Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township

HATT | PO Box 2084 | Pocono Pines, PA 18350-2084

May 11, 2017



May 11, 2017 • 5:30 p.m.
Clymer Library, 115 Firehouse Road, Pocono Pines, Pa.

Attendance: 31 members, 9 nonmembers
Speaker: Frank Salvati — The Walking Purchase

The meeting was opened by Rick Bodenshatz, program chair, with thanks to the supportive program members who set up the Clymer Library room. He invited us to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

He then announced the June program and asked for volunteers to distribute fliers. He stated that there were Arlington and Lutherland books as well as a CD of Lutherland available for sale with all the proceeds going to Clymer Library.

He then introduced our speaker, Frank Salvati, for today’s talk on “The Walking Purchase.”

Mr. Salvati began by stating this was the biggest deception in the history of the early settlement of the northeast by the English. He explained the relationship William Penn of Pennsylvania shared with the Delawares, and how significant it was that he was a Quaker, peace-loving and appreciated by the local tribes. There was little confrontation until he died in 1721.

His three sons were not so peace-loving or honorable. They found an old paper which was the original planned agreement for the settlers to purchase the land surround the Delaware delta called Tohickon Creek. This purchase was never completed because the Delaware tribesmen did not want to lose that property.

After the death of the William Penn, the sons pursued obtaining the land mass under false pretenses, stating that the land had already been paid for and that it now belonged to the settlers. Given the animosity between the Iroquois and the Delaware tribe and the fact that the Iroquois nation oversaw all the tribes in the northeast of colonies, even with a court hearing, the Delaware tribe had to agree to a “walking” solution to the dispute.

The walk was intentionally fixed, with the three strongest young settlers each given two heavy axes to create momentum, and the tribesmen realized that this was ‘fixed’ by this unfair advantage. Two of the young settlers died in their attempt to go the farthest, but one Richard Marshall (for which Marshalls Creek is now named) became the hero of the colonists by reaching much farther north and inland than anticipated, while the tribesmen left because of the obvious cheating which transpired.

The settlers ended up with more than 1,500 acres of tribal land which had been sold to individuals long before by the crooked brothers (sons of William Penn). The Delaware tribe had been insulted and treated unfairly by the Iroquois and the local colonial politicians who were getting kickbacks from the Penn brothers.

This resulted in a long-standing animosity to the point where the Delaware tribe people were forced to move to Wyoming Valley, Scranton and parts west of the Allegheny River.

Thirteen years later, they joined the French during the war and were vicious in their attacks against the settlers. exacting revenge by looting, burning, torturing and stealing women and children who became tribe members. It took the Quakers and Moravians to work on a peace treaty.

Many questions were fielded from the group after the presentation. Rick then presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Frank.

Respectfully submitted,
Peggy Rapp, Secretary