Mr. Knappenberger’s Class:
Part 1A – The Walking Purchase by Alison Miller
The Walking Purchase
By: Alison Miller
In 1682 the Delaware Indians agreed to sell William Penn a track of land. The agreement said that William Penn would give them 500 acres of land. The agreement also stated “as far as a man could walk in a day and a half,” the Indians agreed. This was known as The Walking Purchase.
However, Thomas Penn, William Penn’s son also had the idea of a” Walking Purchase”. Thomas Penn’s “Walking Purchase” was different. He produced 2 witnesses to the signing of the agreement to his “Walking Purchase”. The Indians were unsure of what to say, so they had a powwow over lunch and afterwards they agreed to Thomas Penn’s “Walking Purchase” because they did not believe a white man could walk very far in a day and a half.
On September 19th 1737, the “Walking Purchase” began and turned out to be a run and not a walk because Thomas had selected the three fastest runners even though the agreement clearly stated “a” man not “three”. Marshall, one of Thomas’ men, was the only one who finished the race. The other two men died. Marshall did not get the 500 acres he was promised for finishing the farthest. He asked Penn again and he said, “Just take this $5.00 and get out”. As you can see, Thomas Penn was much different than his father William Penn.
In 1742 the Indians found out that Thomas Penn’s deed of 1686 was a fraud, so they killed Marshall’s wife and son. Sometime later Thomas met with the chief, gave him some wine and got him drunk and convinced him that his deed was not a fraud. A year or so after the chief was drinking and fell asleep, his tent caught fire and he burned to death.
Part 1B – The Walking Purchase by Mike Guzenski
The Walking Purchase was an unfair deed for land. In 1737, Thomas Penn selected the fastest runners but when the Walking Purchase was over, the Indians found out that they were cheated. They were cheated because the runners ran.
Since the other two men that were in the event died, the Natives turned their attention and harassed Marshall because Marshall ran in the Walking Purchase. They killed his son and wife.
William Penn wrote the real deed and so they walked it. But then Thomas Penn wrote a fake deed to get more land and the Natives were not happy because they lost 1,500 square miles.
Part 2A- The Moravians by Josh Smith and Anders Hochberg
At dinnertime on November 24, 1755 hostile, non-Christian Indians attacked old Gnadenhutten. Days and weeks before this, people had heard rumors that the Indians had plans to attack Old Gnadenhutten so some moved to New Gnadenhutten in Weissport. Previously, a smallpox epidemic had killed 18 Natives here. The Moravians are a group of white English settlers. Count Zinzendorf was the Moravians leader.
The Moravians lived in Germany and then they moved here. A Holy Experiment is where people from different nations and of all religions could live together in peace. William Penn wanted to build a colony based on his religious beliefs. William Penn was a Quaker. William Penn came to Pennsylvania and did a Holy Experiment.
Teedyuscung left Gnadenhutten rejoining the Delawares. Count Zinzendorf almost died three times by being scalped, by snakes, and by drowning. The Moravians settled in the land between 4th and 7th streets in Lehighton, Pennsylvania. The remains of the Gnadenhutten victims were buried in the Lehighton cemetery behind the settlement. The Gnadenhutten massacre was between 4th and 7th streets in Lehighton, Pennsylvania.
Even though the Natives were mad at the white settlers, the Moravians didn’t deserve a massacre. The peaceful, pacifist Moravians had only tried to practice their religion. But the French and Indian War had only helped the Natives get away with it.
The Indians had reasons for the attack, but none of them had to do with the Moravians. The Indians were furious at the white people for the Walking Purchase. They were infuriated about how the white settlers brought over the smallpox disease and killed 18 Indians while the settlers had been immune to it.
After Braddock’s defeat, the frontier was abandoned. All soldiers were to fight in the French and Indian War. This left the Moravians completely unprotected. The French saw this and used it to their advantage. The French told the Indians that this was a chance to take back the land that Thomas Penn stole during the Walking Purchase. This would befriend the Natives and lead the Natives to join the French in the French and Indian War.
Some Moravians had heard of an Indian attack. So, most of them moved to the other side of the river and built a new settlement known as “New Gnaddenhutten”. (Not to be confused with “Old Gnaddenhutten”, the first settlement.) Although word of an attack was spreading, 15 Moravians stayed at “Old Gnaddenhutten”. This was a fatal mistake.
The Moravians were sitting down having their evening meal on November 24, 1755. Suddenly, they heard dogs barking wildly. Joachim Sensemann took this seriously and sprinted to lock the door. This action spared his life. While the dogs were barking, the Moravians heard voices and footsteps. Martin Nitschmann opened the door to see what the matter was. He was the first to be killed as he gazed into the enraged eyes of 12 Shawnee war-painted warriors.
Since the door was still open, the warriors fired a volley of bullets into the open air injuring John Lesley, John Gattermeyer, and Martin Presser. The remaining nine pacifists dashed for the attic. As they were running up the stairs, Susanna Nitschmann was overcome, shot, and bound right there and then. The Indians had special plans for her that would be put into action soon.
The eight Moravians that had survived so far successfully reached the attic. George Sweigert immediately slammed the trap door shut and barred it closed with his arm. Unexpectedly, the shouting and pounding stopped. Then, the Moravians worst fear came true. The Shawnees had set the house ablaze.
Joseph Sturgis waited until the Indians were relaxed, and then jumped from the burning building. He hit the ground running and fled as far away from the settlement as he could. Joseph Sturgis lived through the massacre. Susan Partcsh did the same and then followed Joseph. George Fabricius was not so fortunate. He tried to do the same but stumbled when he hit the ground. This caught the attention of the Natives right away. George Fabricius was shot twice and then scalped.
