Pennamite War

The Pennamite War

      Both the Pennsylvania and Connecticut colonies pur-chased the same land by treaties with the Indians. Connecti-cut sent settlers to the area in 1754. Yankee settlers from Connecticut founded the town of Wilkes-Barre in 1769. Armed bands of Pennsylvanians (Pennamites) tried without success to expel them in 1769-70, and again in 1775. The "wars" were not particularly bloody — in the First Pennamite war, two men from Connecticut were killed and one from Pennsylvania in the course of two years. Pennsylvania foll-owed suit and established a settlement through two lessees, Ogden and Stewart.

      In 1771, Connecticut's claim was confirmed by the King. In 1773, more settlers from Connecticut erected a new town, which they named Westmoreland. However, the Pennsyl-vanians refused to leave, and, in December 1775, the militia of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, actually made an abortive attack on a Connecticut settlement. On July 3, 1778, the infamous Wyoming Massacre occurred, which was an episodic event within the Pennamite-Yankee War period.

      At the end of the American Revolution, conflicts between the two claimants continued, and in 1782, the Continental Congress overturned the English king's ruling and upheld Pennsylvania's claim to the area. But when the state sought to force the Yankees from the land, another Pennamite war ensued, with Connecticut and Vermont sending men to help the settlers. Anger remained until the Pennsylvania Legislature confirmed the various land titles in 1788. The controversy ended in 1799, with the Wyoming Valley becoming part of Pennsylvania, and the Yankee settlers becoming Pennsyl-vanians with legal claims to their land. (109)