summit, where we have almost completely displaced the descendants of the Scotch-Irish pioneers. We were good farmers who worked industriously and effieciently

We arrived in Harmony after a long and tedious journey over Indian trails and rough roads. We brought very little with us. We were determined to settle into our new home and surroundings. The first thing we had to do, after we built a rude temporary shelter was to prepare a little spot of ground for our crops. We did this by girdling the trees, clearing away the underbrush, and sweeping the surface with fire. The ground was then broken as thoroughly as possible with the few rude implements that we brought with us. We tried to clear about ten, fifteen, twenty, or even thirty acres of land to be planted the first season. In the autumn, we would carefully gather the crop with the least possible waste as this would be our food supply for the winter.

Cabin building occupied a lot of my attention while the first crop was growing and after conducting classes at the school. Our neighbors readily assisted us in building our cabin. Our cabin was situated by our water supply. There was little trouble finding a good water supply or a good place to dig a well in Butler County.

A few men in the neighborhood gathered at our land, when we were ready to build our cabin. They first cut down, within as close proximity as possible, the requisite number of trees, as nearly of a size as could be found, but varying often from ten to fifteen inches in diameter. Logs were chopped from these, and

rolled to the common center, where they were to be used in building our home. This took us the greater part of a day. The entire labor of erecting the cabin took us about two or three days. After the ground logs were laid, the other logs were raised to their places by the use of hand spikes and "skid poles," and men standing at the corners with axes notched them as fast as they were laid in position. The place of "corner man" was one of honor and distinction, and the persons chosen for these positions were supposed to be particularly skillful in wielding the ax. It was necessary that the logs in the gables should be beveled, and that each succeeding one should be shorter than the one on which it rested. These gable logs were held in place by poles that extended across the cabin, serving also as rafters upon which to lay the rived "clapboard" roof. The so-called clapboards were five or six feet in length, and were split from oak logs, and made as flat and smooth as possible. They were laid side by side, and other pieces of split wood were laid over the cracks to keep out the rain. Upon these were laid logs to hold them in place, and these were secured by blocks placed between them at the ends.

The chimney was an important part of the structure. In some cases it was made of stone or of logs laid up in a manner similar to those which formed the walls of the house, and plastered with mud. It was built outside of the house, and at one end. At its base, a huge hole was cut through the wall for a fireplace. The back and sides of the latter were formed of large, flat stones.

An opening was chopped or sawed in one side of the cabin for a doorway. Pieces of hewn timber, three or four inches thick, were fastened on each side with wooden pins, or in some cases iron nails, and these formed the frame on which the door (if there was one) was hung, either by wooden or leather hinges. The door itself was a clumsy piece of woodwork. It was made from boards rived from an oak log, and held together by heavy crosspieces. There was a wooden latch upon the inside, raised from without by a string or thong of deerskin, which passed through a gimlet hole. From this mode of construction arose the old and well-known homely figure of hospitality, "You will find the latch string always out." When, on rare occasions, it was pulled in, the door was considered fastened. Many of our neighbor's cabins had no door of this kind until they had lived in them for many years. Instead of the door on hinges, a blanket or some old garment was frequently suspended before the opening to guard the occupants of the cabin from sun or rain.

The window was a small opening, usually near the door, and in most cases devoid of frame or glass. In lieu of the latter, greased paper was often used, and sometimes an article of the housewife's wardrobe constituted a curtain.

The floor of the cabin was made of puncheons. These were pieces of timber split from trees about eighteen inches in diameter, and hewed smooth with a broad ax. They were usually half the length of the floor. Some of the cabins built in Butler County had nothing but earthen floors. Occasionally there was one which had a cellar -- that is, a small excavation under the floor -- to which access was had by removing a lose puncheon. Very commonly the cabins were provided with lofts. The loft was used for various purposes such as the "guest chamber," which we would offer to the wayfarer and the stranger. A ladder made from split pieces of sapling was the only access to the loft.

Once our cabin was built, Catherine and I began to "chink and daub," the walls. We made a bed by setting a forked stick in the floor by the foot of the bed which supported the ends of two poles. One log formed the foot of the bed, while the other formed the length of the bed. The rest of the bed rested upon the logs at the side and end of the cabin. My next task was to make a common table by splitting a slab of wood and supporting it by four rustic legs, set in auger holes. I made three-legged stools in a similar simple manner. Pegs driven in auger holes in the logs of the wall supported shelves to provide a place to hang our clothes. A few other pegs formed a rack where I hung my rifle and powder horn, which no cabin was without.