Susanna Nitschmann was carried away from the scene of the massacre and taken to the Wyoming Valley Christian. Women tended her wounds and Susanna was carried off to a cruel and brutal Indian that treated her horribly. She died from illness six months later.
The day after the massacre, the survivors tenderly carried the bodies of the deceased out of the ashes and up the hill by the back of the settlement. The bodies were buried in a large grave next to the smaller graves of the Moravians who had died in Gnaddenhutten in advance of the massacre.
Part 3B – The Massacre –by Tinaya Klotz
The Gnadenhutten Massacre
November 24, 1755 is one of the most tragic events in Carbon County history, the Gnadenhutten Massacre. That day it happened 12 Shawnee Indians killed 11 Moravian settlers out of 15 settlers.
Dogs barked to let Moravian settlers know that strangers were approaching. The attacking, I think, was the saddest part of all.
Joachim Sensemann saved his own life by remembering that the door in the meeting house was opened and went to close it. Martin Nitschmann opened his door and was killed by a blast of gunshot. He died first. The Indians poured a volley of gunfire into a room wounding John Lesley, John Gattermeyer, Martin Presser. Susanna Nitschmann was shot falling into the hands of the enemy, who took her captive.
Eight people reached the attic of a house. George Sweigert used his arm as a crossbar to keep the door closed so the Indians couldn’t get in. Then, the Indians caught the house on fire! Joseph Sturgis was the first to jump from the burning building. He made it out alive. Susan Partsch did the same. But, George Fabricius jumped out and didn’t survive. He was shot twice before being scalped. Only 4 people survived – Susan and Joachim Senseman, Sturgis, and a man named Peter Worbas.
Susanna Nitschmann was took as captive. A Christian Indian woman treated her wounds and she recovered. She was then forced to live as the squaw of a brutal Indian. Sadly, six months later she died.
The Gnadenhutten Massacre happened in Old Gnadenhutten. Old Gnadenhutten and New Gnadenhutten were on different sides of the river. Some people traveled across the river to get to New Gnadenhutten. This saved their lives because the Indians didn’t attack there.
The Indians did this because they were angry over the Walking Purchase. They were also angry over smallpox deaths. Smallpox killed 18 Indians. That is why I think they were mad. This was a very sad time.
Part 4A – Building of Fort Allen by Aleah Nothstein
After the Gnaden Huetten Massacre, the Moravians from Lehighton and Bethlehem asked the military for protection to help protect the frontier from the French and Natives. Soldiers were sent from Bethlehem to the frontier which kept the Natives away for a little while.
New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) in 1756 a few soldiers were ice skating on the Lehigh River and they saw some Natives. The soldiers called to the others for help, but they were tricked by the Natives. The Natives ambushed and killed the soldiers.
After this ambush one hundred men got together under supervision of Benjamin Franklin and Captain Wayne to build Fort Allen. The men started marching towards Gnadenhutten on Saturday, January 18th but had to return to Opplinger’s barn (today’s Aquashicola) because the rain made the fire-locks of the muskets become damp and Franklin thought it was better to go back to the barn to stay safe, warm and dry. The men headed out again Sunday and reached Gnadenhuetten that afternoon. It took them about one week to build the fort. The fort was one hundred twenty-five feet in length and fifty feet wide. There was a well dug sixteen feet deep. The reason it’s called Fort Allen is because it was named in honor of Judge William Allen. Fort Allen was built in Weissport. Weissport was named after Jacob Weiss.
The current Fort Allen Hotel is built in the same area as the original Fort Allen. The original well can still be seen behind the hotel.
The French and Indian war was won by the British General James Wolfe and his soldiers when they took control of Quebec (capital of New France) in September 1759. The war ended in 1763 when Britain and France signed the Treaty of Paris.
The French and Indian war impacted the North American Natives. The Natives land became part of the British Empire and the British wanted to own this land.
The Natives tried to keep the British off their land. Pontiac, an Ottawa leader told the Natives that the British “seek only to destroy them.” Natives attacked British forts and settlements. This fight is known as Pontiac’s Rebellion. Britain didn’t want to keep fighting so Britain’s King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763. It said colonists were no longer allowed to settle on land west of the Appalachian Mountains. The Natives did not like this proclamation and tension began to grow between the colonists and the British government.
Part 4B - Protecting the Frontier by Luke Wilusz
On July 9, 1755, famed General Braddock was defeated by the French. This was the start of the French and Indian war. The Indians were starting to massacre people in places such as Tulpehocken and Gnadenhutten. The Indians were also ambushing soldiers. On January 1, 1756, several soldiers were ambushed and killed by Indians. The British then started to do something about it. Ben Franklin came to present day Weissport to build a fort to keep the settlers safe. They built the fort in a week, but only worked three or four days because it was raining. The fort was called Fort Allen. It has an important factor in the French and Indian War. The fort was 125 by 50 feet long. It had two cannons and a sixteen foot well. The only remaining trace is its well.
Most people believe that the Fort Allen Hotel is within the bounds of Fort Allen. During the flood of 1862, a horse stayed in the Hotel. When the horse floated by, someone grabbed its bridle and pulled it in. After the flood, the building remained undamaged.
In London, British leaders were worried about the way the war was going. In 1758, Britain sent in more forces to win the French and Indian war. The British won. Britain made the Proclamation of 1763, which made the colonists not be able to settle west of the Appalachians. This led to Pontiac’s Rebellion, which won several victories before being put down by the British.
This war started bad relationships between the colonists and the British.