Friday, May 24, 2013

Moravians - Mrs. Lusch's Class' Turn - Post 2 of 4

Today you will read the second of four posts written by my students about the early colonial period from the Walking Purchase of 1737 up to the end of the French and Indian War here in Carbon County.  
Congratulations to Karissa Hough, John DeMatte, Mykayla Engle, Ben Schatz, and Jade Steber for some excellent research and writing!

Part 1: The Walking Purchase – By Karissa Hough
            In 1682, William Penn and the Delaware Natives walked “as far as a man could walk in a day and a half”. A Walking Purchase is a way to buy land by walking. William Penn and a group of men walked 40 miles of land.

            On the other hand, William Penn’s son Thomas Penn had a “land grab”. Thomas Penn inherited Pennsylvania which at the time was quite small. Thomas Penn made a fake deed that states that the Natives sold them all the land west of the Delaware River “as far as a man can walk in a day and a half”. Then, he selected the three fastest runners in the colony to do the “walking” purchase. He selected James Yates, Edward Marshall and Sol Jennings.  For the next two years Thomas Penn cleared a path for the runners. 

On September 19, 1737 the walk started. Marshall, Jennings and Yates kept on running.  Immediately, the Natives protested “no fair you run.” After the first 18 miles Jennings was overcome by fatigue and quit.  His health was ruined and died years later. Later on during the walk Yates became blinded and died a few days later. Marshall ended up as the only one to survive the walking purchase of the three men.

            The Natives were very mad at Thomas Penn for many reasons. One reason is that he selected the three fastest men in the colony and they ran instead of walking. Another reason is that Thomas Penn spent two years clearing a path for the runners. The Natives lost 1,500 miles of hunting ground.

            After the Walking Purchase, Edward Marshall spent the rest of his life living in a brick house in the middle of the Delaware River. He was harassed by the Natives and his wife and son were killed.
            All of this will lead to something terrifying in the future.

Part 1 (Continued)  - by John DeMatte

         Thomas Penn tricked the Delaware by forging William Penn's signature. The deed said, "as far as a man could walk in a day and a half."   Thomas changed "one man" into 3 of the fittest men in the colonies, but not only that, they were the fastest runners in the colonies! To make sure the runners could gain the most land, for the next 2 years, they made a path in the woods they were going to run in.

     In September of 1737, the Delaware and the Quakers gathered at Stenton. The three runners, Edward Marshall, James Yates, and Solomon Jennings, were getting ready for their task. When the Delaware said that they were ready to start walking, the troublesome trio bolted. The natives were confused at first, but then they realized what was going on a moment later. They chased the 3, but they couldn't catch up to them. A few miles later, Jennings collapses because of fatigue. Without hesitation, Marshall and Yates keep on running. A few more miles later, Yates goes blind and collapses in a river. Marshall drags him to shore and carries on. Yates dies hours later.

     Marshall finishes the "walking" purchase around the Lehigh Gap. With the natives losing 1,000s of acres of land, they are outraged and mark Marshall's family for death. Marshall returns to Thomas for his reward of 500 acres of land, but instead only gets five pounds and no land! After the natives killed Marshall's family, he builds a house on the Delaware River for protection from the natives. The Walking Purchase fraud began a bad relationship with the settlers and the natives.  I wonder if the Delaware will get their revenge, and if so, how will they?

   Part 3 - The Massacre – By Ben Schatz

            On July 9, 1755 the French and Indians ambushed General Braddock’s troops.  Now Pennsylvania did not have protection.  The Moravians heard about this and some went to New Gnadenhuetten.  Fifteen of the Moravians stayed.  Wait until you see what happens next.
            November 24, 1755, the Moravians were finishing their dinner when Martin Nitschman heard noises.  He opened the door and got shot.  The Indians started firing guns everywhere wounding three people.  The massacre continues next.
            The rest of the people tried to make it to the attic.  Susanna Nitchman got shot on the stairs.  Eight of them made it to the attic.  George Sweigert put his arm in the attic door to keep it closed.  Of the eight, three tried to escape.  Joseph Sturgis jumped out the window and escaped.  Susan Partsch did the same.  George Fabricius tried too but stumbled and got killed.  Peter Worbas and Joachim Senseman The final massacre moment is next.

            The rest of the people in the attic saw that the Indians stopped trying to attack them.  Then they saw that the Indians had set the house on fire.  The entire house burned with the people inside.  This is known as the Massacre.      
Part 4 - Protecting the Frontier – By Mykayla Engle

             Benjamin Franklin started building the Fort Allen building the day after his 50th birthday.  Fort Allen is considered to have been one of the most important factors in protecting the frontier of Pennsylvania during the French and Indian war.

