| Pennsylvania was inhabited
by a number of Native American tribes before the arrival of
the Europeans. The Delawares (or Leni Lanape) were an Algonquian-speaking
tribe that lived at the basin of the Delaware River. This
tribe merged with the Algonquian-speaking Mahicans, a tribe
related to the Mohegans of Connecticut. These Mahicans inhabited
the upper Hudson Valley of New York, and joined up with the
Delawares after being driven from the Hudson Valley area by
settlers. The Connoys and Nanticokes also merged with the
The Susquehannocks were another Algonquian-speaking tribe,
who lived along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and
Maryland. Their population, like many other native tribes
at the time, was devastated by European diseases. Those who
didn't die from disease were killed in 1763 at a Lancaster
County massacre of a small Indian camp.
The Shawnees, again an Algonquian-speaking tribe, came to
Pennsylvania from the west in the 1690s. They settled near
Easton as well as along the Susquehanna River. Gradually,
they began moving back west to the Wyoming and Ohio Valleys
to join other Shawnees. During the French and Indian War the
Shawnees allied with the French, and later during the Revolution,
allianced themselves with the British. Descendants of the
Shawnees now inhabit Oklahoma.
Another tribe, the Eries, lived along the south shore of Lake
Erie until being eradicated by the Iroquois in 1654.
University of California, Santa Barbara
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