We had few utensils for cooking and the dishes for table use. The best of our dishes were made of pewter, and Catherine was careful to keep them shining as brightly as possible. Knives and forks were few, crockery very scarce and tin ware by no means abundant. Food was simply cooked and served, but it was, as a rule, of the best and most wholesome kind. The hunter kept the larder well supplied with venison, bear meat, squirrels, wild turkeys, and the many varieties of small game. Plain corn bread, baked in a kettle in the ashes, or upon a board or broad chip, in front of the great, open fireplace, was a staple article of food. Corn was either pounded into coarse meal, or carried a long distance to a mill to be ground. The wild fruits in their season were made use of, and afforded a pleasant variety. We kept medicinal herbs in our loft such as catnip, sage, tansy, fennel, boneset, wormwood, and pennyroyal, each gathered in its season; and there were also stores of nuts, strings of dried pumpkin, with bags of berries and fruit.

Catherine not only made clothing, but the fabric for it. Money was scarce, and the markets in which we could make purchases were far away. Catherine thought it to only buy what we couldn't make ourselves. In our cabin, as well in all the others could be heard the sound of the softly whirring spinning wheel, and the thud of the loom. She spun the flax, and wove the cloth, for shirts and trousers, frocks, sheets and blankets. The linen and the wool, the "linsey-woolsey" formed nearly all of the articles of clothing worn by men and women

Every farmer had a patch of from a quarter to half an acre of flax, which was manufactured into cloth by the family. The flax, before it was ready for spinning, had to be put through the process of "hackling" and "scutching," and the latter of these operations frequently furnished occasions for "bees," at which we combined work with merriment and sociability.

The men in my day wore the hunting-shirt, a kind of loose frock reaching half way down the thighs, open before, and so wide as to lap over a foot upon the chest. This generally had a cape, which was sometimes fringed with a piece of raveled cloth of a color different from that of the garment. The hunting-shirt was always worn belted. The bosom of the garment answered as a pouch in which could be carried the various articles needed by the hunter or woodsman. The shirt or coat was made of coarse linen, of linsey or of deerskin, according to the desire of the wearer. Breeches were made of heavy cloth or of deerskin, and were often worn with leggings of the same material, or of some kind of leather. The deer-skin breeches or trousers were very comfortable when dry, but, when they became wet, were cold to the limbs, and, the next time they were put on, were almost as stiff as if made of boards. Hats or caps were made of the various native furs, in crude form, each man being his own hatter

Catherine and the girls wore linsey petticoats, coarse shoes and stockings, and wore buckskin mittens or gloves, when any protection was needed for the hands. To a wardrobe of this kind were added a few articles obtained from the village of Pittsburgh, or from east of the mountains. Nearly all of the women's wearing apparel was made with a view to being comfortable and serviceable. Jewelry was very rarely seen, but occasionally ornaments were worn which had been brought from former homes.

The Bible was to be found in all of the cabins almost as frequently as the rifle. In the cabins of some families, a few other books were occasionally to be met with, such as "Pilgrim's Progress," Baxter's "Saints' Rest," Hervey's "Meditations," Aesop's "Fables," and the like. The long winter evenings were spent in poring over a few well-thumbed volumes by the light of the great log fire, or in knitting, mending, curing furs, etc.

When Butler County was settled, it is true that the danger of Indian attacks had passed away forever; but a few of us feared that we weren't entirely secure in our forest homes. The larger wild beasts were a source of dread, and the smaller ones a source of much annoyance. Added to this was the liability to sickness, which always exists in a new setting. In the midst of all the loveliness of our surroundings, there was a sense of loneliness which could not be dispelled, and this was a far greater trial to many men and women than is generally imagined. The deep-seated, constantly recurring feeling of isolation made many stout hearts turn fondly back to remembrance of the older settlements, the abodes of comfort, the companionship and sociability we had abandoned.

Our settlement continued to grow and social gatherings became more numerous and more enjoyable. The logrolling, harvesting and husking bees and occasional rifle match for the men, and the apple butter making and quilting parties for the women, furnished frequent occasions for social banter.

Produce brought low prices, and it was difficult to place it in the market. We would take a load of wheat or corn to Pittsburgh, making the round trip in from four days to a week or more. However, we could obtain only a few small articles in exchange for the grain and we paid dearly for them. We were seldom able to obtain cash, and how to secure a sufficient sum of money to pay taxes was a matter for very serious consideration.

