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Floyd Bixler Residence (206 Spring Garden Street) - page 6 / 12





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interrupted as young men left Easton for the Army during the Civil War.64  

In 1861, on the Saturday evening following South Carolina’s attack on Fort Sumter (which started the American Civil War), Judge Maxwell delivered “a patriotic and stirring speech”65 to a mass meeting at the old Courthouse in Centre Square.  “The building was packed and people stood outside despite heavy rain” to hear Maxwell’s address.66  Prior to that time, Northampton County (which had been “predominantly Democratic and agrarian”) had held “Mass peace meetings . . . at which compromise was urged without bloodshed”,67 although there was a Republican faction in town that saw Southern secession as treason.68  Maxwell’s speech capitalized upon the Confederate seizure of Fort Sumter to cause “indignant citizens” to begin preparations “to support the ‘Republican war’”.69   However, Maxwell’s political position was opposed by two of the principal newspapers in Easton, both Democratic.  The Easton Sentinel only remarked that Maxwell had gotten “off a considerable amount of bombast”.70  The Easton Argus, in an editorial accompanying its report of the meeting, had this to say:

We lay claim to as much love of country and devotion to our Union as anybody, but do not believe it can ever be saved by shooting down those who are struggling for what they regard as their undoubted rights.  Ours is not a Union of force, not a Government of bayonets, but a Union of hearts and a Government supported by the hearty consent of a happy people, expressing their will through the ballot box.  The seceded States can never be brought back into the Union by making war on them.  Their men, women and children will fight as long as they have strength to fire a gun and in the end their confederacy will have to be acknowledged, after wasting millions of money and sacrificing perhaps thousands of valuable lives, or else they will have to be conquered and held as subdued States.”71

Despite Democratic opposition, as a result of Maxwell’s speech and meeting four companies of volunteer soldiers were organized at Easton in expectation of a call to arms.72  Judge Maxwell remained an active supporter of the troops throughout the War.73

In 1856 (as noted above), after the death of his brother-in-law Judge Washington McCartney, Henry Maxwell took over the rental of Judge McCartney’s half of the duplex, with his Mother (and two sisters) living in the other half.  Before the inauguration of the modern street numbering scheme in 1874, the duplex was listed as 42-44 Spring Garden Street, with Henry Maxwell’s house being designated No.42.74  

After the Civil War, in 1866, family matriarch Sarah Maxwell died.75  After her death, Henry D. Maxwell moved a block away from Spring Garden Street to Bushkill Street.76  Judge Maxwell himself died in 1874, at age 61, and is buried in Easton Cemetery plot L-10 along with his wife, Louisa, who died at age 43 a year later.77  His Bushkill Street residence was one of the houses that was taken to construct Route 22.   

After Judge Maxwell moved, the house at 206 Spring Garden Street was leased to other tenants outside the Maxwell family.  When the modern numbering scheme was adopted in 1874, it was assigned No.206 Spring Garden Street as the residence of John Alshouse.78  In the very early 1880s, Dr. Jacob Ludlow (once General U.S. Grant’s physician) lived and practiced here,79 but he appears to have moved to 244 Spring Garden Street in 1882.80  

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