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William Henry Powell
Powell Descendant Number: 1
William Henry Powell is as far back as we have been able to go in tracing our Powell descendant line. Any information about William's parentage would be greatly appreciated.

William's other known Pedigrees:
Father's Side:
Mother's Side: Unknown

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The Biography of William Henry Powell

Compiled by Harold Charles Powell, Last updated March 2012

BORN William was born on Monday the 20th. of July 1829 in Troy, New York. Next to Albany, N.Y. Children born during the 19th century were usually born at home.
DIED William passed away on Monday the 30th. of December 1895 in Corry, Pennsylvania. He was 66 years old. It is not known why William was in Corry, Pa when he died.
CEMETERY William was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Bradford Pennsylvania in the Powell Family Plot. His Wife Mary Elizabeth Swartwood-Powell and their two sons: Charles Henry Powell and Lee William Powell where buried along side him.
FORMER ADDRESSES William's last known address was in Bradford Township, Pa; 12 High Street, Bradford, Pa. c1880’s; Pigs Ear near Kane, Pa. (Possible Homestead); Roseville, Pa. 1873; Williamsburg, New York 1850’s and Troy, New York where William was born.
FATHER Unknown
MOTHER Unknown
SPOUSE Mary Elizabeth Swartwood-Powell 1850-1915 of Waverly, New York. Their marriage is believed to have taken place in the late 1860's or early 1870's, possibly in Waverly, NY.
CHILDREN Lloyd Swartwell Powell 1873-1948; Lee William Powell 1880-1948; Maude Pearl Lucy Powell-Arnts 1883-1953, and Charles Henry Powell 1886-1941.
MILITARY HISTORY Merchant Marine: First onboard the USS North Carolina, then transferred to the USS San Jacinto. William kept a diary when he sailed to the Southeast Asian coast where the Second Opium War began in 1856. William and his crew mates were reassigned to the USS Levant during the battle of Canton, in China.
POLITICAL HISTORY Unknown; William was born when Andrew Jackson was in office. William would have known about Abraham Lincoln's assassination. William died when Grover Cleveland was in office.
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY It is recorded that William was a prominent oil producer in Bradford, Pa.
PERSONAL INTERESTS William took trips to Liverpool, England when he was in his early 20’s. On one of those trips William took a sailing ship called the SS Isaac Wright, and went to a lecture on Mormonism. According to his diary, William did not seem very impressed with the Mormons.

For more information contact: thegenealogist@powellquest.com

Excerpts from the Diary of William Henry Powell
Written between
November 9, 1850 - April 24, 1858

William's Signature

January 1, 1852;
                  I spent New Years day in old England, for the first time the church bells chimed the old year out and the New Year in which sounded most delightful in the still calm air. I attended a jolly party and a very merry party. We were dancing and singing until 5o’clock in the morning. I shall never forget the pleasant time I had in old England.

Friday 2, 1852;
                  The weather very moderate for winter, with the usual English atmosphere, foggy.

Saturday 3, 1852;
                  The weather the same as yesterday, more like spring than winter. Spent the day walking the docks of Liverpool, the most splendid specimen of docks I should say in the world; also visited the great landing stage where passengers are landed from the ferryboats that ply between Berickenhead and several other places opposite Liverpool. It is considered the largest stage afloat in the world. There is a lighthouse at each end, there is also attended to it a large Burmese bell highly ornamented with dragons and other devices, its coast was sixty thousand pounds. I was much taken with the fine dray horses they are noble looking beasts. There contrast to the donkeys, which are numerous is very striking.

Sunday 4, 1852;
                  I spent reading Mormon tracts, which gave me a better opinion of them and of their doctrines than I have here to entertained. In the evening I attended a lecture at the Mormon chapel where I was still greater surprised there manner of worship being conducted in the same form and manner as other denominations of Christians namely by prayer to god singing and a sermon the text taken from the bible the discourse was on faith. Weather cool and pleasant.

Monday 5, 1852;
                  I took a walk and visited Saint Georges Hall; a most splendid building, where the (? Assisis) court is held. It is in the present style of Corinthian architecture. It has already coast eight hundred thousand pounds and is not yet completed.

Tuesday 6, 1852;
                  I engaged my passage in the ship Isaac Wright for New York. We hauled out of Waterloo dock and came to anchor in the

The SS Isaac Wright belongs to the Black Ball Line out of New York City.

Wednesday 7, 1852;
                  I saw the eclipse of the moon early this morning, the ship still at anchor in the river waiting for a fine wind.

Thursday 8, 1852;
                  It has been blowing a gale of wind, the wind ahead, still waiting in the river for a change in the wind.

Friday 9, 1852;
                  I have spent another impatient day onboard waiting for a favorable wind, the weather cool.

Saturday 10, 1852;
                  In the morning two officers came onboard in search of a man that had left his home and family of 7 children with another mans wife. The brute was not found onboard the Isaac Wright. Weighed anchor about 10 o’clock. The steamer towed us as far as Ruffen Island. The steamer left us about 7 P.M. the ship left to her own sailing powers with fair wind. About an hour after we showed our signed lights for the pilot boat to come along side and take away the pilot, but being unable to distinguish the answer signal from the pilot boat the pilot remained onboard and with us to New York, much to his sorrow.

Sunday 11, 1852;
                  The first Sabbath at sea since we left Liverpool. The weather was rough but the wind fair. About 3 P.M. sighted the Wichlon Mountains on the coast of Ireland about 8 P.M. righted Tasken light which was the last indication of land.

Monday 12, 1852;
                  2ed day of sailing, fifth day on being onboard ship the weather rough most of the passengers sea sick, myself among the number, after heaving up my accounts I felt as we Yankees term it First Rite and was not troubled anymore in that score during the voyage.

Tuesday 13, 1852;
                  3ed day sailing, 7th day onboard the ship fairly into the mighty Atlantic a very pleasant day fair wind making good headway.

Wednesday 14, 1852;
                  The weather pleasant during the day, at night we experienced a severe gale of wind with lighting.

Thursday 15, 1852;
                  Very unpleasant during the day raining heavily preventing my usual walk on deck.

Friday 16, 1852;
                  The weather fair but wind unfavorable.

Saturday 17, 1852;
                  Almost a dead calm with a cloudy sky delightfully warm. The Captain took a advantage of the day by having all the steerage passengers on deck and as the mate explored it to shake the stink of them it was a sight to see the forlorn looking being’s on deck with dirty rags tied to there still dirtier body’s with rope yarn pick the light horseman of there beastly dirty coaches.

Sunday 18, 1852;
                  The weather pleasant but the sea very rough and high, the wind prevailing to the westward.

Monday 19, 1852;
                  9th day of sailing, 13th day of being onboard ship the same weather as yesterday prevailed at night experienced a heavy squall accompanied with hail and snow.

Tuesday 20, 1852;
                  The weather pleasant but wind unfavorable at night the wind gradually enraged.

