Province of Pennsylvania

The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as the Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in English North America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II. The name Pennsylvania, which translates roughly as "Penn's Woods",[1] was created by combining the Penn surname (in honor of William's father, Admiral Sir William Penn) with the Latin word sylvania, meaning "forest land". The Province of Pennsylvania was one of the two major Restoration colonies, the other being the Province of Carolina. The proprietary colony's charter remained in the hands of the Penn family until the American Revolution, when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was created and became one of the original thirteen states. "The lower counties on Delaware", a separate colony within the province, would breakaway during the American Revolution as "the Delaware State" and also be one of the original thirteen states.

Province of Pennsylvania

A map of the Province of Pennsylvania.
A map of the Province of Pennsylvania.
Common languagesEnglish, Pennsylvania German, Welsh, Unami, Susquehannock, Munsee
GovernmentProprietary colony, semi-autonomous constitutional monarchy
• 1681–1685
Charles II
• 1685–1688
James II
• 1689–1702 (Mary died 1694)
William III & Mary II
• 1702–1714
• 1714–1727
George I
• 1727–1760
George II
• 1760–1776
George III
Royal Governor 
• 1681–1783
List of colonial governors of Pennsylvania
LegislaturePennsylvania Provincial Assembly
• Upper house
Pennsylvania Provincial Council
• Lower house
Pennsylvania General Assembly
• Land grant to William Penn
March 4 1682
September 3 1783
CurrencyPennsylvania pound
Succeeded by
Today part of United States


The colonial government, established in 1682 by Penn's Frame of Government, consisted of an appointed Governor, the proprietor (William Penn), a 72-member Provincial Council, and a larger General Assembly. The General Assembly, also known as the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, was the largest and most representative branch of government, but had little power.

Succeeding Frames of Government were produced in 1683, 1696 and 1701. The fourth Frame was also known as the Charter of Privileges and remained in effect until the American Revolution. At that time, the Provincial Assembly was deemed too moderate by the revolutionaries, who ignored the Assembly and held a convention which produced the Constitution of 1776 for the newly established commonwealth, creating a new General Assembly in the process.

William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, early Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early advocate of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Indians. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed.


Penn, despite having the land grant from the King, embarked on an effort to purchase the lands from Native Americans. Much of the land near present-day Philadelphia was held by the Delaware (Lenni Lenape) who would expect payment in exchange for a quitclaim to vacate the territory.[2] Penn and his representatives (Proprietors) negotiated a series of treaties with the Delaware and other tribes that had an interest in the land in his royal grant.

The initial treaties were conducted between 1682 and 1684 for tracts between New Jersey and the former Swedish / Dutch colonies in present-day Delaware.[3] The province was thus divided first into three counties, plus the three "lower counties on Delaware Bay". The easternmost, Bucks County, Philadelphia County and Chester County, the westernmost.

Lower Counties

"The lower counties on Delaware," a separate colony within the province, constituted the same three counties that constitute the present State of Delaware: New Castle, the northernmost, Sussex, the southernmost, and Kent, which fell between New Castle and Sussex County. Their borders remain unchanged to this day.

New Lands and New Counties

It was not until several decades into the next century that additional treaties with the Native Americans were concluded. The Proprietors of the colony made treaties in 1718, 1732, 1737, 1749, 1754 and 1754 pushing the boundaries of the colony (still within the original royal grant) north and west.[4] By the time the French and Indian War began in 1754, the Assembly had established the additional counties of Lancaster (1729), York (1749), Cumberland (1750), Berks (1752) and Northampton (1752).[5]

After the war was concluded, an additional treaty was made in 1768, that abided by the limits of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. This proclamation line was not intended to be a permanent boundary between the colonists and native American lands, but rather a temporary boundary which could be extended further west in an orderly manner but only by the royal government and not private individuals such as the Proprietors. This effectively altered the original royal land grant to Penn. The next acquisitions by Pennsylvania were to take place as an independent commonwealth or state and no longer as a colony. The Assembly establish additional counties from the land prior to the War for American Independence. These counties were Bedford (1771), Northumberland (1772) and Westmoreland (1773).[6]

