Doan Treasury Graphic


What did you say?

This glossary contains a list of words appearing in this exhibition that may be unfamiliar and antiquated terms that appear in historical documents. Some of the historical materials presented in this exhibition may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions. While they do not reflect the views and opinions of the Bucks County Historical Society, these materials are preserved for their historical significance. We also recognize that language has and continues to evolve, and this glossary intends to reflect current definitions and how usage has changed over time. 

Prior to the introduction of militias in 1777, associators were local citizens who agreed to serve as soldiers for the Revolutionary cause in volunteer companies.

Used to describe someone who experienced “attainder,” a legal category meaning the extinction of their civil and political rights and forfeiture of their property after being charged with treason, outlawry, or a felony. 

A payment made to a court in order to remain free before a trial, with an agreement to appear at the appointed time. 

A type of unfree labor where someone is forced to work for another for a length of time or for life. Bound forms of labor in early America included indentured servitude and slavery.

Soldiers who fought on horseback.

The act of officially remembering a person or event. 

A group of appointed Revolutionary officials tasked with the supervision of military activities and defense of the state of Pennsylvania. First meeting in 1775, Pennsylvania's Committee of Safety was located in Bucks County. The Committee of Safety would later be replaced by the Council of Safety after war was declared.

The army of all thirteen colonies rebelling against Great Britain, which would later become the United States. George Washington served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.

An antiquated term used to describe people with physical disabilities. This term is generally considered offensive and is not in use today. Today, some members of the disabled community are working to reclaim abbreviated versions of this word.

The standardization of money, such as with banknotes or with coins.

A formal statement given before an official, to be used as sworn evidence in a legal matter. 

A group of cavalrymen, or soldiers who fought on horseback. 

A group of armed soldiers directed by the army to procure supplies from local sources around camp. Supplies included food, livestock, hay, and other needed goods. Foraging parties would purchase or forcibly seize goods from local citizens and businesses.

A group of German soldiers who were hired collectively to fight for the British during the Revolutionary War. 

A group of people who are native to a specific region.

A group of soldiers marching or fighting on foot. 

The Lenape, known also as Delaware Indians, are one of the oldest Northeastern tribes with a history dating back over 10,000 years. Lënapehòkink, meaning “Land of the Lenape,” encompasses eastern Pennsylvania, all of New Jersey, northern Delaware, and southeastern New York.

People who remained loyal to Great Britain during the American Revolution, also known as Tories. 

A written document summarizing important legal information in the form of a petition to government officials. 

A military force made up of local male citizens who are organized to protect a community in emergencies or wartime. 

Rarely used today, this term has been used historically to describe Black men and women in early America. At one point African Americans used this term to identify themselves in a respectful way in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but beginning in the 1960s it began to be seen as a disrespectful term. This term is not in use today, instead replaced by the word “Black.”

Local citizens who refused to volunteer to serve as soldiers for the Revolutionary cause, and suffered fines and other penalties as a result.

A declaration that a person or group was outside of the law and stripped of their right to trial or due process.

People who opposed British rule in the thirteen colonies during the American Revolution, also known as Revolutionaries or Whigs.

A wooden framework with holes for the head and hands that was installed in a public location. Offenders who broke the law were imprisoned within it and exposed to public abuse.

A group of people organized by a local sheriff to assist in preserving the public peace.

The act of pillaging or plundering. 

A term often used to describe American Loyalists. The term applies to those forced to leave their homes and resettle elsewhere in the British Empire after the American Revolution, as well as Loyalists who organized and armed themselves against the Revolutionary government. Doan Gang members were often described as refugees, and they also self-identified as “Royal Refugees.” 

A military unit of soldiers. 

A military unit of soldiers who fought on foot. 

People who opposed British rule in the thirteen colonies during the American Revolution, also known as Patriots or Whigs. 

A word used to describe money in the form of coins. 

Someone who explores caves as a hobby or sport. 

A group of 12 elected officials, a President, and a Vice President, who served as the executive branch of government in Pennsylvania between 1777-1790.

People who remained loyal to Great Britain during the American Revolution, also known as Loyalists. 

A honorific title given to American loyalists who resettled in British North America after the American Revolution. 

A notorious agreement between descendants of William Penn and the Lenape. Penn family members claimed the rights to a 1686 land agreement that stated that Lenape land north of the Tohickon Creek in present-day Bucks County would be sold to them, measured by the farthest distance a man could walk in a day. The Lenape questioned the validity of the document, but were forced to agree to uphold it. Three men were selected to travel the distance, but instead of walking, they sprinted with the aid of prepared paths and ferries to cross water. The race resulted in the Lenape’s loss of over 1.2 million acres of land. 

People who opposed British rule in the thirteen colonies during the American Revolution, also known as Revolutionaries or Patriots.