PLANTING: EARLIER INHABITANTS AND NEW SETTLERS
The idea for Pennsylvania was English, born in the mind of William Penn. The colonists whom he encouraged brought with them Old World notions, which would have a determinative effect on how they settled into place. But they were not the first arrivals. Penn's wilderness laboratory was already populated, though sparsely, by aborigines and transplanted Europeans, who had to be acknowledged and dealt with.
For twelve to eighteen thousand years Pennsylvania had been inhabited by Indians. In the seventeenth century there were Lenni Lenape, or Delawares, living on or near the river of that name; Susquehannocks farther west in the Susquehanna River basin; tribes on the upper Ohio and its tributaries; and Eries on the shores of the easternmost Great Lake. Their culture was that of the late stages of the Stone Age. The Indians had a mature agricultural economy, based primarily on the cultivation of corn. Tribes traded with one another, sometimes over long distances. Although hunting was on the decline, animals were still brought in for food and clothing. There was no livestock, since there were no domesticable animals. Gathered together as farmers in villages, the Indians developed a political life. Social relations among them were characterized by restraint, and religious ritual showed a sophisticated imagination. Nevertheless, though the population was increasing, villages were not cities; sporadic trade was not an established commerce; and that hallmark of advanced civilization, a written language, had not yet been
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Colonial Pennsylvania:A History. Contributors: Joseph E. Illick - Author. Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1976. Page number: 22.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.