• Asiatic Cholera Epidemic, 1831-1832. 56,57,58,59,60,61,62,63 We don't know what illness caused Catherine's death in 1832. Shortly after her death Daniel and Katie took sick and died in 1833. Catherine may have died from Scarlet Fever, Typhus or Cholera. Small outbreaks of Scarlet Fever occurred in 1832 and Typhus was an ongoing problem because of the poor water sources. It is very likely that Daniel, and little Katie died from Cholera, because their deaths came in such close succession.

1833 Columbus, OH cholera
1831-1832 / Nationwide (brought in by English Immigrants) / Asiatic Cholera

In September 1832, the Cholera physicians of Philadelphia put forth a memorial to the City Council, urging the advantage of taking down the city front along the river, both for health and beauty. Soon after there appeared several articles in Poulson's Gazette, recommending and arguing upon the advantages of such a measure, by Philadelphus, Civis, S. P., and others --- and finally, in July 1833, we saw a hint to this effect, saying, "now that we have committees appointed to consider and report upon the matter of the "Delaware Avenue", we think the time is favorable to introduce the original design of the open River-Front --- a topic which has already been under notice in the public prints". Finally --- this thing, we are glad to say, has been partially attended to in the will of Stephen Girard --- it is not all that was desired, but it is still an improvement --- so far as it goes. It has already cost 200,000 dollars, and would be much improved by a line of trees.

Cholera (also called Asiatic cholera) is a severe, infectious disease of the small intestine. It is marked by heavy diarrhea, vomiting, and muscle cramps and can result in coma and death. For centuries, it was confined to India, but in the early 19th century it began to spread to other parts of Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The disease is contracted by ingesting food or drink-usually water-that is contaminated with a bacterium found in feces. After cholera bacteria are swallowed, they multiply in the small intestine, where they set off an infection that interferes with normal intestinal functions. Frequent diarrhea results. This can cause a great deal of fluid loss-water and essential salts-in a short period of time. In some cases, three to four gallons of fluid loss has been reported in a 24-hour period. In addition, vomiting and other symptoms often develop.

Cholera sailed from port to port, the germ making headway in contaminated kegs of water or in the excrement of infected victims, and transmitted by travelers. The world was getting smaller thanks to steam-powered trains and ships, but living conditions were slow to improve. By 1827 cholera had become the most feared disease of the century.

It struck so suddenly a man could be in good health at daybreak and be buried at nightfall. A New Yorker in 1832 described himself pitching forward in the street "as if knocked down with an ax. I had no premonition at all."

The worldwide cholera epidemic was aided by the Industrial Revolution and the accompanying growth of urban tenements and slums. There was little or no provision at all for cesspools or fresh water supplies. Tenements raised several stories high, but cesspools were only on the ground floor with no clear access to sewers or indoor running water. It didn't make much difference, because until the 1840s a sewer was simply an elongated cesspool with an overflow at one end. "Night men" had to climb into the morass and shovel the filth and mire out by hand. In most cases, barrels filled with excrement were discharged outside, or contents of chamber pots flung from open windows - if there were any - to the streets below.

American hygiene and sanitation were not much better. Cholera spread through immigrants from the infected countries, Ireland in particular, whose masses were fleeing the poverty and despair of the potato famine. Those who could scrape together three pounds for passage left for North America.

Life aboard an immigrant ship was appalling as ship owners crowded 500 passengers in space intended for 150. Infected passengers shared slop buckets and rancid water.

The contagion spread as soon as the immigrants landed. In one month, 1,220 new arrivals were dead in Montreal. Another 2,200 died in Quebec over the summer of 1832.

Detroit became another focal point of cholera. Instead of drawing fresh water from the Detroit River, people used well water. The land was low and it was much more convenient. But outhouses placed at odd locations soon contaminated those wells, and cholera spread quickly.

Cholera entered New York through infected ships. City people started clogging the roads in an exit to the countryside. On June 29, 1832, the governor ordered a day of fasting and prayers - the traditional response by government to treating the disease. After July 4, there was a daily cholera report.

Quarantine regulations that sought to contain towns and cities in upper New York, Vermont and along the Erie Canal met with little success. Immigrants leaped from halted canal boats and passed through locks on foot, despite the efforts by contingents of armed militia to stop them.

Some doctors flatly declared that cholera was indeed epidemic in New York, but more people sided with banker John Pintard that this "officious report” was an "impertinent interference" with the Board of Health. The banker incredulously asked if the physicians had any idea what such an announcement would do to the city's business.

Visitors were struck by the silence of New York's streets, with their unaccustomed cleanliness and strewn with chloride of lime (the usual remedy for foul-smelling garbage). Even on Broadway, passersby were so few that a man on horseback was a curiosity. One young woman recalled seeing tufts of grass growing in the little-used thoroughfares.

