Noted (comically) as an instigator of the York “cow insurrection,” Mayor Edie was born in 1754, York, York County, the son of Samuel and Agnes (Corbean) Edie. He served in the Revolutionary War, Major, 2nd Battalion, York Militia, 1780; was sheriff of York County, 1786-89; Lt. Col. in the 5th Regiment, Pa. Militia, 1794; and Brig. Gen. of the Adams County Militia, June 5, 1807. A newspaper publisher, the Senator was one of the original editors and first publisher of the York Pennsylvania Herald and General Advertiser, 1789 (later the Recorder, 1790). Regarding the “cow insurrection:”
“In 1786, Manchester, York County residents showed a predictable aversion to taxes by staging an insurrection over the alleged kidnapping of a cow. A tax collector detained Jacob Bixler's bovine because the animal's owner refused to pay an excise. On the day the cow came up for tax sale, a group of 100 armed men marched into York from Manchester. York’s impromptu citizen militia then gathered to meet the rioters with weapons of their own. It was Godfrey King and the Manchester crowd versus such notables as Henry Miller, John Hay, John Edie and William Bailey. A fight ensued but ended abruptly before dispersal – the only sustained injuries to the group’s collective ego after charged with fines by the local judge. "It was in fact a cow-insurrection," a historian later wrote. "It brought Manchester and York into a fond and loving union."
Senator Edie married Sarah M. McConaughy. The couple’s son was Congressman John Rufus Edie (1814-1888). State Senator Edie died on October 26, 1825.