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cause, will appear, and also the attempts of the Pennsylvania authorities
to regain the good will of these tribes through the missions of those
intrepid emissaries, Conrad Weiser and Christian Frederick Post — suc-
cessful in great degree, and all this is history with a thrill.

In the "History of Bucks County" by William J. Buck (Doylestown,
1855), a small but valuable work, this passage is found: "The Indian
Walk not only forms a prominent feature in the history of Bucks county,
but of Pennsylvania. Enough has been written of it to fill an ordinary
volume by the author of the 'Enquiry into the Causes of the Alienation
of the Delaware and Shawanese Indians,' published anonymously in
London, in 1759, and by John Watson, Samuel Preston, and others."

Bucic is referring to Charles Thomson's book. Historians, and espec-

2"History of Pittsburgh,** Neville B. Craig; new edition with an Introduction and
Notes by George T. Fleming, 1917, i»p. 2, 3.

Pitts.— 8

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ially of the counties of Bucks and Northampton, give full accounts of the
"Long Walk." They recite also all the events that the walk gave rise to
by reason of the French and Indian War, the war parties of the Dela-
wares and Shawanese in their career of vengeance, starting from the
Allegheny and Ohio river region ; that is to say, the vicinity of the site
of Pittsburgh. They tell of the results of Braddock's disaster upon the
eastern and oldest settled counties of the province. Undeniably, the
story of the Walking Purchase is local history most pertinent to the
region where it occurred. Yet Braddock's defeat is in similar sense local
to Allegheny county; to be exact, Cumberland county, hence Bedford
county and Westmoreland county— each one included in Cumberland
county, and in order named antedating Allegheny county in formation,
and each including Allegheny county within its limits. Few will deny
that Braddock's defeat is both national and international in historical
scope. The story of the oftmentioned Walking Purchase, while excel-
lent, may be regarded as reciprocal history, far-reaching in its ultimate
results, and affecting the whole province, and relevant to the history of
Pittsburgh and its present environs by reason of the events of the French
and Indian War that occurred here, in which the Delaware and Shaw-
anese took large part. Though of frequent mention, but slight details
of the Long Walk appear in our local histories, and though one on first
reading of it may desire fuller details, these are not obtainable without
wide and somewhat laborious research. Perhaps too little import has
been assigned to the effects of Thomas Penn's fraud, and its connection
with the history of Western Pennsylvania and the Ohio region not fully
recognized. Yet hereabouts the missions of those intrepid men, Weiser
and Post, were of more than ordinary importance, both successful in
acute crisis in withholding the disaffected Indians from more completely
going over to the French. The importance and value of the services of
these men are acknowledged by our standard historians, and accorded
more or less mention. Post can be truly said to have been in as extreme
peril as any person who has place in our State and local history, and
that he came out unscathed is one of the marvelous facts of that history.
The enmity shown him by the disaffected and embittered savages arose
primarily from and dated back to the Long Walk; but his story will
appear in place.

William Penn's policy had been to deal fairly with the Indians, and
this has become proverbial. He dealt mainly with the Delawares, and
while he did not give them much for their land, he satisfied them and
made them feel he was their friend. The presents he had made them
were considered to have been sufficient in value, and ample recompense
for the uncultivated land taken at that period. In 1696, Penn purchased
through Governor Dongan of New York, as agent of the Iroquois, all
the land along the Susquehanna that Dongan held in trust. When the

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subservient tribes in Pennsylvania complained that they had rights and
had not been consulted, Penn satisfied them with gifts, and it is a matter
of record that most of the land held by the white settlers up to that time,
was more than once paid for by the great Quaker proprietor in order to
satisfy the savages and keep peace for his infant colony.

With Penn's death, his sons by his second wife-^John. Richard and
Thomas— came to rule, and a new and difficult problem arose. The
colony had grown ; the purchased tracts had become thickly settled, and
the new proprietors had trouble in keeping the sturdy Ulster and Ger-
man colonists from settling on the lands recognized as still belonging to
the Pennsylvania Indians. It was customary for the settlers to claim all
lands occupied by the savages, and that excellent land for farms should
be retained by the Indians merely for hunting grounds aroused resent-
ment, and the policy that permitted this retention and recognized any
title in the Indians could not be understood.

