John Andreas Coon Jr. 1768-1840, Becoming a Tower of Strength and Manhood

Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 1.49.22 PMOn September 11, 1777, General Washington collided with the British here at Brandywine Creek, Pennsylvania; booming cannons echoed 25 miles east to Philadelphia. There were heavy American losses on the battlefield. John Coon Jr. was serving his apprenticeship nearby and heard the blasts, a penetrating sound for a 9 year old. ([1] Goble, pg. 120, ref 12). The very next spring, the British launched “a secret night assault [10 miles] to the north in Paoli.” Not yet aware of the attack, “John Coon roused himself from…his thick…German-feather comforter. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and stretched to greet the dawn. Clad simply in a long nightshirt, he stepped…into his britches…, pausing only to splash water on his face and straighten his thick [untidy] hair… His thoughts were on his chores, [and] the few moments he could spend in his forested hideaway at Brandywine Creek catching fish for breakfast, and [then] his afternoon at the cooper shop…” (Goble, pg. 123) But, instead of a pleasant spring morning, the penetrating sounds of death again rolled like thick fog across the Great Valley. Word spread that 150 Colonials were found dead. As the wounded “were transported…along the road through Chester,” the neighborhood wept at the groans of the dying. As a young man John experienced these realities but continued industrious and of service to family and country in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, and Illinois. At age 16, after the death of his father, he returned home to Lancaster, “rented a barn, and freighted [for the local militia] until he married,” (Goble, pg. 124, 129) at age 30. He was becoming a “tower of strength and manhood” upon whom his present and future family could trust. (see Goble, pg. 130) Thank you, to those who served here, and thank you, to my 4th great-grandfather, John Andreas Coon Jr.

(Written by Kenneth R. Hardman, with quotations from reference [1])

[1] Goble, William Kent, and Ord, Gayle Goble, Heritage of the Abraham Coon Family, 1989, pg. 120-130

Author Notes: Special thanks to the authors of reference [1] for their significant research into the times and places of this ancestor. From John A. Coon Jr. I learn that life is not always easy but I can learn from the challenging times and continue to strive to do good things in my life. John served an indentured apprenticeship away from his family for many years, and then lived through the uncertainties of the American Revolutionary War. Later in his youth he took care of his younger siblings. I’m a better person having studied his life.

About Kenneth Richard Hardman

AncestorClips are very short stories about very real people. Each clip nurtures awareness of a time, a place, and the character of a man or woman who cultivated a path for our life. The reader feels the good, the obstacles, the happiness, the sadness, and the overcoming. They cheer us, make us resilient when challenged, give us purpose, and connect us to our multi-generational family. Each story is followed by reflections from the author and readers sharing how the story strengthened or inspired them. Ken Hardman is a son, a brother, a grandson, a great-grandson… He is also a husband, father and grand-father. Ken is a professional engineer, engineering mentor, technical writer, and associate technical fellow at a major aerospace company. He is a writer of engineering and family history stories. Please join Ken in reading, reflecting upon, or writing #AncestorClips
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2 Responses to John Andreas Coon Jr. 1768-1840, Becoming a Tower of Strength and Manhood

  1. Cari Jepson says:

    Thank You for taking the time to do this clip. I’m in awe at the strength of our ancestors. And your dedication to our history I can’t thank you enough.

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