Wednesday 21, 1852;
                  Experienced a sever gale commencing about one o’clock in the morning shipped some dreadful seas. It was altogether a dreadful night the water came rushing into the steerage by hogs head so that with the rushing of the of the waters, the dreadful wllong of the ship and the screams of the passengers I was never so frightened as I recollect in my life.

Thursday 22, 1852;
                  The gale continued with awful severity. The night being dismally dark we came within 2 or 3 lengths of another vessel before we saw her and it was by a merciful providence that we were saved for had we come in contact with one another we must both have inevitably perished without a soul being left to tell the tale. The captain told the passengers the next day that at one time he gave up all hope of saving the ship.

Friday 23, 1852;
                  The gale subsided leaving us in a beautiful fine weather with rather a heavy swell. An infant (2months old) died from exhaustion and buried directly without any further ceremony. Then sewing it up in canvas with some stones to sink and giving it a rough tumble overboard.

Saturday 25, 1852;
                  Still under close reefed top sails we haven been loosing ground for the last few days being dove by the rough weather we’ve had to the north’ed.

Sunday 25, 1852;
                  The weather quite pleasant one of the passengers in our state….
Note: end of page and end of this dates entry.

Unknown date;
                  Red sound fair for us for a short time being just sufficient to mortify us every indication of a long passage to guard against which the passengers were allowanced to one quart of water pr diem being three weeks at sea today but having such awful weather and headwinds we are no nearer New York than we were a week after leaving Liverpool. The Captain is also sick, the report is current onboard that if the weather continues as it has we shall have to put to port after a supply of water.

Sunday February 1, 1852;
                  Another heavy blow during the night, the wind still continues ahead accompanied with rain much interested in reading the life of De Adam Clark.

Monday 2, 1852;
                  A very pleasant day having gone == the south wind making some headway through the wind still ahead promenaded the deck at night being a most beautiful moon light as I ever witnessed.

Tuesday 3, 1852;
                  24th day of sailing 28 day of being onboard ship….

Note: end of the day’s entry. No more information was available.

Journal commenced October 4, 1855
Onboard the United States Steam Frigate San Jacinto
                                                                           William was 26 years old

Oct. 4, 1855;
                  Having shipped in the navy and been onboard the receiving ship North Carolina some days, I was sent with the draft onboard the San Jacinto the flagship of Commodore Armstrong on Friday October 4, 1855.

Oct. 5, 1855;
                  Left New York for China

Oct. 27, 1855;
                  Passed the wreck of a schooner deserted

Oct. 28, 1855;
                  We encountered a very heavy gale of wind in the Gulf Stream which carried away three of our boats. The gale lasted 36 hours.

Nov. 1, 1855
                  Weather fine, passed a ship about 12 0’clock steering Southeast.

Nov. 11, 1855;
                  Arrived at Madeira at 4:00P.M. After a passage of 17 days 9 hours, distance 3300 miles.

Nov. 17, 1855;
                  Left Funchal for the islands of Ascension at 3:00 P.M.

Nov. 20, 1855;
                  Passed some of Canary Islands 8:00 A.M.

Nov. 21, 1855;
                  Hailed a spouter going southeast same night a schooner passed us ahead 10P.M.

Nov. 23, 1855;
                  Steady wind the ship going at the rate of 10 knots per hour.

Nov. 27, 1855;
                  The ship becalmed.

Dec. 1, 1855;
                  200 miles north of the line, weather fine, the ship becalmed.

Dec. 2, 1855:
                  Weather very hot, ship still becalmed, got up steam.

Dec. 8, 1855;
                  Arrived at Ascension 10A.M. found here the English frigate Tortoise and an English sloop of war. Distance from Madeira 3700 miles. The Island of Ascension is a desolate looking place. It is of volcanic origin and is used by the English as a rendezvous of there men of wars. We coaled up ship, and Dec. 12, sailed for Simons bay, coast of Africa at 5 P.M.

Dec. 25, 1855;
                  Weather fine, ship in Lat. 28 South, Lon. 18-East course Southeast.

Dec. 26, 1855;
                  Passed an English ship steaming east.

January 1, 1856 Cape of Good Hope 1400 miles, of all well.

Jan. 4, 1856;
                  Passed a ship 4 P.M.

Jan. 5, 1856;
                  Fine breeze, 900 off the cape all well.

Jan. 6, 1856;
                  Fine breeze, the ships speed 11 miles per hour.

Jan. 12, 1856;
                  Arrived at Simon’s town Simons Bay 11 O’clock A.M. 30 days 17 hours, distance 9500 miles.

Jan. 20, 1856;
                  We where visited by some English ladies and Officers belonging to the vessels of war lying here.

Jan. 27, 1856;
                  Arrived the American whale ship India of New Bedford, 12 months out with 700 barrels of sperm oil. Arrived at Cape Town Table Bay the U.S. Officers came onboard to see the Commodore. She came by the way of Rio de Janeiro where she stayed 21 days.

Jan 28, 1856;
                  We sailed from here for the isle of France after staying in port 17 days.

January 29, 1856;
                  150 miles off the Cape. Sea running very high and ship on our port bow.

Jan. 30, 1856;
                  The ship labored heavy in a cross sea all night. Saw a sail on our starboard bow steering to the northern & westward.

Jan. 31, 1856;
                  Last night the fearful cry rang through the ship, a man overboard, and who is there that has ever heard that cry can ever forget it. The sea ran so high that it was madness to have attempted to lower a boat as it would have endangered the lives of the whole boats crew, but still there where men who would have gone to save there shipmate although they new that it was almost certain death, for as soon as that fearful cry was raised they jumped to the lifeboat and cast off the fast ring and only waited for the commanding officers consent, but the captain seeing that it would be madness to lower the boat, he ordered the boat to be secured again. The ship was immediately turned about when the accident occurred and cruised about for an hour. All hands anxiously looking with keen eyes and open ears to catch the faintest cry of the swimmer in his agony, but in vain with sad hearts we gave up the search and again stood on our course. The name of the young man was William Mc Farland.

Feb. 1, 1856;

                  Calm weather commenced steaming at 3 P.M.

Williams historical accounts of events that were later dramatized into the story: "The King and I"

April 4, 1856;
                  Arrived at Singapore at 9 o’clock at night 61 hours passage through the Straits of Malacca & we distinguished the Macedonian at anchor & she burning blue lights as we came into the harbor.

April 5, 1956;
                  There were five men invalided = from our ships company and will return home in the Macedonian.

April 8, 1856;
                  We started at 7 past 3 O’clock P.M. from Singapore for Siam & with the Consular General Mr. T. Harris who has been sent by the U.S. Government to form a treaty of amity and commerce with the king of Siam.

April 11, 1856;
                  The weather is growing very hot, the thermo. Showing it to be 112 degrees in the shade. We have at present 47 men on the sick list.

