John Harper was one of those Chester Co patriots who in the beginning of the year 1776 stepped forward to join the 4th PA Battalion, raised by auth9rity of the Continental Congress, and placed under the command of Col Anthony Wayne.  Mr Harper was appointed ensign of the company commanded by Capt Persifor Frazer, and was also made quartermaster of the company, which marched with the battalion to the Canadian frontier, and passed the campaign in the region around Ticonderoga.  He was afterwards ensign of Capt James Taylor's Co..  At the close of the campaign, Wayne rose to the rank of a brigadier, and a fifth battalion or regiment was organized, under command of Col Francis Johnston and Lieut Co. Persifor Frazer.

Harper ultimately attained the rank of grigade major, and was stationed, with that corps and others, under Gen Wayne, near Chats' Ford on the Brandywine, Sept 11, 1777.  A few days after that unlucky battle, Cos Frazier and Maj Harper, while on a reconnoitring excursion, were made prisoners by a party of British under Gen Grant, and taken to Philadelphia, to experience the tender mercies of the infamous Cunningham.  Col Frazer effected his escape some time afterwards, but Maj Harper was kept a prisoner until NOv 4, 1780.  When the Revolutionary struggle was over Maj Harper became a public-house keeper in the borough of Chester, and in 1784 he was elected to the office of coroner for the county. Soon afterwards the good people of the bailiwick were greatly excited by an effort to remove the seat of justice from ancient Upland (Chester) to the "{Turk's Head", in Goshen (now the borough of West Chester), and when the Uplanders set out for the threatened purpose of dissolving the Cestrian" Union, and demolishing the new buildings at the "Turks Head," command of the field-piece was vested in Maj Harper.  Happily no mischief was done.  Peace was restored in the ancient village of Dilworthstown, where he died in the beginning of the present century * (19th)m and was interred in the cemetery at Cheyney's Shops.  His respectable descendants, of the 3rd and 4th generation, are still to be found in West Chester.