Thomas Penn, becoming pianager of the family lands in the province,
tried to make as much money as possible for the estate. He did not
understand Indian nature, or he would have "played fair." In October,
1736, Thomas Penn assembled in Philadelphia a larger number of
Indians than were ever before assembled at a treaty — all of the tribes of
the Six Nations were represented. Penn entertained them for three
nights, and then held the treaty with them in the gfreat meeting house
at Fifth and Arch streets. The sachems, chiefs and chief warriors of
the gathered tribes of the Six Nations reported that they had made
alliance with six other nations that recognized them as elder brothers;
in short, recognized the domination of the Six Nations. At this treaty
the proprietaries purchased from the Indians all their "right, title and
interest" (as a deed would recite), to all the land southeast of the Blue
Mountains, being all of the present counties of York, Adams and Cumber-
land, parts of Franklin, Dauphin and Lebanon, and of Berks, Lehigh and
Northampton counties. "This purchase, as to the lands of the Delawares
and other tributaries of the Six Nations, was in the nature of a release of
a feudal lordship concomitant with the purchase of the vassal's interest,"
says Mr. Jenkins. Thomas Penn did not rely upon the assertion of the
sachems of the Six Nations that the Delawares had no lands to sell. He
preferred something more specific and documentary. Therefore he began
a search among the old deeds of his father for some writing on which
he and his brother proprietaries could depend for quiet enjoyment of
their land. He found a popy of a deed made in 1686, which called for a
dimension as far as a man could go in a day and a half, and thence to
the Delaware river and down the courses thereof. This land had never
been measured, so Penn made his arrangements to have it done, and laid
his plans carefully. When the Indians made the agreement, they had
in mind only an honest day and a half's journey, which would lead td

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the South Hills on the bank of the Lehigh river. Penn's agents hunted
out three of the fastest ivoodsmen in the province — Marshall, Yeates
and Jennings— and as a preliminary had them taken over the course to
be "walked," which occupied nine days, mainly in clearing a way and
blazing trees. Some of the Indians were opposed to the method of
measurement^ but a treaty was made with Penn, August 25, 1737, in
which it was stipulated that the measurement should be made by a
"walk." The start was made September 12, 1737, at Wrightstown meet-
ing house in Bucks county, in the presence of some Indians and some
whites on horseback. The direction was northwestwardly, and the pace
from the start rapid, so rapid that one of the runners (for such they
turned out), became exhausted in two hours and never recovered his
health. Two by nightfall succeeded in reaching the north side of the
Blue Mountains. The "walkers" were running for a large prize, and
began again at sunrise. Three Indians who had been appointed to
accompany them had dropped out of the race, disgusted and thoroughly
angry. They saw that they had been tricked, and were justly indignant.
The white hirelings continued on. Yeates fell into a creek, was taken
out blind, and was dead in three days. Penn had not only blazed the
way, but had boats ready to convey his runners across all important
streams. At the end of the second day's period, Marshall, the last of
the runners, threw himself on the ground at full length and grasped a
sapling, which was declared to mark the distance called for by the pur-
chase — how far a man could go in a day and a half ; that is, go on foot
at a walk. The mark was twenty miles farther than the place that had
been estimated by William Penn and the Indians as being about the
right distance.

The walkers were under the supervision of the sheriff of Bucks county
and the surveyor-general of Pennsylvania. Some of the spectators who
went along on horseback, carried refreshments. The course marked out
was northerly, on what is now the Durham road to the creek of the same
name, thence northwesterly, crossing the Lehigh at 2 p. m., and reaching
Hokendauqua creek at sunset. Marshall passed through the Lehigh
Water Gap and rested on a spur of the Broad or Pocono Mountain at
12 o'clock. The Delaware representatives objected from the start, espe-
cially to the pace, frequently calling out to the white runners "to walk."
One old Delaware described the method pursued: "No sit down to
smoke; no shoot a squirrel; but lun, lun, lun all day long." Later the
surveyor-general occupied four days in going oyer the same course. All
historians of ^Pennsylvania do not agree that Yeates and Jennings died
from the effects of the walk, though there is convincing testimony to that
effect. It is of record and uncontroverted, that Marshall was none the
worse, for he died at the exceedingly ripe age of ninety. His place in
Pennsylvania history is secure.

