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Pieces of the Past: Building the Border

October 11, 2023

For my readers: This may not seem very “local” but it’s close! There once was a territory that the king of England had named “Sylvania.” The king owed William Penn a substantial debt. An agreement to rename the area PENN-Sylvania translated: Penn’s Woods settled the debt. Of course, there was a bit more to it than that. Penn was determined to give Quakers are place to worship without fear.

As the potential of the region was being discovered by the leadership of other colonies, various claims on Penn’s woods were filed. Penn himself laid out a town near the Delaware and the Schuylkill rivers with access to the coastline in 1682. The Lenape tribe who occupied the region didn’t object much. It was the waterway access that Penn saw as the potential.

After the French and Indian War, the British made a deal with the Iroquois, Seneca, and other tribes for Western Pennsylvania. This agreement put control of what eventually became Warren! After the Revolutionary War, representatives of 6 tribes met at Fort Stanwix for a second time. This resulted in The Second Treaty of Fort Stanwix which resulted in larger tracts of land being ceded to the American Government This was the plan that today’s Senecas demand be kept!

If you go West on Route 6 through Corry turn up Route 89 toward Wattsburg and then turn right onto Route 8 you will pass a historic marker. The sign marks where Pennsylvania’s western border originally was! All of Erie and the lakeshore triangle came in a buyout to the Commonwealth.

I’m attaching a map that shows claims by Connecticut, New Jersey, and others. It’s a good thing we had guys like Ben Franklin looking out for us!

         

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