“The Crooked Walk”
How The Whites Obtained the Minisink
Region by Dishonesty—The Terrible Results
Early Dutch and Pennsylvanians
lived in harmony with the Indians. William Penn made a treaty which while
he lived was never broken.
In that treaty the Indians agreed to sell to Penn all the land eastward to the Delaware River over which Penn could walk In three days, Commencing where Schulykill River joins the Delaware—Philadelphia of today—Penn and the Indians were to walk northward for three days. The land east to the Delaware was open for settlement to Penn’s followers.
Penn and the Indians walked northward at a leisure paceg stopping to smoke and visit along the way. After walking only one and one-half days, Penn said he had all the land he needed for his settlers
For many years after this event the colonist and Indians were friendly. Then William Penn died and his sons; John,Richard, and Thomas ruled the colony.
They wanted more territory. They told the Indians they were still entitled to the land that could be covered in one and one-half days walk northward according to the treaty their father, William Penn had made with them. The Indians were honest. They kept their word. They agreed.
After the Indians agreed to the balance of the three-day walk, Penn’s sons agents advertised offering five pounds in money and five hundred acres of land to the man who could walk the farthest in one and one-half days.
Arrangements were made with the Indians. On September nineteenth the walk was to begin. They were to start at a chestnut tree above Wrighton, Pennsylvania about fifty miles north of the Schulykill were Penn’s walk had ended,
Many people on horseback gathered to see the walk. The walkers and the Indians were the only ones on foot. The Indians knew the walk should end in the Lehigh Valley. Pann’s sons were determined it would end beyond the rich Minisink Flats.
Three men entered the contest. Edward Marshall, a noted hunter. James Yeates a slim man, a runner, and Solomon Jennings, a large powerful man. One of the Indian observers was called Quambush.
The three men stood with their hands on the chestnut tree. At sunrise the race started. The course of the race had been previously mapped out to the north. People were stationed along the way with refreshments for the walkers, and to urge them on.