Excerpt from Epidemics in America:
US, many, 1/1/1832, Cholera
1826-37 The second cholera pandemic of the 19th century, and the most devastating one, began in Bengal and spread through India in 1826. It reached Afghanistan in 1827, and spread further into central Asia and the middle east. By late 1830 it had reached Moscow, and from there spread westward into Europe in 1831. It reached England on a ship from Hamburg in October 1831 and spread throughout the British Isles. It reached New York in 1832, and spread from there throughout most of the U.S.
1830-31 An influenza epidemic and spread throughout the British Isles. It reached New York in 1832, and spread from there throughout most of the U.S.
1831-1832 Nationwide (brought in by English Immigrants) Asiatic cholera ,
1832 New York and other major cities Cholera
1833 Columbus, OH Cholera

1834 New York City Cholera

1837 Philadelphia Typhus

1833 Columbus, Ohio Cholera


Recommend "a strict course of temperance ... spare use of meats, vegetables and fruit, and more particularly if the bowels be in any degree disordered, avoiding especially fresh pork, spirituous liquors, green corn, cucumbers and melons".

Should you actually come down with the disease, you should "live chiefly on bread and butter, toast crackers rice, gruel or light soups, and the table drinks above named, and above all do not overload the stomach with any thing".

There follows much advice about inducing vomiting, when to take calomel and laudanum, largely based on the consistency of what comes out of the bowels, accompanied with assurances of safety if the procedures are followed in time. I wonder how to account for this confidence, or whether it is feigned. Did some of it at least, like the purging and keeping warm help fight the illness? Or was it all at best an uncomfortable and dangerous (esp. the bleeding) placebo?

Finally, the Board of Health promises to take care of everyone in the community -- free of charge to those unable to pay, prescribes a certain amount of each medicine for each family to procure, and most interestingly:

It is recommended to the citizens to form into associations of five, ten or more families, according to their own discretion, without reference to wards; who will pledge themselves to remain with, take care of, and nurse each other, in case of Cholera, under the direction of a Superintendent chosen by themselves; and that the names of those belonging to each association be furnished by its Superintendent to the Committee of the Ward in which he resides.

Report of the Board of Health in reference to the approach of CHOLERA

At a meeting of the Board of Health of Indianapolis on Friday, July 19, A. D. 1833, with reference to the duties assigned them by their fellow-citizens in anticipation the Epidemic Cholera, Dr. Cox, from the Medical Committee, made the following Report, which, after being somewhat modified, is unanimously adopted, to wit:

The Medical Committee appointed for that purpose, respectfully report the following advice to the inhabitants of our town and County:

1st. That in anticipation that we as well as others may be visited with the cholera, they would recommend at present as a preparatory preventive, a strict course of temperance and regularity in diet, drinks and exercise, the spare use of meats, vegetables and fruit, and more particularly if the bowels be in any degree disordered, avoiding especially fresh pork, spirituous liquors, green corn, cucumbers and melons, excessive fatigue, wet and night exposure, and the keeping comfortably clothed especially during sleep. Of meats they would recommend ham or bacon, chickens and mutton as best; of vegetables, good ripe potatoes, boiled onions and cooked tomatoes; of table drinks, sage, tea, store tea, sweet milk, chocolate and coffee.

2d. Should Cholera appear, Be still more careful in observing. The above directions use no fruit, no vegetables except potatoes. Onions and tomatoes as above and little or no meats, live chiefly on bread and butter, toast crackers rice, gruel or light soups, and the table drinks above named, and above all do not overload the stomach with any thing.

3d. Should any looseness of the bowels or sickness of the stomach occur while the disease is prevailing; consider it the commencement of a disease which may then easily be cured, but if neglected will certainly kill. Go to bed between blankets and be pretty warmly covered, and if you have lately taken a hearty meal or eaten fruits or vegetables, or if there is much sickness at the stomach, take a tablespoon full of salt in half pint of warm water, and repeat it every five minutes until it vomits, then immediately take from 20 to 30 grains of calomel, mixed with dry sugar and wash it down with water or tea, and if purging with watery and thin stools continues, repeat it every two hours adding half a tea spoonful of laudanum to each dose, until the discharges are checked or bilious ones take place, and if after this it does not operate in 6 or 8 hours take two or three table spoonfuls of castor oil every two hours, until it does, and, immediately after giving the first dose of calomel, if there be fever or a strong pulse, bleed and let the drinks be warm sage or other herb teas and take no food but gruel. This course has in other places been sufficient to cure in almost all cases when early commenced.