Religious freedom and prosperity

William Penn and his fellow Quakers heavily imprinted their religious values on the early Pennsylvanian government. The Charter of Privileges extended religious freedom to all monotheists and government was initially open to all Christians. Until the French and Indian War Pennsylvania had no military, few taxes and no public debt. It also encouraged the rapid growth of Philadelphia into America's most important city, and of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country hinterlands, where German (or "Deutsch") religions and political refugees prospered on the fertile soil and spirit of cultural creativeness. Among the first groups were the Mennonites, who founded Germantown in 1683; and the Amish, who established the Northkill Amish Settlement in 1740. 1751 was an auspicious year for the colony. Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the British American colonies,[7] and The Academy and College of Philadelphia, the predecessor to the private University of Pennsylvania,[8] both opened. Benjamin Franklin founded both of these institutions along with Philadelphia's Union Fire Company fifteen years earlier in 1736.[9] Likewise in 1751, the Pennsylvania State House ordered a new bell which would become known as the Liberty Bell for the new bell tower being built in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia.

Relations with Native Americans

Treaty of Penn with Indians by Benjamin West
Benjamin West's painting (in 1771) of William Penn's 1682 treaty with the Lenni Lenape

William Penn had mandated fair dealings with Native Americans. This led to significantly better relations with the local Native tribes (mainly the Lenape and Susquehanna) than most other colonies had. The Quakers had previously treated Indians with respect, bought land from them voluntarily, and had even representation of Indians and Whites on juries. According to Voltaire, the Shackamaxon Treaty was "the only treaty between Indians and Christians that was never sworn to and that was never broken."[10] The Quakers also refused to provide any assistance to New England's Indian wars.

In 1737, the Colony exchanged a great deal of its political goodwill with the native Lenape for more land. The colonial administrators claimed that they had a deed dating to the 1680s in which the Lenape-Delaware had promised to sell a portion of land beginning between the junction of the Delaware River and Lehigh River (present Easton, Pennsylvania) "as far west as a man could walk in a day and a half." This purchase has become known as the Walking Purchase. Although the document was most likely a forgery, the Lenape did not realize that. Provincial Secretary James Logan set in motion a plan that would grab as much land as they could possibly get and hired the three fastest runners in the colony to run out the purchase on a trail which had been cleared by other members of the colony beforehand. The pace was so intense that only one runner actually completed the "walk," covering an astonishing 70 miles (110 km). This netted the Penns 1,200,000 acres (4,900 km2) of land in what is now northeastern Pennsylvania, an area roughly equivalent to the size of the state of Rhode Island in the purchase. The area of the purchase covers all or part of what are now Pike, Monroe, Carbon, Schuylkill, Northampton, Lehigh and Bucks counties. The Lenape tribe fought for the next 19 years to have the treaty annulled, but to no avail. The Lenape-Delaware were forced into the Shamokin and Wyoming Valleys, which were already overcrowded with other displaced tribes.

Limits on further settlement

As the colony grew, colonists and British military forces came into confrontation with Natives in the Western half of the state. Britain fought for control of the neighboring Ohio Country with France during the French and Indian War, and following the British victory the territory was formally ceded to them in 1763 and became part of the British Empire.

With the war just over and Pontiac's War beginning, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 banned colonization beyond the Appalachian Mountains in an effort to prevent settlers settling lands which the Native Americans considered their own. This proclamation affected Pennsylvanians and Virginians the most, as they had been racing towards the lands surrounding Fort Pitt (modern-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).


The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, consisting of the Chief Justice and at least one other judge, was founded in 1722 and sat in Philadelphia twice a year.