April 14, 1856;
                  We arrived at Me Nam (now Chao Phraya) river after a passage of 6 days.

April 17, 1856;
                  We received a present from the king of Siam: a great number of fowls & bags of rice & sugar & packages of tea, hogs, a boat load of fruit together with several baskets of eggs & we are to make him a visit in a few days and have onboard some valuable presents to be brought out with us from the states to present to him.

April 22, 1856;
                  Today Mr. Harris, the commodore & a number of the officers, with a guard of Marines left for Bangkok, the capital of Siam and the residence of the king. They arrived the same day at a small town named Packenham were the party were provided with dinner by the officers appointed by the king to wait upon them at this place. They were placed onboard a small steamer, called the royal Siamese steam yacht were they where taken up the river to the cit ok Bangkok. They arrived there 6 P.M. and were placed in good quarters prepared on purpose for them.

April 23, 1856;
                  Today the king sent some officers to see that the party were well supplied with provisions & also sending a plentiful supply of fruit & the party remained in there quarters 10 days before the king sent for them to pay him a visit at his palace.

May 2, 1856;
                  The officers and marines in full uniform embarked in the boats that the king had sent down for the purpose of going up to the palace of the 1st. king (there being two it seems who Govern) these boats are from 45 to 60 feet long and from 8 to 9 feet beam. They were manned by about 30 to 50 men, each having a paddle. They move very swiftly and smoothly through the water. There were 9 to 10 of the boats. They went up the river for about == miles in fine style until they came to the palace of the king. They were received while landing with a salute of 17 guns. After the party had formed, they marched up to the palace and presented to he king a letter from the President of the United States, accompanied with some valuable presents which he received and duly acknowledged. The interview being over, the whole party sat down to a dinner. That the king had prepared for them. The palace grounds are enclosed with a very high wall and about 1 ½ miles in circumference and very thick. Within this enclosure there was at least 20,000 men of all grades from the noble down to the peasant. The grounds having apparently been thrown open, there were 34 elephants to be seen here armed and equipped they carried 8 or 10 men armed to the teeth. At 6 P.M. the party left the palace escorted by the kings body guards to the boats & returned to their quarters pleased with what they had seen.

May 4, 1856;
                  They proceeded as before to the palace of the 2ed king, both being brothers, they were saluted by all the batteries around and received by the soldiers at present arms. They numbered 1000 well-dressed men. They were composed of musketeers & archers & lancers and 29 monstrous elephants caring from 8 to 10 men on their backs. These were paraded before the royal palace, there heads covered thick with gold lace, thickly set with diamonds and other precious stones, there was also 5 splendid horses, ready caparisoned the saddle and trappings were nearly of solid gold set thick with diamonds and Safire’s and ruby’s. They ate and drank out of silver dishes before the palace. Such is but a very faint sketch of the riches and luxuries of the king of Siam. Even the doors & windows casings of their palace and other buildings were heavily gilded with gold & inlayed with pearl and ivory. The floors of the palace were of costly mosaic work. They were entertained at dinner by the king’s band. The Siamese mode of playing is on small bells, which they strike with small sticks.

May 6, 1856;
                  Today Capt. Bell with some of his officers and marines visited the king’s pagoda or holy temple. The ground around it were beautify laid out. While all around were to be seen different animals cut out of black marble & different other kind of stone such as elephants, lions, tigers, monkey’s, dogs & there were also statutes of giants; some of them 10 feet high and made in proportion. The pagoda is about 300 feet high, the outside of which is splendidly inlaid with gold, ivory, porcelain and pearl & the doors to were inlaid with heavy pearl and heavily gilt formed into the shape of various birds and looked splendid. There were also some fine landscapes on the walls in the interior. At the upper end of the pagoda there was a seat erected for the king in front of which there were five or so images both male and female in a kneeling posture and along one side there was an immense idol in the shape of a man lying on his right side. It was built of brick and then covered in over with plaster and hen heavily gilded with gold. The length of this idol was 196 feet, breadth across the chest, 68 feet. Several large lamps were hung from the ceiling in another apartment. Here there was a representation of Joss, their god in a forest and different animals offering him food & water. The natives as soon as they enter the pagoda kneeled down before the idol & offer up their prayers. The Siamese are very fond of chewing the beetle nut, which makes their teeth as black as jet &gives them a repulsive appearance. They wear their hair all shaved off except a small bunch or tuft on the front of there heads. They go almost naked: they wearing nothing but a topa cloth wrapped around their loins. The nobles however are the exception; they wearing very full trousers and a jacket, generally of silk. They are also very fond of the water. There principal food is rice & fish. They also have an intoxicating liquor manufactured from rice which they call Sam-shoe. It is used much by the Chinese and is a strong liquor and will bring on intoxication by drinking it, as would the same quantity of brandy or gin. When they meet any of there nobles they prostrate themselves on the ground.

June 1, 1856;
                  This morning the party prepared to return to the ship. The king sending his steam yacht for them, when leaving the landing they received three cheers from the few American residents, most of whom are missionaries, which they returned with good feelings. Then the band struck up hail Columbia when they started for the ship having been absent from her about six weeks. The city of Bangkok or the floating city as it may be called on account of so many of its houses being built on the water on bamboo rafts, will in a very few years become a large and prosperous city. It is built on Me Nam (now Chao Phraya) river about 50 miles from its mouth, but having crosses the bar there is plenty of water up to the city. Their exports consist principally of rice & sugar, are brought down to ships in large boats.

June 2, 1856;
                  We left here for Hong Kong at 12 O’clock. We have on board two Siamese boys they were sent of board that they might learn the English language and receive an English education.

William goes to War:

November 3, 1856
                  We sailed for Hong Kong at 3 P.M. having onboard Dr. Parker and Lady. At half past 5 P.M. we came to an anchor inside the bar 13 miles from the river. At 5 A.M. we sailed for Hong Kong. We arrived at Hong Kong after a passage of three days and 8 hours. We found the state of affairs here very exciting, that there was war in fact between the English and the Chinese. At Canton the cause of it as I learned was that an English lorcha manned by china-men was caught by the Chinese authorities smuggling opium. The Lorcha was seized and the English flag trampled upon and the crew beheaded. The case becoming known to Sir John Bowring, the Governor of Hong Kong. He demanded immediate satisfaction of Yea. The Governor of Canton =ie & the restoration of the vessel and that the English flag should be hoisted on board the Lorcha and saluted and that a certain sum of money should be given to the family’s of the beheaded. To those terms governor Yea refused to comply and admitted that they had broken the laws of the empire, he was perfectly justified in the course he had taken. The governor sent admiral Sir Michael Lemoore, commanding the English naval forces up to canton to enforce his demands and in case of Yea’s refusal to commence hostilities. Yea still refused to comply, the British fleet opened fire upon the city of Canton with shell. After bombarding the city some hours, the marines and blue Jackets were landed and preparations made to storm the city. A breach having been made in the walls, the English succeeded in forcing there way into the city. The Chinese fleeing before them. The storming party forced there way to the governors house which they found had been left with precipitate haste, for in they found the governor private papers which in his haste had forgotten to take in his flight. The admiral finding his force not sufficient to hold the city retired to his ship, holding all the principal avenues from the walls of the city to the beach.

