Strategic Alliances and Trail of Broken Treaties 1700-1799
“Walking Purchase” ends in confiscation of Lenape (Delaware) lands
English colonists “discover” a treaty (never seen or verified) with three Lenape chiefs, ceding lands to William Penn, the area equaling the distance “as far as a man can go in a day and a half.” To identify the boundary, Lenape chiefs and colonists select their best athletes and offer money and land to the one who can travel the greatest distance. Lenape think this refers to walking distance; colonists choose to run (two die from dehydration), and thus the identified territorial boundaries are much farther than the Lenape feel is accurate. Lenape refuse to move (Nies, 1996).