Chief Justices [1]
Incumbent Tenure Notes
Took office Left office
Arthur Cook 1681 1684
Nicholas Moore 1684 1685
Arthur Cook 1686 1690
John Simcock 1690 1693
Andrew Robson 1693 1699
Edward Shippen 1699 1701
John Guest 20 Aug 1701 10 Apr 1703
William Clark 10 Apr 1703 1705
John Guest 1705 1706
Roger Mompesson 17 April 1706 1715
Joseph Growden, Jr. 1715 1718
David Lloyd 1718 1731
James Logan 20 Aug 1731 1739
Jeremiah Langhorne 13 Aug 1739 1743
John Kinsey 5 April 1743 1750
William Allen 20 Sept 1750 1774
Benjamin Chew 29 April 1774 1776

Famous colonial Pennsylvanians

See also


  1. ^ "About Pennsylvania". Archived from the original on 2009-10-14.
  2. ^ Forest, Tuomi J., William Penn Visionary Proprietor
  3. ^ See the Genealogical Map of Pennsylvania Counties developed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 11th Edition (1999)
  4. ^ Ibid
  5. ^ Ibid
  6. ^ Ibid
  7. ^ Historic Pennsylvania Hospital,The American Journal of Nursing , Vol. 39, No. 12 (Dec., 1939) , pp. 1306-1311
  8. ^ College Founding in the American Colonies, 1745-1775 Beverly McAnear, The Mississippi Valley Historical Review , Vol. 42, No. 1 (Jun., 1955), pp. 24-44
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-03-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Rothbard, Murray N. (2005). "Pennsylvania's Anarchist Experiment: 1681–1690". Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  11. ^ Rothbard, Murray N., Conceived in Liberty, Vol. II (Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1999), p. 64.

Secondary sources

External links

Coordinates: 40°17′46″N 75°30′32″W / 40.296°N 75.509°W

1699 in Ireland

Events from the year 1699 in Ireland.

Andrew Hamilton (New Jersey)

Andrew Hamilton (died 1703) was the colonial governor of East and West New Jersey from 1692 to 1697 and again from 1699 to 1703. He also served as Deputy Governor of the neighboring Province of Pennsylvania.


Associators were members of 17th- and 18th-century volunteer military associations in the British American thirteen colonies and British Colony of Canada. These were more commonly known as Maryland Protestant, Pennsylvania, and American Patriot and British Loyalist colonial militias. But unlike militias, the associator military volunteers were exempt from regular mandatory military service. Other names used to describe associators were "Associations", "Associated", "Refugees", "Volunteers", and "Partisans".

The term Non-Associators was applied to American colonists who refused to support and sign "military association" charters. They were not affiliated with associators, or would choose instead, to pay a fine and suffer possible retaliation. During the American Revolutionary War, some associator units were said to operate more like, or were in fact loose-knit criminal gangs, taking advantage of the disruption of warfare.

The present-day U.S. Army 111th Infantry Regiment Pennsylvania Army National Guard's 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division is nicknamed the "Associators", helping to preserve the volunteer associators' ancestral legacy in Pennsylvania.

Benjamin Shoemaker

Benjamin Shoemaker (3 August 1704 in Germantown, Philadelphia – c.1767 in Philadelphia) was a colonial Pennsylvania Quaker, merchant, and politician. He served as Mayor of Philadelphia in 1743, 1752, and 1760, and as City Treasurer from 1751 to 1767. He also served on the Pennsylvania Provincial Council from 1745 to 1767.His son Samuel Shoemaker served two terms as mayor.

His father, Isaac Schumacher (1669–1732), was born in Heidelberg, Germany and settled in the Province of Pennsylvania.

Colonial colleges

The colonial colleges are nine institutions of higher education chartered in the Thirteen Colonies before the United States of America became a sovereign nation after the American Revolution. These nine have long been considered together, notably in the survey of their origins in the 1907 The Cambridge History of English and American Literature. Seven of the nine colonial colleges are part of the Ivy League athletic conference: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, and Dartmouth. (The eighth member of the Ivy League, Cornell University, was founded in 1865.)

The two colonial colleges not in the Ivy League are now both public universities—the College of William & Mary in Virginia and Rutgers University in New Jersey. William & Mary was a royal (state) institution from 1693 until the American Revolution. Between the Revolution and the American Civil War, William & Mary was a private institution. It suffered significant damage during the Civil War and began to receive public support in the 1880s. William & Mary officially became a public college in 1906. Rutgers was founded as Queens College, named for Queen Charlotte, and was for much of its history privately affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church. It became "The State University of New Jersey" after World War II.