Nov. 8, 1856;
                  We are to go to Wampoa to join the Portsmouth and Levant. This morning one of the firemen named David Sheils was found dying in his hammock. His complaint was disease of the heart.

Nov. 12, 1856;
                  For the past three days we have been busy coaling and watering and provisioning the ship. At 6 A.M. sailed for Macao and landed Dr. Parker and lady. After stopping at Macao 13 hours we proceeded to Wampoa. When we came to the Bogus Tigtis Fort which entirely command the river and which the Chinese strongly fortified. We found the English fleet there at anchor preparing to storm the forts and which they will have to take before they can have a clear passage to Canton for there large ships of war. They intend to attack the forts today. There was the Capeutta (80) Admiral Leamous flagship. Two frigates and three steamers. In passing these ships we beat to quarters and got everything ready for action & with the stars and stripes flying at the peak in case we should be fired on by the Chinese. At 12 0’clock we came t o anchor near the English frigate Libellee & a English officer came onboard and told us that there was great danger were we lay from the fire ships that the Chinese would send down with the tide and which they had already attempted. Most of the shipping here has left and buisnep is at a perfect stand still exhibiting a great contra== to what is was last summer when we lay here & we have ==opped a little higher up the river near to the Levant and Port smith so that the whole east India squadron is now at anchor at Whampoa.

Nov. 13, 1856;
                  Today our Captain went up to Canton to see if there were any more men wanted to protect the American factories. We hear that the English have taken the Bogue Fort after one hour and a half hard fighting. All our marine and two companies of howitzers have gone to Canton to reinforce those sent from the Portsmouth and Levant. Things beginning to look squally, The English have destroyed all that part of the city outside of the walls and now were but a few months ago were large stores filled with tea, silks and the noise and rattle of trade; nothing can be seen but ruins and smoking rubbish.

Nov. 15, 1856;
                  While Captain Foot of the Portsmouth was going up the river in one of the ships boats he was fired upon from the barrier forts on the right bank of the river and 6 miles from Wampoa he returned and reported the circumstances to the commodore & who immediately sent orders to canton to send down all the forces that could be spared as he intended to resent the insult to our flag immediately. A boat was sent under the command of Lieut. Williamson to take soundings of the river and while nearly opposite the forts they were fired upon from the forts with grape and canisters and round shot and killed the coxswain Edward Mullen, who was forward heaving the lead. His remains were brought onboard and many a bitter oath of vengeance was uttered by the men against the murders of their shipmate. The marines and the two howitzers having come down there were transferred with nearly the entire crew of the San Jacinto onboard of the Portsmouth and Levant. The San Jacinto drawing to much water could not go up. I may as well state here the force of the entire squadron, the San Jacinto, the flagship of the squadron, hearing the broad pendent of Com. Armstrong mounting 13 guns 2 long 32.10 68ths with a pivot on the forecastle; the Portsmouth (sloop) 16. 8 in. shell guns & Levant 4 shell guns & 14 equal 32. Everything being ready the two ships were taken in tow by two steamers the Willamette towing the Portsmouth & Cumfa the Levant. While we were going up everything was being put in order for battle. About 3 O’clock the Portsmouth cast off the tug five hundred yards from the nearest fort on the right called by the Chinese Yung Un and fourteen hundred yards from the nearest on the left Howgua and dropped anchor. The Levant, aboard which I was drafted, about the time the Portsmouth dropped anchor was near a half a mile astern and got ground and as we all thought designedly by the captain of the Comfa. He being in a great hurry to get himself and his boat out of danger for as soon as the Portsmouth dropped anchor the whole four forts commenced a heavy raking fire upon her before the Portsmouth sent a shot. Thus proving themselves again the aggressors. They immediately got out spring and got her broadside to bear upon them and return their fire in fine style while we aboard of the Levant had the mortification to be unable to render them the least assistance being aground and out of range. The firing ceased at sundown. The Portsmouth having silenced two of them & for the time at least the Portsmouth received very little injury, which proved the Chinese bad artillerist. There was one marine dangerously wounded having his led and arm badly fractured. At high water the Levant floated and was got in position some one hundred yards ahead of the Portsmouth and thus ended the first days fight, after sundown the commodore came onboard of the Levant and had a consultation with Capt. Bell who had command of the Levant in the absence of Capt. Smith who commanded the force stationed at Canton & the broad pendant of the commodore flying onboard of the Portsmouth.

Nov. 18, 1856;
                  Today the commodore went down to Wampoa and there met Dr. Parker the American commissioner leaving the command to Capt. Foote of Portsmouth; he being the next senior officer of the squadron with orders not to fire unless the Chinese commence the attack. The Chinese contrary to our expectation did not commence to fire the next day after the fight apparently satisfied with stopping our further progress up the river and so we =intenued during the 18 & 19th, but in the mean time they where not idle for we could see them from the ship’s erecting a battery outside of the nearest fort behind a thicket which they continued to work at day and night. In he mean time commodore had sent a dispatch to yea, the governor of Canton demanding an apology. Yea answer that had no apology to make.