4th. When the cholera decidedly attacks, producing frequent and copious stools resembling rice water or soap suds, and which is generally followed spasms, take the salt and water emetic if the stomach is loaded or very much sickness is present as above directed, and after it calomel, but if not, begin with the calomel and laudanum, and take from 40 to 60 grains of calomel and a teaspoonful of laudanum every two hours until this purging is stopped and the spasms, if occurring, checked and then in six or eight hours after the medicine does not operate and bring away bilious discharges from the bowels, give castor oil as before until it operates.

Apply a large mustard plaster over the stomach, and if coldness occurs, apply mustard also to the soles of the feet and inside of the thighs as hot as it can be borne, if spasms occur, rub the places well with the hands; and if the pulse is strong or there is fever, bleed as before directed, but if the pulse is weak, bleed only under the direction of a physician, and depend chiefly on calomel and laudanum; and in all cases call in a physician as soon as one can be got, not forgetting that wherever the disease has prevailed it has usually been easily checked at the first moment of attack, but delay is dangerous and often death.

5th: Every family should be supplied with calomel in ten and -twenty grain doses; an ounce or more laudanum; a vial or bottle of castor oil, and some ground mustard, and fire and candle should at night always be ready to be lit. The above doses are for adults for a child 8 years old, 10 grains of calomel and 5 drops of laudanum in diarrhea, and 20 grains of calomel and 10 or 12 drops of laudanum in cholera. One year old, 5 gr. Calomel and two or three drops laudanum in the diarrhea, and 10 or 15 gr. calomel and 5 or six drops of laudanum in the cholera. And for other ages, proportionally to the stage and severity of the attack, but in giving laudanum, much -will depends on the child being accustomed to its use.

In conclusion, the committee would remark that after full consideration of the subject, they believe, by making due preparation our citizens will be exposed to less danger by calmly remaining, should the. Cholera appear, than by flying from their homes, and would recommend that families now take care to secure female and other family help who will not desert them and flee in the hour of need; and that as there are abundant funds, that the Board of Health assure all such persons acting as domestic assistants that they shall be well attended in case of sickness from cholera, without charge.

All, which is respectfully submitted.







In furtherance of the above suggestions, the Board of Health pledge themselves to every resident of this place or wayfaring person here, if the Cholera prevails that our efforts and the liberal means furnished by the citizens shall be promptly used for their comfort and aid, which shall be extended without charge to all such as are unable to pay.

It is recommended to every family to supply themselves with the Medicines above recommended, within a week from this time; and the Ward committees will furnish all families in this place, unable to procure them.

It is recommended to the citizens to form into associations of five, ten or more families, according to their own discretion, without reference to wards; who will pledge themselves to remain with, take care of, and nurse each other, in case of Cholera, under the direction of a Superintendent chosen by themselves; and that the names of those belonging to each association be furnished by its Superintendent to the Committee of the Ward in which he resides.

B. F. MORRIS, President Teste,

J. M. RAY, Sec'y_,

July 5, 1833
The Board of Health of the city of Pittsburgh report that eighteen persons have died of Cholera in that city, from the 25th of May to the 1st inst. We learn, however, from various sources, that for a week past the number of deaths have been from five to ten per day. The flying reports may be much exaggerated, but we think the Board of Health is as much under the true number. A Mr. Waters, (scythe manufacturer,) who lately removed to Fallston, in this county, visited Pittsburgh last week, was attacked with Cholera and died in 15 hours. The disease continues with unabated mortality down the river.

• Widowed, 23 May 1832, Harmony Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania. My beloved wife Catherine died.

• death, 10 Sep 1833. Abraham died on September 10, 1833 presumably from Asiatic cholera. His wife Catherine who died the previous year preceded him in death. His son Daniel died around the same time as Abraham followed in death by Katie in December of the same year. The Pennsylvania Archives listed his death as follows:

Death record in Pennsylvania Archives:

October 2, 1833
BERGE, Abraham, 60/3/16, in Harmony, Butler Co., Sept. 10, 1833

The 60/3/16 means he was 60 years old 3 months and 16 days when he died


Abraham married Mrs. Susanna Barkey before 1800. (Mrs. Susanna Barkey was born about 1774 and died on 20 Feb 1806 64.)

bullet  Marriage Notes:

Before 1800: (age 27)

I married Susana who was born about 1774. We lived in Upper Hanover, Pennsylvania.


Abraham next married Catherine Borneman, daughter of Henry Borneman and Margertetta (Mararetta) Seasholtz (Seesholtz), on 7 May 1808.2 (Catherine Borneman was born on 6 Nov 1785 in Upper Hanover Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and died on 23 May 1832 in Harmony Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania.)

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