David Lloyd (judge)

David Lloyd (1656 – April 6, 1731) was an American lawyer and politician from Chester, Pennsylvania. He was the first Attorney General of the Province of Pennsylvania and a member of the Popular party. He served in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, including six terms as its Speaker, and as Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Delaware Colony

Delaware Colony in the North American Middle Colonies consisted of land on the west bank of the Delaware River Bay. In the early 17th century the area was inhabited by Lenape and possibly the Assateague tribes of Native Americans. The first European settlers were the Swedes and the Dutch, but the land fell under English control in 1664. William Penn was given the deed to what was then called "the Lower Counties on the Delaware" by the Duke of York, in a deed separate from that which he held for the larger Province of Pennsylvania. Delaware was then governed as part of Pennsylvania from 1682 until 1701, when the Lower Counties petitioned for and were granted an independent colonial legislature, though the two colonies shared the same governor until 1776, when Delaware's assembly voted to break all ties with both Great Britain and Pennsylvania.

Dordrecht Confession of Faith

The Dordrecht Confession of Faith is a statement of religious beliefs adopted by Dutch Mennonite leaders at a meeting in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, on 21 April 1632. Its 18 articles emphasize belief in salvation through Jesus Christ, baptism, nonviolence (non-resistance), withdrawing from, or shunning those who are excommunicated from the Church, feet washing ("a washing of the saints' feet"), and avoidance of taking oaths.

It was an influential part of the Radical Reformation and remains an important religious document to many modern Anabaptist groups such as the Amish. In 1725, Jacob Gottschalk, a Mennonite bishop, met with sixteen other ministers from southeastern Pennsylvania and adopted the Confession. They also wrote the following endorsement, which Gottschalk was the first to sign:

We the hereunder written Servants of the Word of God, and Elders in the Congregation of the People, called Mennonists, in the Province of Pennsylvania, do acknowledge, and herewith make known, that we do own the foregoing Confession, Appendix, and Menno's Excusation, to be according to our Opinion; and also, have took the same to be wholly ours. In Testimony whereof, and that we believe that same to be good, we have here unto Subscribed our Names.

Edward Shippen

Edward Shippen (1639, Methley, North Yorkshire, England – October 2, 1712, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was the second mayor of Philadelphia, although under William Penn's charter of 1701, he was considered the first. He was appointed to a one-year term by William Penn in 1701. In 1702, he was elected to a second one-year term, making him the first elected mayor of Philadelphia. He was also a leader of the Province of Pennsylvania, and served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1699. He also served as the chief executive for the Province of Pennsylvania as the President of the Provincial Council between 1703 and 1704.He first lived in Boston, where, according to family oral history, he was whipped for being a Quaker before being invited by William Penn to move his merchant business to the new city of Philadelphia.

After the sudden death of Deputy Governor Andrew Hamilton in 1703, Shippen, by virtue of being the President of the Provincial Council, became the chief executive of the Province of Pennsylvania. It was during his term that the Lower Three Counties (modern day Delaware) elected their own Assembly and acted in their own interests. These Counties however remained under the Penn Proprietorship and their appointed Deputy Governors until 1776 when Delaware became an independent State.

Jacob Duché Sr.

Colonel Jacob Duché (1708–1788) was a mayor of Philadelphia in the colonial province of Pennsylvania.

Duché was born in Philadelphia, the son of Anthony Duché (d. 1762), a French Huguenot who came with his wife to America in the same ship as William Penn in about 1700. He was appointed a colonel of the militia. He served as mayor of Philadelphia from 1761 to 1762.

He was for many years a vestryman of Christ Church; when the congregation grew too large to be accommodated there, he headed the committee that oversaw the erection of its daughter church, St. Peter's.

James Hamilton (Pennsylvania)

James Hamilton (c.1710 in Accomac County(?), Virginia – 14 August 1783, New York City), son of the well-known American lawyer Andrew Hamilton, was a prominent lawyer and governmental figure in colonial Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. He served as Deputy Governor of the Province from 1748 to 1754 and again from 1759 to 1763.