            The French wanted territory in Pennsylvania so they gave guns and ammo to the Indians to fight the English settlers.
            The Moravians who lived on the banks of the Lehigh River asked for military protection from the armed Indians.
            Because of Gnadenhutten Massacre of 1755, the military sent troops to protect them from any Indian violence.  The military’s present was a success.  It kept the Indians quiet but not for long.
            Then on New Year’s Day 1756, several soldiers saw Indians on the river bank.  The soldiers immediately gave chase.  However it was a trick that led the soldiers into an ambush and six of them were killed.
            Hearing this Governor Morris of Pennsylvania appointed Benjamin Franklin and James Hamilton to supervise the defense of the frontier.  The land along the Lehigh River must be maintained The French and Indians cannot be allowed to build forts in this area.
The construction of this fort in the Gnadenhutten area was very important. So Ben Franklin and his son William left Philadelphia at once.  Fifty people joined them and within 2 days, they began to build the fort.
            Approximately one week after the group arrived the fort was completed.
            The fort consisted of 3 blockhouses and 2 cannons placed at the far corners of the structure.  A 16 foot well supplied water.
            They named the fortress “Fort Allen” in honor of Judge William Allen, who planned the city of Allentown.
            Fort Allen served its purpose.  It wasn’t perfect but it made the settlers feel safe.  The peace would last approximately 20 years, until the Revolutionary War began.  Then once again the violence would resume.

Part 5: The French and Indian War  by Jade Steber
In London, British leaders were starting to worry about the way the French and Indian War was going.  Many troops were struggling, so, they decided to send more soldiers to help fight in North America.  With the extra help, British forces began winning battles against the French.  The Iroquois joined British forces in 1759.  They helped the British win many battles.  The Iroquois also increased British power by helping them maintain control of their lands.

The main part of the battle was fought in Quebec (the capital of New France).  British General James Wolfe led British forces to Quebec and captured it for the British in September 1759.  The victory in Quebec helped Great Britain win the French and Indian War.  Finally, when the war officially ended, Britain and France signed the treaty of Paris in 1763.

Dividing the land, Britain gained control of most of New France.  Spain also gained land.  Spain got lands west of the Mississippi River. 

Back during the French and Indian War in Pennsylvania, things were not so good.  General Braddock had been defeated on July 9th, 1755, and as far as safety goes, the Pennsylvania frontier was left practically defenseless.

The French, who hoped to gain territory in Pennsylvania, supplied furious Indians with weapons for raids on white settlers.  Knowing about the dangers of staying where they were the peaceful Moravians asked the military authorities for protection.

Soon after the Gnadenhuetten Massacre at 1755, British troops were sent from Bethlehem to prevent any Indians from attacking.  Everything after that, safety, precaution was well until on New Year’s Day, 1756, troops at Gnadenhuetten were attacked suddenly.  As they were skating on the Lehigh River, some soldiers spotted Indians hiding on the river bank.  Alarmed, the soldiers immediately called to the others and chased the Indians away only to find themselves tricked into being ambushed and killed.

When the news reached Governor Morris of Pennsylvania, he decided that better protection was needed along the Lehigh River.  The French and Indians needed to be prevented from building forts in the area, so he appointed Benjamin Franklin and James Hamilton to supervise the defense of the frontier.

Franklin left Philadelphia immediately with his son William and 50 other men.  Another group of 50 men joined them a little later.  This group was led by Captain Wayne.  Two days after they reached the intended destination and began the building of their fort.  It took less than a week to build the fort but actually only 3 days were used to build the fort.  It was built of timbers about 18 feet long and one foot in diameter.  It was 125 feet in length by 50 feet wide.  Also, 3 block houses were placed along with two cannons placed at the far corners of the building.  Finally, a 16 foot well was dug to supply water.

In honor of Judge William Allen, they named the fort Fort Allen (the judge had planned the city of Allentown.  After he was reassured that the frontier along the Lehigh River was secure, Ben left for Philadelphia.  Towards the end of the French and Indian War, Fort Allen remained in use as a defense until permanent settlement of Weissport was begun by Col. Jacob Weiss.

Many Native Americans resisted the new British settlers, and in 1763 an Ottowan leader named Pontiac called on his warriors to revolt against the British.  He said that Britain only sought to destroy them.  Native Americans from many different tribes attacked British settlements and forts in the Ohio River Valley. This fighting was known as Pontiac’s Rebellion.  Pontiac and his followers won many battles against the British before the British finally put down the rebellion.

Alarmed by Pontiac’s Rebellion, British leaders did not want to continue fighting Natives on land won by France so Britain’s King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763 as an official announcement that said colonists were no longer allowed to settle on lands west of the Appalachian Mountains.  The King of Britain hoped this proclamation would prevent further native rebellions.  The Proclamation of 1763 was not popular among many colonists who wanted new lands to settle.  The colonists were frustrated and angry about the plan.  They felt the Proclamation of 1763 was very unfair.  As time went on, tensions between the colonists and British government began to grow, eventually leading to the Revolutionary War.

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