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The Delaware Indians

Associated with the early history of the Delawares are thoughts of William Penn, and of his peaceful intercourse with, and powerful influence over, the wild natives with whom he treated. At the first settlement of the country by Europeans, the tribes of this nation occupied no small portion of the present state of Pennsylvania, but their principal settlements lay between the Potomac and the Hudson. Situated between the great northern and southern confederacies, they were in turn at enmity and engaged in wars with either party; but, at an early day, they were in a measure subdued and reduced to a state of inferiority by the Six Nations. The conduct of Penn towards the Indians has ever been spoken of with high admiration; and we are assured that his care for their interests, and anxiety to secure their rights, and to protect them from wrongs and aggression, caused his name to be idolized among the Delawares. Upon obtaining the immense grant from the crown, named Pennsylvania at the time of its bestowment, his first thought was to draw up a table of “conditions and concessions,” for the government of those who should adventure with him in the settlement of the wilderness. He expressly stipulated, in behalf of the Indians, that their persons and property should be protected by the same laws and penalties as those of the whites; that overreaching in trade should be avoided by the conduct of all sales in market overt; that a jury of six whites and six Indians should pass upon matters in dispute between individuals of the different races; and that the interest...

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