John Morton (American politician)

John Morton (1725 – April 1, 1777) was a farmer, surveyor, and jurist from the Province of Pennsylvania and a Founding Father of the United States. As a delegate to the Continental Congress during the American Revolution, he was a signatory to the Continental Association and the United States Declaration of Independence. Morton provided the swing vote that allowed Pennsylvania to vote in favor of the United States Declaration of Independence. Morton chaired the committee that wrote the Articles of Confederation.

Jordans, Buckinghamshire

Jordans is a village located in Chalfont St Giles parish in Buckinghamshire, England. It is in the civil parish of Hedgerley. It is a centre for Quakerism. The village is the burial place of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, and so a popular tourist attraction with Americans. It is also the location of the Mayflower Barn, made from ship timbers that some sources have claimed came from the Mayflower. The village has about 245 households and 700 residents, with a nursery, primary school, youth hostel, village hall, and community shop. Of these, 40 houses and cottages and 21 flats are owned and maintained by a non-profit society that manages the village and its amenities.

Kittanning Expedition

The Kittanning Expedition, also known as the Armstrong Expedition or the Battle of Kittanning, was a raid during the French and Indian War that led to the destruction of the American Indian village of Kittanning, which had served as a staging point for attacks by Delaware (Lenape) warriors against colonists in the British Province of Pennsylvania. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Armstrong, this raid deep into hostile territory was the only major expedition carried out by Pennsylvania Provincial troops during a brutal backcountry war. Early on September 8, 1756 they launched a surprise attack on the Indian village.

Middle Colonies

The Middle Colonies were a subset of the thirteen colonies in British America, located between the New England Colonies and the Southern Colonies. Along with the Chesapeake Colonies, this area now roughly makes up the Mid-Atlantic states (though with the notable exception of Vermont, which is reckoned with New England).

Much of the area was part of New Netherland until the British exerted their control over the region. The British captured much of the area in their war with the Dutch around 1664, and the majority of the conquered land became the Province of New York. The Duke of York and the King of England would later grant others ownership of the land which would become the Province of New Jersey and the Province of Pennsylvania. The Delaware Colony later separated from Pennsylvania, which was founded by William Penn.

The Middle Colonies had much fertile soil, which allowed the area to become a major exporter of wheat and other grains. The lumber and shipbuilding industries were successful in the Middle Colonies because of the abundant forests, and Pennsylvania was moderately successful in the textile and iron industries. The Middle Colonies were the most ethnically and religiously diverse British colonies in North America with settlers from England, Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands, and German states. Farm land was both productive and much less expensive than in Europe. Later settlers included members of various Protestant denominations, which were protected in the Middle Colonies by written freedom of religion laws. This tolerance was very unusual and distinct from the situation in other British colonies.

Pennsylvania Provincial Council

The Pennsylvania Provincial Council helped govern the Province of Pennsylvania from 1682 to 1776. The provincial council was based of the English parliamentary system and namely the Upper House or House of Lords. From the Frame of Government of Pennsylvania of 1683, the provincial council consisted of 18 to 72 members from the provinces counties whom held the power to dismiss the General Assembly, ruled in the absence of the Governor or Lieutenant Governor, create courts and make judicial appointments.

Robert Smith (Cabinet member)

Robert Smith (November 3, 1757 – November 26, 1842) was the second United States Secretary of the Navy from 1801 to 1809 and the sixth United States Secretary of State from 1809 to 1811. He was the brother of Senator Samuel Smith.

Smith was born in Lancaster in the Province of Pennsylvania. During the American Revolutionary War, he served in the Continental Army and participated in the Battle of Brandywine. He graduated from Princeton in 1781 and began to practice law in Maryland. Smith became a Presidential Elector in the Electoral College for Maryland in 1789, then a member of the state's senate from 1793 to 1795, and finally a member of Maryland's house of delegates from 1796 to 1800. President Thomas Jefferson appointed him as Secretary of the Navy in July 1801 after William Jones declined the position. On March 2, 1805, the Senate confirmed the appointments of Smith as United States Attorney General and Jacob Crowninshield as Secretary of the Navy. However, Crowninshield declined his appointment, so Smith briefly served as both Attorney General and Secretary of the Navy.

