In 1752 Joel Ferree, son of Philip and Lean Dubois Ferree, set up a gun shop in Paradise. During the Revolutionary War Joel Ferree was requested by the Committee of Safety to manufacture rifles for use by the militia. At a meeting of that Committee on July 22, 1775, it was established that a messenger be sent to Joel Ferree, of Lancaster County, with a letter from the Committee requesting him immediately to complete the guns wrote for as patterns and to know how many he can finish of the same kind and at what price. From the Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd Series, Vol 1, page 543, this is his reply.
Letter from Joel Ferree to Benjamin Poultney
Leacock Township, August 7th, 1775
Friend Poultney: I take this opportunity of informing you that some time ago as I had a letter from George Ross, Esqr., by order of the Committee, making inquiry what Qt. or number of Barrels I could supply em with, to which I return'd answer in the Particulars he demanded, I was of the opinion then to have been able to provide 15 or perhaps 20 per week, but as I am determined to use my endeavors to promote Business and to serve my country in the common Cause, I am about to enlarge my works in so extensive a Manner as to turn Out between 30 & 40 weekly. My Diligence in the Affair shall be as quick as possible. It will not require much to complete my works in order for such Dispatch of Business; I hope a few days will do.
The Patterns were sent to Stewart's store the same day you was there. I intend you shou'd let the Committee what I am about doing to supply em as punctual as in my Power. You may let them see this, by which they judge whether or not it will tend greatly to further the Dispatch of the finishing off the Arms as needed.
This from your friend, Joel Ferree.