Nov. 20, 1856;
                  Peaceful measured having failed; nothing remained for us but revenge the insult offered to our flag and our counts amen. The men were at their quarters all morning and nothing could exceed their eagerness to commence the strife for the delay of the past two days, had but increased the desire of all hands to teach these conceited china-men that they could not insult the American flag with impunity. The signal from the Portsmouth being given and the Levant being in a good position and much farther up the stream than the Portsmouth, nobly made up for the share she lost in the first days fight. The bombardment continued up-wards of an hour; such an hour of excitement I never saw before and I may say felt for it was the first engagement I had ever been in, for in the first days attack I with the others on the Levant were interesting spectators out of danger from enemy’s shot. The men at the guns fought like heroes and did not lack in spirit one iota from the gallant fellows who fought under the gallant Hull & De Cath & Charley Stewart. Many a one I saw stripped to the skin, nothing but trousers and shoes, working like mad and as we saw our shot and shell taking such good effect knocking down the walls and blowing up the guns planted outside of the nearest fort pizzle end up for such a wild loud genuine Yankee yell that if it could have reached the ears of John China-man it would have struck them with dismay. There is something soul inspiring in a healthy cheer that wakes a man up to renewed exertions. I could not help thinking if some of the political demagogues at home that call themselves “ Know Nothings” could have seen some of the brave fellows adopted citizens of the country under whose flag they were then fighting for. It would teach them to be less bigoted of men who are willing to share the dangers as well as to enjoy the privileges of there adopted country. After an hours bombardment the landing party embarked in the boats and under cover of the guns of the ships landed at a joss house near a small village. In the landing two boys belonging to the Portsmouth were killed by the accidental discharge of a comrades rifle. Upon landing we fell into marching orders making the best of our way to the fort, distance about ¾ of a mile from the landing. Wading through ditches and creeks. In places the water was up to our armpits, we holding our cartridge boxes and arms on our heads out of danger and dragging the howitzers through after us, but we kept pushing on. Some of the boys whistling, “Jordan is a hard road to travel.” We pushed in through the village and came on in rear of the fort and saw the Chinese in full retreat. Back of the fort was a deep creek, which they had to swim; we having taken possession of the bridge which was lowered down. A great many were shot and drowned in their endeavor to escape. We immediately took possession of the fort and raised the stars and stripes on the watchtower with three hearty cheers, which was returned from the ships. We commenced the work of destruction of everything in the fort: spiking the guns, burning the carriages, blowing up the magazine and demolishing the few buildings that remained standing. We could now see the fearful work our shell creating destruction and ruin wherever they burst. By 12 O’clock we found our exertions had given us all an appetite. A foraging was sent out and soon returned with a plentiful supply of ducks and chickens. Each man went to work to cook his own dinner the best way he could, there being no pots and kittles of course; things could not be done in the French style. The most common way to pluck the feathers and stick the fowl on the end of a ram rod and roast him or throw them in the fire and cover them with hot ashes and bake them and of this rough cooking both officers and men partook of with great relish; after-all hunger is the best sauce. By this time the lookouts on the ramparts reported a large body of the enemy coming towards he fort. The marines under Capt. Sims & Lieutenant’s Kirkland and Tyler, and the blue jackets under Lieutenant Carter, with a howitzer and their muskets were sent against them. After some slight skirmishing the Chinese retreated and we returned again to the fort. We remained that night in the fort having sentry’s posted outside to prevent a surprise. At 3 o’clock in the morning, commenced preparations for returning to the ships which being perceived by the enemy they commenced a fire upon the boats, but their guns being elevated to high their shot passed over us. As the sun rose we were all embarked in the boats and pulling for the ships.

Nov. 21, 1856;
                  Having got aboard, and after we had breakfast, all hands and guns manned the batteries. We opened a brisk fire upon the Fidler’s Reach Fort, the Round or Island Fort, and the Square Fort, which lasted about an hour. When the boats were again manned by the marines, and storming party the boats were taken in tow by the steamer Cumfa. Our design to being to take the fiddlers reach fort. While on our way a round shot struck the San Jacinto’s launch, instantly killing James Hogland, carpenters mate and the mortally wounded William Macken and Alfred Furner belonging to the San Jacinto besides slighting wounded a number of others. As soon as this occurred the boats cast off from the steamer and put into a creek abreast of which we were. The whole party in one mass leaped ashore. Officers and men and at a dead run made for the fort, distance about ¾ of a mile. Our passage to the fort was on an embankment raised in the patty fields and scarcely wide enough for two to run abreast. While on our way to the fort a marine a few yards ahead of me was struck by an arrow headed rocket, which makes a dangerous wound. These rockets are a feathered arrow six feet long with a long steal or copperhead, has a rocket attached it cleaves, flying through the air with great rapidity and irregular motion and the hot steal head inflects a painful and dangerous wound. The rocket continuing to hiss and spit out fire after it has wounded its victim. A large body of Chinese were posted on a hill on which was built a pagoda, they having a fine position they kept up a continual fire upon us with there arrow headed rockets and gin galls which our fellows returned with there muskets and mini rifles; firing and loading as they ran along the embankment. The ships in the meantime kept up a sharp fire up on the forts with shell and shot. Some good shot from the Levant done great execution entering the ports and knocking both guns and carriage to the other side of Jordon, It was these ports that our forces entered and took possession of Fidler’s Reach Fort. The Chinese having retreated at our approach, The American flag was raised on the walls with three cheers and we commenced the works of destroying what was left for us to destroy for our shell had done fearful work here where ever a shell gad burst it had left ruins for feet around a few guns in good position to leer upon the two remaining forts were manned by the men under charge of there officers and trained upon them the powder and ball not costing Uncle Sam a dime, the enemy having left a good supply in one of their undamaged magazines. In the meantime we saw that large bodies of the Chinese collecting around the fort with the intention of retaking he fort, but we met them halfway. The marines under Capt. Sims and he blue jackets under there officers with there howitzers soon gave them such a warm reception that they were glad to beat a quick retreat which movement they have proved themselves quite adept while they were making the movement Capt. Simms marched his abreast of the Round Fort on Powder Island. When they cam suddenly on a masked battery of 9 guns and manned by the chinamen the marines made a charge upon them. When the chinamen made a quick retreat and such was there haste that they did not stop to fire of these guns. They found a plentiful supply of powder and ball and fire’s kindled ready to touch of their pieces they immediately turned the guns upon them as they were retreating across the patty fields. After driving them from the field, the guns were brought to bear upon the Round Fort which was directly abreast and so well directed were they that the chinamen found it to hot to hold them they accordingly fired there magazine and disserted the fort & going across the river to the Square Fort or as the Chinese term it the Eastern Invincible. And now came the tug of war we had completely destroyed one fort and had compelled the enemy to demolish another themselves by blowing up there magazine, but a wide river was between us & the Round Fort. We could not take possession of it without our boats, which were moored in a creek about a mile down the river. It was a perilous undertaking bringing the boats up as they were exposed to the whole fire of the Square Fort. The boats were brought up to opposite the Round Fort exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy but fortunately no one was injured. Part of our forces now embarked in the boats, the remainder remaining in the Fidlers Reach Fort, and crossed he river to the Round Fort, which was disserted. By 11 O’clock at night all our forces was collected in the Round Fort. It being resolved onto attack the Square Fort early in the morning by means of that dangerous of all modes a boat attack. By 3 O’clock in the morning all hands having taken their places in the boats a party of 10 marines and a howitzer company left in charge of the Round Fort and the boats being drawn up in line we were addressed by Capt. Foot of the Portsmouth in a handsome appropriate and patriotic manner on the deeds that had already been done and exorting them still to uphold their character for bravery and gallantry with the caution that this speech should be heard without cheers as the cheering would give warning to the enemy of our intended attack. So soon as the speech was concluded the order was given to shove off & preceded to attack the fort. Each launch having a howitzer in the bows which worked on a slide, each howitzer company having orders to load and fire as fast as possible and to aim for the port hole’s, but no sooner had we shoved off and reached the middle of the river in order to do this the boat had to make a large circuit in order to avoid a point of land hat projected from the island; when the advance of our boats were perceived by the chinamen in the Square Fort they immediately opened upon them a deadly fire of round shot & grape and canister, but there guns being trained for high water mark no doubt. Their shot flew over our heads perfectly harmless, but as soon as the enemy commenced firing, a wild cheer arose from every officer and man in the boats. They gave way with redouble strength and pulled their boats onto the beach directly under the muzzles of the enemy’s gun & with a still wilder cheer they jumped from there boats some of them arm pits in water holding there muskets & there ammunition above there heads & so made a breach upon the fort & drove the enemy completely from it. The howitzer that we had left in the Round Fort all this time was not idle every shot from this howitzer appearing to enter a port cutting down the men from their guns where they stood each port fire’s lighted ready to discharge guns at our boats. But our men & officers in one promiscuous mass reached into the fort through the ambushers jumping over guns that were loaded nearly to the muzzle & which slow matches had been applied so that they might discharge themselves which discovery was made in time to prevent there damage. And as the sun arose in the east there was displayed on the ramparts waving in the breeze the stars and stripes of the united states waving over the last remaining fort and one of the strongest fortifications in china we served. This as we had the others destroyed everything spiking the guns burning the carriages and breaking the trunnions making it impossible ever to mount them on carriages again. The guns planted outside of the fort on the embankment we through in the ditch and river. About 12 o’clock our work of destruction being completed we prepared to return to the ships. We embarked in our boats and crossed the river to the round fort to take the men and officers we had left there in the morning to protect it. They having embarked we proceeded down the river in fine style in regular order to the ships just as we passed under the stern of the ships they manned the rigging and welcomed us with three hearty cheers, which was returned by those in the boats in a still heartier manner, they having the strongest number of men. After going on board the ships we laid our ors and accoutrements aside and partook of some food & rest which was very much required by all ands; until Sunday when our forces were called again to go into there best & proceed to the Square Fort for the purpose of the complete destruction of it & the commodore having resolved to destroy them totally by blowing them up from the foundation’s so as to prevent the Chinese from occupying and taking procession of them when we should leave. I will give a slight description of these forts. After the opium war these forts were rebuilt and a barrier of piles and sunken junks stretched across the river seven eights of the distance on the right of the barrier was an oblong fort with three faces towards the river and pierced for 13 guns. Opposite was another (Howgua) a thousand yards distance covering the river with 20 embrasures. Powder Island divides the river into two channels both of which are protected by a round fort called by the English Napier. It is 830 yards from Howgua and 1330 from the first called Ting Un and 500 from the Square Fort on the main directly opposite and called by the Chinese the Eastern Invincible with 23 ports toward the river. The Round Fort was pierced for about 30 guns. Some of these guns were of immense size, one especially, which struck us all with surprise from its great size and from the great labor it must have cost to have transported it to its position. It was on the Island Fort. I give its correct description as measured by one of the officers:

Extreme length                                            22 feet 5 inches
Greatest circumference                             8 feet 8 inches
Least circumference                                   5 feet ¾ inches
Circumference of trunnion                       3 feet ½ inches
Diameter of boar                                                 8 ½ inches
Probable weight                                         15 tons
This was a brass gun.

They were substantially built of granite whole height was 16 feet and the thickness 8 to 10 the ports being crowned with a looped parapet the ports were nearly 6 feet square and were shielded from assault by double irons shod doors folding outward. The interior was well furnished with brick barracks store housed magazines. Such are the forts that we are now busily engaged in undermining for the complete destruction all hands are to work sinking holes down in front between two ports then striking in under the walls. The walls were built on spikes owing to the swampy nature of the soil and this makes the work more laborious for the spikes must be taken out. After the wall had been undermined they placed two 50 pound kegs of powder in each hole then filled them up with stone and sand packed it as solid as possible then rolled a heavy gun on top of all there having been previously a fuse in sorted into the powder and when all is ready the fuses are lighted the men of course leaving the fort for safety. Away go the walls flying in every direction leaving the emperor of china’s Eastern Invincible Fort as they call it a pile of ruins. While some are at work on the mines after gang are to work tearing down tearing down the walls with crow bars & picks very laborious work and much slower then the mine. After 3 or 4 days hard work we completed the destruction of the Square Fort. Nearly every night while the work was in progress we would be aroused from our sleep by an alarm from the sentries on post and the long roll of the drum. We’d turn out, take our arms which were always stacked and loaded & march out and after firing a few shots we would return to lay down & strive to sleep. The enemy in the meantime having retreated to a respectful distance, but one night they came very close to the fort with out being perceived by the sentries it being a very dark night and commenced throwing their stink pots and arrow headed rockets. A sharp fire being pointed upon them they quickly fled leaving behind them there sealing laden and bundles of rockets & stink pots. Our work being accomplished we left for the Round Fort on Powder Island about the 26th or 27th of November. We commenced undermining this fort & blowing it up which was done in two days & all the mines in the fort were prepared and set off at once; they went off in fine style and very regular. The second morning after leaving the Square Fort we were much amused by the chinamen making a bold attack upon the ruins of the fort, which we had just left. They made a bold attack with Gin Galls a weapon much like a musket but very unhandy, arrow headed rockets & stink pots and after bombarding a deserted & ruined fort for a while they made a rush and entered it with great cheering and finding no one to oppose them they commenced throwing there stink pots and firing there rockets at the Round Fort their maneuvers being seen onboard the Levant they fired a shell right in the center of the fort and it was amusing to see with what haste they retreated when they saw the shell burst in there midst. These shells of ours they do not appear to understand, they call them the “ twice eyed shet & exclaiming HI YAH how can gun short twice.” From the Round Fort we next went to the Fidler Reach Fort, which we served in the same manner as the others. We made short work of this in 8 or four days we had completely destroyed it from the foundation up, our men by this time having become accustomed to the work. From here we went to the Howqua Fort the one first taken. The destruction of this was attended with a terrible accident while three men were engaged at work on one of the mines, names: William Bean and Edward Hughes belonging to the Portsmouth and Joseph Gibbons boatswain mate of the San Jacinto. An explosion took place in consequence of one of them having very incautiously using a crow bar to wedge some small stones in between the large ones to make it more firm. A blow from the crow bar struck fire & dropped into the powder when the explosion instantly took place killing the above three and wounding a number of others some dangerously and others slightly. One man belonging to the Levant had to have his leg amputated. Our work of destruction being completed we returned onboard our ship and thus were the insult to our flag revenged. The Chinese own to a loss of 500 men. There were in these forts mounted and well supplied with ammunition and well-manned 168 guns, some 68 pounders, some 32 to 42 pounders.  These were taken by two sloops of war and not more than 500 men the four forts having fallen into our hands in the short space hours from the time that we first struck the shore. This appears almost impossible but so it is, it forms another bright page in history of our country & reflects the greatest credit on all who were concerned in the destruction of the barrier forts in China. It proves to the world also that our navy though small is still able to punish any insult that may be offered to our flag come from whom it may.

December 7, 1856;
                  The Levant dropped down from the forts & came to an anchor. The Portsmouth in coming down got aground but will get afloat again at high water. In the engagement at the forts the Levant fired 164 shells and about 200 32 pound shot.