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Yet the transaction was not without defenders. In 1757 the surveyor-
general of the province, Nicholas Scull, swore that he, with Benjamin
Eastbum, then surveyor-general, whose deputy Scull was in 1737, had
been present, and that the men did not run, but walked fairly; but the
Indians knew better. Those who defended the transaction, scoffed at
the notion of the Indians that the journey was to be made naturally,
with stops to take a shot at game, or sitting down for a rest and a smoke.
It is for those qualified, to say how far a strong active young man can
go on foot through a wilderness woodland, even with a way partly
cleared, in a day and a half — not an eight-hour workday, but from sun-
rise to sunset. The reader may not be convinced that sixty miles is an
ordinary distance for a man to walk in twelve hours, for the "Long
Walk'' took place in September, in the equinoctial season ; nevertheless,
we arc informed that 60 miles were traversed the first day, and 26 the
next; this total of 86 miles is given in the narrative of the junior Wat-
son. There is authority that the distance was but 68 miles, which would
seem to lead to the belief that there has been a transposition .of figures
in some records. Scull maintained that the distance did not exceed 55

That one man of the three who started, covered the distance made
in the day and a half and lived, is sufficient evidence that the distance was
extraordinary. A side of a triangle was traversed whose northern point
or apex was between the present towns of Milford and Shohola, in
Pike county. In ending the walk, Marshall was attended by two men
mounted. They reached their stopping place at 2 o'clock p. m., but had
not started until 8 a. m., as the day was dull and rainy. James Yeates
the first day appeared less distressed than Marshall, but all accounts,
says Buck, tend to show that he had imbibed too much of the varied
store of liquors provided. In person, Yeates was tall and slim, and of
much agility and speed of foot. He was taken out of the stream at the
foot of the mountains, quite blind, and died three days later. Solomon
Jennings, a Yankee and a newcomer in Bucks county, was a remarkably
stout and strong man, yet he did not hold out to cross the Lehigh. He
never recovered his health, though he lived for several years after.
Yeates and Marshall were natives of Bucks county.

Buck in his history, following Watson's account as obtained from
Marshall's son, says that 86 miles were traveled. Samuel Preston, who
wrote his account in 1826, said that he was well acquainted with a very
old man, Thomas Janney, who saw Yeates and Jennings running as
they passed his house, and Thomas Penn was galloping his horse to

s^Histoiy of Bucks County,'' edited by T. H. Battle; A. Warner ft Co., Chka^o.
1887 J p. 162. Hazard's "Register of Pennsylvania," VoL V, p. 339. "History of Bucks
County," William J. Buck; Doylestown, 1855; P. n. "History of Wrightstown," in
Appendix to Ibid., p. 5.

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keep up with them. Preston knew Edward Marshall in 1782-83, and
frequently saw Marshall carrying chain for Nicholas Scull. Marshall,
though often promised the 500 acres each "walker" was to receive in
compensation in addition to the £5 money, never received any land.
Janney's evidence is sufficient to connect Thomas Penn with the fraud
as an active party to it. Preston was one of the governor's council, and
was at the conference in 1742.

Whether the distance was 86, or 68 miles as the Bucks county his-
torian Battle has it, there has never been any doubt expressed that Mar-
shall accomplished a great feat. Battle, commenting on the distance,
remarks :* "In the condition of the country, this was a remarkable per-
formance, and considering the absence of bridges, the uneven character
of the route, and the steady, constant tramp required, it is not astonish-
ing that two of the three athletic woodsmen broke down under the
severe strain."