Eventually, President Jefferson appointed John Breckinridge to replace Smith as Attorney General and Smith resumed his role as a full-time Secretary of the Navy. Smith finally left the office of Secretary of the Navy with the end of President Jefferson's administration on March 4, 1809.

Jefferson's successor, President James Madison, immediately appointed Smith as Secretary of State, an office which he held from March 6, 1809, until his forced resignation on April 1, 1811.

Smith was closely allied with his brother, Maryland Senator Samuel Smith. He bitterly opposed Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin. Madison thought he could be his own Secretary of State, but Smith so often pursued opposite policies that Madison finally demanded his resignation. In Madison's April 1811 "Memorandum on Robert Smith" the president offered a laundry list of Smith's shortcomings: he questioned Smith's loyalty; he found Smith's diplomatic correspondence wanting; he had been indiscreet in conversations with the British; and he had opposed the Administration's efforts to secure concessions from Britain and France by limiting trade. Apparently Smith was bewildered by these and other charges leveled by Madison and published an exoneration of himself, "Robert Smith's Address to the People of the United States," an attack on Madison's foreign policy. Madison offered Smith the post of ambassador to Russia, currently then held by John Quincy Adams. Smith considered the offer, but in the end, he refused the post.Smith became the president of the not-yet-fully-organized American Bible Society in 1813. In 1818, he became the founding president of the Maryland Agriculture Society and afterwards retired to a more private life where he enjoyed his wealth. Robert Smith died in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 26, 1842. The USS Robert Smith was named for him.

Township (Pennsylvania)

A Pennsylvania township or township under Pennsylvania laws is one class (with two forms) of the three types of municipalities codified (and commonly found as towns, villages, or hamlets), in Pennsylvania—smaller municipal class legal entities providing local self-government functions in the majority of land areas in the more rural regions. Townships act as the lowest level municipal corporations of governance of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a U.S. state of the United States of America.

However, Pennsylvania townships, in seeming contradiction, often have far larger territorial area than its large cities, boroughs, and towns—because only a relatively few occupants are required to establish the mechanisms of self-government under its constitution. Larger populations are required to progress to first-class townships, boroughs (towns) and cities. Further, that constitution dates to colonial times when most of the province of Pennsylvania was owned by Indians and new counties and new settlements were brought into being with steady regularity, and the first governments defined were very large, nearly county-sized sparsely populated townships.Along with more densely populated boroughs and cities in the state, Pennsylvania townships are generally subordinate to or dependent upon the county level of government to one degree or another. Because of the way the political system progresses community growth and home rule politics under the commonwealth's constitution, it is common to have a township and borough of the same or similar name, generally abutting, and often with the 'town-like' borough partially or wholly surrounded by the remaining (and more rural original) township it has split off from.

For a general in depth overview of townships, see civil townships.

Walking Purchase

The Walking Purchase (or Walking Treaty) was an alleged 1737 agreement between the Penn family, the original proprietors of the Province of Pennsylvania in the colonial era (later the American state of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania after 1776), and the Lenape native Indians (also known as the Delaware Indians). By it the Penn family and proprietors claimed an area of 1,200,000 acres (1.2 million acres - 4,860 km2) along the northern reaches of the Delaware River at the northeastern boundary between the Province of Pennsylvania and the West New Jersey area to the east of the Province of New Jersey (later after the American Revolutionary War [1775-1783], as the State of New Jersey) and forced the Lenape to vacate it. The Lenape appeal to the Iroquois Indian tribe further north for aid on the issue was refused.

In the legal suit / court case of Delaware Nation v. Pennsylvania (2004), the Delaware nation (one of three later federally recognized Lenape tribes) and its descendants in the 21st century claimed 314 acres (1.27 km2) of land included in the original so-called "purchase" in 1737, but the U.S. District Court granted the Commonwealth's motion to dismiss. It ruled that the case was nonjusticiable, although it acknowledged that Indian title appeared to have been extinguished by fraud. This ruling held through several appealed actions made through several levels of the United States courts of appeals. The Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear the case which had the effect of upholding the lower appeals courts' decision.

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