Dec. 8, 1856;
                  The Portsmouth came to an anchor along side of us, San Jacinto, at Whampoa having got off at high water.

Dec. 12, 1856;
                  Everything has been quiet the past few days. Today 3 o’clock P.M. the Levant was towed up to Canton.

Dec. 13, 1856;

                  Today the Portsmouth was towed to Hong Kong.

Two Poems from Williams Diary:

The Portsmouth boys one accord
With smiles received he false record,
If Levant’s prowess and her might,
And gallant bearing in the fight,
If only true, with laurels crowned.
Her fame would float the world around.
With sincere praise the press would team,
And gladness in each eye would beam.

“Murder will out” and truth is strange
The Levant was not, within range,
While Portsmouth’s guns did loudly roar
And proud they’re shells two hours or more
In forts that on our flag did fire,
Calling for vengeance and our ire.
The Levant aground did idly lay
Nor was she in action upon that day.

All envied praise we do disclaim
Nor seek with taunts to gain a name,
Justice and truth alike proclaim
The mead of praise we justly claim,
Three noble crews combined did show
Their gallant bearing on the foe,
Brave hearts ought not with anger swell
Where peace and harmony doth dwell.

Oh! If there be on earth a spot
Where life tempestuous waves rage not,
Or if there be a charm- a joy-
Without satiety, or alloy-
Or if there be a feeling fraught
With every fond and pleasing thought,
Or if there be a hope that lives
On the pure happiness it gives,
That envy touches not-where strife
Never mingles with the cup of life;
Or if there be words of bliss,
Of peace, of love- of happiness
Or if there be a refuge fair
A safe retreat from toil and care,
Where the heart may a dwelling find,
A store of many joys combined
Where every feeling- every tone-
Best harmonizes with its own,
Whence its rain wishes never can rove,
Oh! Its home! A home of love.

For more information contact: thegenealogist@powellquest.com

The Descendents of William Henry Powell and Mary Elizabeth Swartwood
Powell Descendant Number: 1
Compiled by Harold Charles Powell, Last updated June 2011

William's Father
napowell butt
Powell Father Unknown
New York

William's Mother
momun butt
Mother Unknown
New York

Mary's Father
JS butt
John Swartwood
Of Waverly, NY.
Mary's Mother
Sdeg butt
Sarah DeGout

Of Waverly, NY.

Their Son
WHP butt
William Henry Powell
July 20, 1829 - Dec. 30, 1895

Their Father

Their Daughter
MESP butt
Mary Elizabeth Swartwood
June 14, 1850 - Jan. 15, 1915
Their Mother

Their Son
lsp butt
Lloyd Swartwood Powell
1873 - 1948

Had Children

Their Son
lwp butt
Lee William Powell
1880 - 1948
Had Children

Their Daughter
mplpa butt
Maude Pearl Lucy
1883 - 1953

Had A Child
Their Son
chp butt
Charles Henry Powell
1886 - 1941
Had No Children

For more information contact: thegenealogist@powellquest.com

Images related to William Henry Powell's Life
Compiled by Harold Charles Powell, Last updated June 2011

Persons, Places and Things mentioned in Williams Diary:

St Georges Hall Liverpool, England.
Still under construction when William was there.

USS Isaac Wright 1850's. The ship William took back to America from Liverpool..

New York City 1851

USS North Carolina. The ship William signed on to when joining the U.S. Navy.

USS San Jacinto 1850's. The ship William sailed to China and back to the U.S.

1851 King Mongkut of Siam

Consular General Townsend Harris

Capt. Andrew H. Foot of the USS Portsmouth

Capt. Henry H. Bell of the USS San Jacinto

USS Levant 1850's

USS Portsmouth 1896. The ship William was assigned to during the battle of Canton.

Wampoe/Canton Flower Pagoda
Before, During and After the War.

The 1856 Battle of Canton

Powell Family Marker at Oak Hill Cemetery

William's Headstone

For more information contact: thegenealogist@powellquest.com

The Time Line of William Henry Powell

Compiled by Harold Charles Powell, Last updated June 2011


National and International Time Lines

William's Time Line


1820: King George the third dies, King George the fourth’s reign begins; Maine becomes 23ed. State; Missouri becomes 24th. State; Mexico Independence from Spain.
1821: James Monroe becomes the 5th President of the United States; U.S. Takes possession of Florida from Spain.
1823: Monroe Doctrine.
1825: John Quincy Adams becomes the 6th President of the United States; Erie Canal completed.
1826: Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both die on July 04, 1826; James Fennimore Cooper publishes Last of the Mohicans.
1828: Jules Vern is born.
1829: Andrew Jackson becomes the 7th President of the United States.

1829: William Henry Powell is born in Monday July 20,1829 in Troy New York.


1830: King George the fourth dies, King William the fourth’s reign begins; Joseph publishes the Book of Mormon. Indian, Native American, Removal Act passed.
1831: President James Monroe dies on July 04, 1831.
1832: Jackson re-elected as President. Native Americans continued to be removed from their lands.
1833: Massachusetts officially disestablishes Church and State, completing the separation of Church and State in the U.S.
1834: Female workers in Lowell Mills in Massachusetts stage first Strike.
1935: Haley’s Comet returns Mark Twain is born.
1836: President James Madison dies on June 28, 1836; Battle of the Alamo; Battle of San Jacinto.
1837: Martin Van Buren becomes the 8th President of the United States; King William the fourth dies, Queen Victoria’s reign begins; Michigan becomes 26 State.
1838: Trail of Tears.
1839: Amistad slave rebellion.

Unknown History


1840: First trans-atlantic steamship service instituted.
1841: William Henry Harris becomes the 9th President of the United States and dies on April 04, 1841 soon after taking office; John Tyler becomes the 10th President of the United States.
1842: First Opium War ends.
1843: First Major wagon train head Northwest on the Oregon Trail; Edger Allen Poe publishes the Tell-Tale Heart.
1844: University of Notre Dame receives its charter. Joseph Smith Founder of the Mormons is killed in Jail on June 27, 1844.
1845: James K. Polk becomes the 11th President of the United States; Florida 27th and Texas 28th States; Irish Potato Famine migration begins; President Andrew Jackson dies on June 08, 1845.
1846: Mexican-American War Begins, Iowa becomes a State. 1848: California Gold Rush.
1847: American Medical Association is founded. Salt Lake City Established; Thomas Edison is born on February 11, 1847.
1848: President John Quincy Adams dies on February 03, 1848; Mexican-American War Ends.
1849: Zackary Taylor becomes the 12th President of the United States; President James K. Polk dies on June 15, 1849; California gold rush: Edger Allen Poe dies on October 07, 1849 in Baltimore MD.