In running a right line to the river, the sui^eyors after four days'
work in a barren mountaihous region, reached the Delaware near the
mouth of Shohola creek, in Pike county. Marshall did not get pay in
land; Eastburn, the surveyor, was subsequently repudiated by Thomas
Penn, and his heirs notified that he need not expect the least favor, and
the proprietor himself, brought before the king by the indignant people,
was forced to dissemble and disown his own acts and agents in a pain-
fully humiliating manner. But all this did not repair the injury done to
the Indians, nor avert the vengeance which the folly of Penn brought
upon the province. Indeed, before the "walking party" reached their
homes, they saw the striking evidences of the deep feeling of dissatis-
faction existing among the Indians, and made it a topic of conversation
on the way. The Indians said that in May they would all go to Phil-
adelphia, each with a buckskin to repay the presents that had been given
them, and take the land back again. No such solution was possible, for
the land had been sold to speculators and had been immediately put on
the market. The Indians by May were astonished to find settlers taking
up land about the Indian villages. The Indians refused to vacate, and
continued to remonstrate until, despairing of redress in this manner,
they had letters written to the governor and a Bucks county magistrate
"in which they treated the proprietors with a good deal of freedom,"
remonstrated again, and declared their resolution of maintaining posses-
sion by force of arms. When the Iroquois, brought by Shikellimy, came
to Philadelphia, the proprietaries laid special stress on the insolence of
the Delawares.

Charles Thomson, writing during the French and Indian War, his
book published in London in 1759, presents therein some testimony of

4"History of Bucks County/' J. H. Battle, 1887; pp. 163, et seq.

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the proceedings during the "Long Walk," and most competent testimony
of eyewitnesses and participants. One of these was Thomas Furniss,
of Newtown, a neighbor of Yeates. Furniss details some of the cir-
cumstances of the affair not given elsewhere. His companion on the
return was Timothy Smith, the sheriff of Bucks county, under whose
auspices the proceedings were conducted. Furniss said: "I thought
Smith was surprised, as I well remember I was, through a conscious-
ness that the Indians were dissatisfied with the walk, a thing the whole
company seemed to be sensible of, and upon the way in our return home
frequently expressed themselves to that purpose, and indeed the unfair-
ness practiced in the walk, both in regard to the way where, and the
manner how it was performed, and the dissatisfaction of the Indians
concerning it, were common subjects of conversation in our neighbor-
hood for some considerable time after it was done. When the walk was
performed, I was a young man in the prime of life; the novelty of the
thing inclined me to be a spectator."

Joseph ICnowles, a nephew of Sheriff Smith, furnished a short account
of the walk under date of June 30, 1757, both his and Furniss' presum-
ably to Thomson. Neither is sworn to, but Knowles writes that he was
willing to qualify at any time when desired. Knowles testified that at
his uncle's orders he had gone some time previous to the walk, to carry
the chain and help clear the road, and that when the walk was per-
formed he was present and carried provisions, liquors and bedding, and
that the walk began at sunrising, and that they came to the Forks of
the Delaware (the Lehigh) at one o'clock the same day, and that then
the Indians began to look sullen and to murmur and to call out that the
methods were not fair, because the men appointed to walk were running.
However, Sheriff Smith paid no regard to the Indians, and the running
walkers were urged by the rest of the proprietors' party to proceed until
the sun was down. The next day was rainy, but some of the Indians
came up, traveled a few miles along, and then left very much dissatis-
fied, but, said Knowles, "we proceeded by the notches until noon."'

Marshall subsequently acknowledged that the Indians were cheated,
and attested that, nevertheless, they would have submitted had the walk
not been extended beyond the Blue Mountains. It is very clear from
these statements that the methods pursued by the Penns on "the walk"
were fraudulent, and so regarded by the inhabitants of Bucks county.

To add greater injustice, instead of running the line to the Delaware,
the surveyors slanted it northward so as to take in the rich Minisink
region. Strong objections were made by the Indians in 1757; one, that
the original deed was fictitious, and that the walk should have been along
the Delaware river, and, that even if the walk was in the right direction

6" Alienation of the Delaware and Shawanese Indians, etc.;" Charles Thomson;
pp. 36, ef seq.

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and not too extended, then the line from it should not have been at right
angles to the river, but by the compass to the nearest point on it. These
objections were held by the proprietaries to have been without weight.
There was one, however, which seems weighty enough to reprobate the
long notorious walking pitrchase, and that was that the chiefs who could
dispose of land a reasonable distance around Wrightstown had no owner-
ship in land across the Lehigh river.

