Robert Callender was one of the first to report the Sideling Hill affair as he was an eyewitness to what took place on March 6, 1765. By that time he was one of George Croghan’s partners in schemes that involved both trade with the Indians and land speculation.
Callender was from Carlisle, Pennsylvania and had been an Indian trader in Cumberland County Pennsylvania since the 1750s. He had also been a commissary for the British Army and a scout for George Washington.
Callender began his career as a trader in competition against George Croghan, deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs under Sir William Johnson but joined him as a partner in early 1760. At that time in a partnership with Philadelphia merchants Bayton, Wharton & Morgan whose goods were burned at Sideling Hill, Callender represented the firm in seeking compensation from the British Government after the trade goods were destroyed.
As an eyewitness Callender wrote letters to Col. Henry Bouquet, Samuel Wharton and others reporting what had happened. Callender is one of the men who Gen. Thomas Gage became frustrated with in trying to get to the bottom of the Sideling Hill affair. Gen. Gage believed Callender’s story kept changing in hopes of gaining reimbursement for his losses. Callender remained a partner in trade and land speculation with George Croghan after Bayton, Wharton & Morgan went into receivership in 1767.
An Account Of The Remarkable Occurrences In The Life And Travels Of Col. James Smith. Smith, James. Robert Larke & Co. Cincinnati, Ohio. 1870
The Benjamin Franklin Papers on line 1765.
The New Regime, 1765 – 1767, Illinois State Historical Library. Edited by Clarence Walworth Alvord, Springfield, Illinois. 1916