Unknown History


1850: Zackary Taylor dies on July 09, 1850, Millard Fillmore becomes the 13th President of the United States; California becomes a State.
1851: Herman Melville publishes Moby Dick.
1852: Harriet Beecher Stove publishes Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Irish Potato Famine migration ends.
1853: Franklin Pierce becomes the 14th President of the United States.
1854: Oscar Wilde is born.
1855: Penn State is founded.
1856: Second Opium War begins in China; Republican Party Forms.
1857: James Buchanan becomes the 15th President of the United States.
1858: Minnesota becomes 32 State; Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable.
1859: Charles Darwin publishes the theory of Evolution.

1850: Mary Elizabeth Swartwood, Williams’s future wife, is born in Waverly, New York on Friday June 14, 1850 to John and Sarah De Gout-Swartwood; Francis James Cummins is born on Saturday July 27, 1850 in Erie, New York to James Cummins and Emily Ellis-Cummins. William Henry Powell moves to Williamsburg, New York in the early 1850’s.
1856: William Henry Powell joins the U.S. Navy and fights in the Second Opium War in China.
1858: Annabelle Frazier is born on Thursday Sept. 09, 1858 in Trenton, New York to Andrew Frazier and Jane Marie Barton.


1860: Second Opium War ends.
1861: Abraham Lincoln becomes the 16th President of the United States; American Civil War begins.
1862: President John Tyler dies on January 18, 1862; President Martin Van Buren dies on July 24, 1862.
1863: Battle of Gettysburg; Jules Vern publishes Five Weeks in a Balloon.
1864: The long Walk of the Navaho; Arlington established as a National Cemetery. General Sherman burns Atlanta and head to the sea.
1865: 13 Amendment abolishing slavery in U.S; Robert E. Lee surrenders at Appomattox; Abraham Lincoln is assassinated on April 15, 1865 at Ford Theater by John Wilkes Booth, Andrew Jackson becomes the 17th President of the United States; American Civil War Ends; 8 hr. work day in U.S.
1866: H.G. Wells is born; Civil War Reconstruction Begins.
1867: Alaska purchased from Russia; Clark school for the deaf opens in Massachusetts.
1868: President James Buchanan dies on June 01, 1868.
1869: The Gilded Age Begins; Ulysses S, Grant becomes the 18th President of the United States; Periodic Table; President Franklin Pierce dies on October 08, 1869.

There is a possibility that William Henry Powell my have participated in the American Civil War. Bradford. Pa. has recorded a W. H. Powell in the Ohio Reg. Family stories have him in the Union Navy fighting on the Ohio River. No documents have been found to support this claim.


1870: Charles Dickens dies.
1871: the Great Chicago Fire.
1872: Yellowstone becomes U.S. First National Park.
1873: Barbed wire, Coors Beer and Levi Jeans; New York Central Park completed; New York Stocks Market Crash triggers the panic of 1873 and the Long Depression.
1874: President Millard Fillmore dies on March 08, 1874
1875: President Andrew Jackson dies on July 31, 1875.
1876: National League of Baseball founded, Battle of the Little Bighorn, Wild Bill Hickok killed; Alexander Graham Bell invents the Phone.
1877: Rutherford B. Hayes becomes the 19th President of the United States; Civil War Reconstruction Ends.
1878: Thomas Edison patented the phonograph; American Bicycle craze.
1879: Thomas Edison invents light bulb. Albert Einstein is born. The Long Depression ends; Gilded Age Ends.

1870’s: William Henry Powell and Mary Elizabeth Swartwood meet and marry sometime in the early 1870’s;
1873: William and Mary have their first child: Lloyd Swartwood Powell is born on Thursday October 30, 1873 in Roseville PA.
1878: Effie Mae Cummins, Lloyd’s future wife, is born on Saturday January 12, 1878 in Edinburgh PA to Francis James Cummins and Annabelle Frazier-Cummins.


1880: First Electric Street Lights in Wabash IN; Thomas Edison founds The Journal Science; Helen Keller’s is born on June 27, 1880.
Gun Fight at OK Corral in Tombstone AZ; James A. Garfield becomes the 20th President of the United States and is assassinated on September 19, 1881, Chester A. Arthur becomes the 21st President of the United States; Billy the Kid is killed.
1882: Jesse James is killed, National Time Zones established. Brooklyn Bridge completed; Charles Darwin dies.
1883: Brooklyn Bridge opens.
1884: Mark Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
1885: Grover Cleveland becomes the 22ed President of the United States; Washington Monument completed. President Ulysses S. Grant dies on July 23, 1885.
1886: AFL Labor Union forms; Geronimo sent to Florida; President Chester A. Arthur dies on November 18, 1886.
1887: U.S. Navy leases Pearl Harbor; First Groundhog Day on February 2ed in Punxsutawney PA; Anne Sullivan begins teaching Helen Keller.
1888: National Geographic’s founded.
1889: Benjamin Harris becomes the 23ed President of the United States; Eiffel Tower completed.

1880: Lee William Powell is born in Bradford PA. to William Henry Powell and Mary Elizabeth Swartwood;
1883: Maude Pearl Lucy Powell is born in Bradford PA on Thursday December 20 to William Henry Powell and Mary Elizabeth Swartwood; Raymond Arnts, Maude’s future husband, is born on Tuesday April 10 in Smethport PA.
1886: Charles Henry Powell is born in Bradford PA on Monday June 28 to William Henry Powell and Mary Elizabeth Swartwood; Anna May Stormont, Lee’s future wife, is believed to have been born in 1886 in Canada.


1890: Wounded Knee Massacre; Yosemite National Park established.
1891: Oscar Wilde publishes The Pitcher of Dorian Gray.
1892: Ellis Island begins accommodating immigrants; Thomas Edison patens two-way telegraph; Vogue Magazines first addition.
1893: Grover Cleveland becomes the 24th President of the United States; President Rutherford B. Hayes dies on January 17, 1893.
1894: Cocoa-Cola; New York City Sweatshop Worker Strike.
1895: X-Rays discovered; H.G. Wells publishes The Time Machine.
1896: Plessy v. Ferguson: separate but equal upholds segregation; F. Scott Fitzgerald is born; New York Telephone Co. established.
1897: William McKinley becomes the 25th President of the United States; Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War Begins.
1898: U.S. Annexes Hawaii.
1899: The Great Blizzard; Bronx Zoo opens in New York City.

1895: William Henry Powell Dies on Monday December 30, 1895 in Corry PA. Williams body was brought back to Bradford. Pa. and buried on the eastern side of Oak Hill Cemetery.
1889: Williams first Grandchild: Harold James Powell is born in Sunday February 13, 1898 at his parents home in Niles Hallow in Bradford PA. to Lloyd and Effie Mae Cummins-Powell.
1899: Anna Elizabeth Powell’s future husband Lawton E. Kaake Sr. is born in Coudersport Pa. on Friday February 10, 1899 to Henry and Ester Kaake.

Decades National and International Time Lines William's Time Line

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