Epler's Liberty Pole 1799

On the 18th of May, 1799, the following persons appeared before Peter Nagel, Esq., a justice of the peace of Reading, and made complaint against the Lancaster troops:

1. Jacob Gosin, bad treatment of himself and family and larceny of an ax.
2. John Strohecker, bad behaviour and the taking of a flag from a Liberty Pole which his children had erected and of other things which did not belong to them.
3. Jacob Epler, assembling and resolving to cut down a certain Liberty Pole which stood near his house (in Bern township) [Adler, 21st of May, 1799].

Captain Dewees narates the following account in relation to the cutting down of Epler's liberty-pole and the cow-hiding to Schneider. [Hanna's Life of Dewees, p. 329]:

"There was a farmer of the name of Epply, who lived about three miles from Reading, who was an influential and wealthy man. Epply stood in the front rank of the "Liberty Boys", in that section of the country. The insurgents rendezvoused on his farm and erected a 'Liberty Pole' in front of his house. There was a company of Light Horse, commanded by Captain Slow, sent on from Lancaster with orders to cut it down. When this company arrived on the farm of Epply, and within sight of the Liberty Pole, Captain Slow was surprised to find upwards of one hundred Riflemen under arms and guarding the pole; and finding that he had too few men to contend against this force, he retired without making any effort to fill the measure of his orders. He returned to Reading with his company and obtained a reinforcement and moved on a second time to execute his orders. When he arrived within sight of the Liberty Pole a second time, the insurgents finding that Slow's force was augmented and too strong for them to contend against, gave way and dispersed in all directions. Captain Slow and his force then moved up to the pole, which was immediately cut down. These prompt measures put an end to the Liberty Boys in the neighborhood of Reading.

"After Captain Slow returned to Reading the second time, a printer in town, whom I knew very well, published an article in his newspaper derogatory to the character of Slow as a gentleman and as a soldier. Slow, who was a large and powerful man, no sooner beheld it than he went and bought a cow-hide and went to the printing-office and took hold of the printer andd dragged him across the street to the Market-house, which was opposite the printing-office, and cow-hided him severely. There was not any person interfered, nor did any person say anything against it, for the printer was looked upon as the aggressor."

History of Berks County, Pennsylvania, by Morton L. Montgomery, page 170.
Everts, Peck & Richards, Philadelphia, 1886.