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Escape to the Lakes: A Story of NY Refugees from the Yankee-Pennamite Wars

July 22nd, 2022

The Yankee-Pennamite wars of the late 1700s, involved territorial disputes between Connecticut Yankees, local Pennsylvanians, and the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) in Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley. In 1788, a band of young Yankee ruffians abducted Pennsylvania official Timothy Pickering, holding him hostage for 19 days. Several of the kidnappers escaped to the Finger Lakes region of New York, settling here. They included Kathleen’s ancestors, Solomon and Daniel Earl, as well as several other families. Presenter Kathleen Earle speaks about the conflict, early colonial life, and the men who escaped to the lakes. (May 2022)

One response to “Escape to the Lakes: A Story of NY Refugees from the Yankee-Pennamite Wars”

  1. “Sam” says:

    I was fascinated by your lecture, and so glad that I stumbled onto it. I did learn some very interesting details that I will look up. But you are right history has a lot to do with your point of you and how the people you are investigating experienced that history. I’ve been doing similar research as that that you described. My family were victims of the Wyoming valley massacre and were those Yankees you talked about so casually. Three of the men in my family actually two men and a boy were carried off. One of them died while in captivity and the other , the leader of my family came home so six that he didn’t last long after the end of the revolutionary war when he was freed. The youngest of them came home only after seven years of captivity. He was unable to speak English until he spent some time going back to school. My grandmother and her remaining six children escaped through the swamps and the mountains up one of the old Indian trails to Goshen New York, where they sought refuge. They lost everything. They read it out the war and dodged the Cherry Valley massacre in the process. Soon my grandfather was returned home to the family. Were they waited in Goshen. Eventually their son was returned to them. Because he knew the customs and the languages of the various tribes, having been treated about buy them during his captivity was called service by Washington’s first administration as an interpreter at the Pickering treaty negotiations in Canadigua New York. He served as an Indian agent for the rest of his life. The tribes were grateful for his service to him during the negotiations, where he translated for red jacket. They gave him and the other translator to square miles on the Niagara river. Members of the tribe and leaders of the times were regular visitors to our family home. my uncle traveled with quaker leaders along the Great Lakes, assessing the health and welfare of the tribes. And even in captivity, my uncle, who died nursed, not only those who kept him captive but also members of the tribes. Very different picture than the one you painted of those Yankees, that you were so cavalier and describing. I was not amused. There are indeed two sides, and not all Yankees hated Indians.

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