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"DeLaPlaine House" Home of Joseph Ferree

Joseph Ferree was a great grandson of Madame Ferree. He was very prominent in Colonial affairs serving as a member of the Assembly for Lancaster County from 1771-1773 and as a member of the County Committee in 1774 to consider the general dissatisfaction against the British government. He married Sarah DeLaPlaine, daughter of James DeLaPlaine.

During 1691 and 1692, James DeLaPlaine, grandfather of Sarah, purchased two parcels of land in Germantown, Pennsylvania. He built a house on one parcel which later became known as the DeLaPlaine House. Upon his death in 1750 his son, James, inherited the portion of that property that contained the old homestead. On June 23, 1775, James conveyed the property to Joseph Ferree and wife, Sarah. It appears they left Strasburg shortly after and located to Germantown. The ad below appeared in the August 2, 1775, issue of the newspaper.

"The farming outfit of Joseph Ferree in Strasburg Township is advertised for sale."

After selling and moving to Germantown he wrote a letter dated September 11, 1775, to the freeholders of Lancaster County.

"As you have been pleased to choose me for several years past to be one of your representatives in General Assembly of the Province in which station I have served you; but as I have moved out of that county and therefore can serve you no longer, permit me to return to you my unfeigned thanks, with my best wishes for the good esteem and honor you have conferred on your most respectful friend and servant." Joseph Ferree

He became a member of a five man Germantown Committee of Safety. On March 28, 1776, they issued a notice against profiteering merchants and ordered salt to be stored in Germantown. In May 1776 Joseph Ferree's very large house was designated as a storehouse for salt, saltpeter used in making gunpowder, and sulphur all of which were stored in his cellar.

Taken from minutes of the Committee of Safety, following are a few of the orders issued to Joseph Ferree.

July 8, 1776 -"That Doct'r Charles Bensel, Joseph Ferree, & Leonard Stoneburner, be appointed to Collect all the Leaden Window weights, Clock weights, and other Lead in Germantown and its Neighborhood, for which the Liberal price of six Pence per pound will be allowed, and they are authorized to draw on this Board for the same."
August 1, 1776 - "By order of the Board, Joseph Ferree, Esq'r, of Germantown, was desired to deliver to Mr. Carpenter Wharton 20 Bushels of the Salt Stored under his direction . . . . . . "
August 26, 1776 - "Joseph Ferree, Esq'r, of Germantown, was directed to deliver Doct'r Harris One Ton of Salt Petre out of the stores under his care."
September 17, 1776 - "An order was drawn on Mr. Joseph Ferree of Germantown, one Ton of Salt Petre, in fav'r of Tho's Humberger."

Joseph Ferree is listed as one of the 800 prisoners of war held on the prison ship "Old Jersey". There is no known record of what became of them.

Joseph Ferree was born in 1722. Date of death is not known. Married Sarah DeLaPlaine. Lineage: Joseph Ferree and Sarah DeLaPlaine/Andrew C. Ferree and Mary Reed/Daniel Ferree and Anna Maria Leininger/ Daniel Ferree and Marie Warenbur.

Sources: "Memorials of the Huguenots" by Ammon Stapleton; "Ancient & Modern Germantown, Mount Airy & Chestnut Hill" by Samuel Fitch Hotchkin; "History of Old Germantown" by John Palmer Garber & C. Henry Kain; "Historical Papers & Addresses of the Lancaster County Historical Society" ; "Minutes of the Council of Safety of the Province of Pennsylvania Vol. X".