Delaware Indian Removal

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The Leni Lenape or Delaware Indians had been tricked by the early Dutch settlers of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. There is a story told of one early land purchase. The Dutch settlers asked the Indians to sell them land for a garden as big as the hide of a bullock. The Indians agreed and the Dutch then cut the hide into long thin strips and marked off a large circle of land. The Indians had been tricked. Years later when William Penn arrived he promised to treat the Indians fairly and refused to let any settler purchase land without the approval of the governor or his representatives. The Delaware had great respect for William Penn and always considered him their friend. The Delaware trusted Thomas Penn, William’s son, when he became governor of the colony and expected that he would continue to trade and negotiate fairly with them. Among some Indians it had been a custom to measure off land that was to be sold by having a person walk the distance in a day and a half. Around 1735 Governor Penn suggested that this “Walking Purchase” be used to settle a dispute over land that the Pennsylvania government said had been sold in 1696 and 1697. The Delaware denied that the…show more content…
The Delaware argued that the “Walking Purchase” was illegal and refused to leave the land. Almost immediately hundreds of settlers began moving into the disputed land. Pennsylvania called on the powerful Iroquois Nation to help. The Iroquois, who were on friendly terms with the Pennsylvania colony, ordered the Delaware to leave the disputed land. Since they would not get help from the powerful Iroquois Six Nations they had to leave the land. The Delaware had trusted William Penn’s son and they had been tricked by him just as earlier the Dutch had tricked them into turning over a large section of land rather than the garden they had agreed to give the settlers. William Penn’s promise to always treat the Indians with fairness had been
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