Musings of a Philadelphia Physician who has served the community for six decades

Return to Home

Related Topics

Connecticut Invades Pennsylvania!
The rest of the world fights wars about national grievances, both recent and long past. Meanwhile, Connecticut once waged a serious war with Pennsylvania, and we don't even remember it.

The First Pennamite War (1769-1771)

{The Wyoming Valley Massacre}
The Wyoming Valley Massacre

Things seemed peaceful in the Wyoming Valley for half a dozen years after the massacre, so Connecticut settlers slowly drifted back. This time, the people who didn't like poachers were the Proprietors of Pennsylvania. The Penn's were no longer Quakers, did not control the State Government, and in fact were often in conflict with the Pennsylvania Quakers who had bought their land. They had to act as private citizens in their effort to expel the Connecticut poachers, which in this case meant calling Sheriff Jennings to evict them. Since everyone on the frontier in those days was armed and ready to fight, Jennings brought along a band of soldiers, led by Captain Amos Ogden.

On five different occasions, with escalating casualties, Jennings would arrest the settlers and take them before a judge in Easton, while Ogden stayed behind and burned the cabins and farm buildings to the ground, following which a somewhat larger group of Connecticut Yankees would return to the Wyoming Valley. By 1771, the Connecticut squatters had grown too numerous to be intimidated easily, and were militarily organized under an effective soldier, Zebulon Butler. Butler's men surrounded the handful of Pennsylvania soldiers in a fort under Ogden. At that point, Ogden briefly became a hero.

Seeing that reinforcements would be necessary, Ogden stripped naked, wrapped his clothes in a bundle around some sticks, and tied his hat on top. Tying a rope to the bundle, he floated down the river while the Connecticut sharpshooters peppered his hat with holes. Luckily, their aim was excellent, and Ogden escaped without being hit by a stray bullet. Off to Philadelphia for reinforcements.

Unfortunately, when Ogden and two hundred soldiers returned, Zebulon Butler ambushed them. In those days of honorable combat, Ogden was set free in recognition of his derringer-do, but only on condition that he promised never to return. The Connecticut group was thus left in possession of the valley, and can fairly be said to have won the first war.


I feel like it was much different back then, then now because they said in how the people were acting and its much different now. It seems like the Quakers were in controll a lot of the time over everyone else .
Posted by: Elvira    |   Nov 26, 2012 10:57 PM

Please Let Us Know What You Think

(HTML tags provide better formatting)

Because of robot spam we ask you to confirm your comment: we will send you an email containing a link to click. We apologize for this inconvenience but this ensures the quality of the comments. (Your email will not be displayed.)
Thank you.