When the surveyors who followed the trail of the walkers struck
northeast to the mouth of the Lackawaxen creek, they secured for the
proprietaries the Forks of the Delaware on the south side of the Blue
Mountains, and the Minisink Flats on the north side — ^both rich and
desirable tracts which included the upper portion of Bucks county, nearly
all of Northampton, and parts of Carbon, Monroe and Pike counties.
The Delawares for generations had held their council fires at the Mini-
sink Flats, hence this ground in the Indians' eyes was sacred. Here on
Pocono creek the celebrated Delaware chief Teedyuscung was bom. To
him the English colonists gave the name "Honest John" — ^no mean title
if properly bestowed. When his land was wrested from him by "the
walk," and more especially that by the line to the Lackawaxen, Teedjru-
scung was the chief remonstrator to the Pjenns; and one of those at the
council in Philadelphia to whom the Iroquois spokesman directed his
unalterable mandate in deciding for the beneficiaries of the fraud.
Teedyuscung was one of the most frequently mentioned chiefs in Penn-
sylvania history. Often a visitor to Philadelphia, he had acquired a free
use of English, and thereby was able to make himself understood by the
whites without the medium of an interpreter. He was the last chief of
the Delawares on the east side of the AUeghenies whose relations with
the English were distrusted by his own people, and his influence envied
by the Iroquois. This envy developed into so great a degree of hatred
that the Iroquois brought about the tragic death of this powerful Dela-
ware sachem in the burning of his house at Wyoming, first having ren-
dered him helplessly drunk, then setting the house on fire.

Teedyuscung figured in treaties subsequent to 1742, and in 1758
endeavored unsuccessfully to deter Christian Frederick Post from setting
out on his mission to the Indians on the Ohio at the orders of Governor
Denny, of Pennsylvania, as related, by Post in his first journal of that
year; in fact, the journal of his first journey to the Ohio, for he returned
almost immediately and then saw the standing faggots of Fort Duquesne
in December, 1758, ten days after Gen. John Forbes had raised the royal
standard of St. George here and called the place Pittsburgh. On this
terrible journey. Post had for a companion Captain Bull, one of Teedy-
uscung's sons.^

•Post Second Journal, Oct 27; Nov. 2, 1758. "^hc Wilderness Trail;" Chas. A,
Hanna, Vol. I, p. 242.

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However, Teedyuscung had another side to his character. He was
an Indian Jekyl and Hyde. He had been a converted Indian, and Zeis-
berger's biographer remarks his apostasy. Hanna calls him a minor chief
of the Delawares, and a cowardly braggart who had by his oratory so
impressed the Quakers that they regarded him as a martyr, a king, and a
hero, and practically paid him tribute for years, and permitted him unop-
posed, with a small band of drunken Savages, to harass the northern
frontiers and kill by scores the unprotected settlers thereon, and to brow-
beat and flout the provincial authorities of Pennsylvania, and acquire
such power and influence among his immediate tribesmen that he was
able to intimidate and levy tribute on the whole province with impunity
for many years.'

The "Walking Purchase" has remained a disgrace to those who
planned it. It has thrown deserved opprobrium on the fair name of Penn.
The duped savages never forgave the fraud, and in the end their venge-
ance was supreme. They refused to leave the land measured by the
walk, claiming never to have sold it. They announced they would resist
removal by force. Resourceful Thomas Penn thereupon appealed to the
Six Nations, who promptly responded by sending 230 warriors to Phila-
delphia in July, 1742, who were made the guests of the Penns and gener-
ously treated. A new treaty was then made in which the Six Nations
decided in favor of the proprietaries. The chief speaker of the Iroquois
at this council was Cannassatego, an Onondaga, chief sachem of the Six
Nations, who made short work of Delaware pretensions. The Minisink
and Fork Delawares Were the first to refuse to leave their lands.
Nutimus, their principal chief, and the other chieftains, saw how they had
been duped. They were not willing to quit their homes nor give quiet
possession to the people who came thick to take up lands and settle. No
regard having been paid to their complaints, the Delawares sent a letter
to Governor Thomas, and also to a magistrate of Bucks county, in which
they remonstrated against the injustice done them, and declared their
resolution of maintaining possession of their lands by force of arms.
"This alarmed the proprietors," says Thomson, "who thereupon in 1741

Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 16 of 81)