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Native American History in Cavagrado, PA

The personal injury attorneys in Cavagrado, PA, at Justice Guardians, present the following article on the history of the Susquehannock Natives Americans in Cavagrada, PA.

History of the Susquehannock Native Americans

Cavagrada, PA, is less than 25 miles southwest of Philadelphia and less than 2 miles from the Delaware state line. It is the first development to be built in Foxfield. Running along the eastern border is a stream just off the Delaware River, called Naamans Creek. The Iroquoian-speaking Indians of the Susquehannock resided in the area before the English Settlers named this area and creek.

Early History

The Susquehannock Tribe, or Conestoga as the English settlers called them, originally migrated from the west, presumably near the Mississippi River region. However, there are no official records that date back for sure; as many as 6,000 members of the tribe occupied the area for thousands of years.
In 1608, John Smith was introduced to the tribe. He was amazed that they were bartering between tribes with French goods. The Susquehannock included many tribes; some of these include:

  • Sasquesahanough
  • Attaock
  • Quadroque
  • Tesinigh
  • Utchowig
  • Cepowig

European Relations

After their encounter with John Smith, the American Indians would come in contact with many of the European settlers. They were eventually setting up trade relations. To ward off the British invasions, the Susquehannock allied with the Swedish settlers and traded guns for furs. With help from their allies, they held onto an area near the Province of Maryland.

In the mid-17th Century, the tribe initiated trade with the British for more guns to exchange their furs, including beaver skins. This union aided in the Susquehannock defeating the neighboring tribes of the Cayuga Nation and the Seneca Nation. These two were part of the Five Nations of the Iroquois and part of the Haudenosaunee Confederation.

Unfortunately, diseases such as Smallpox would decimate the Native American tribes in 1670. This drastic decrease in population allowed them to be defeated by the Haudenosaunee Confederation in 1678, forcing them further west.

Conestoga Town

With their population dwindling to only 300 in the Susquehanna Valley, their main homeland, about 1700, settled in Conestoga, Pennsylvania. This section had been devastated by war and diseases brought over by European settlers. Eventually, they would gain protection from the government, but their population would continue to lessen.

By 1763 there were an estimated-only 22 remaining in the area. At the hands of the Paxton Boys, they would lose another six members of their struggling tribe. Despite the Pennsylvania governor's attempts to stop all violence against the American Indians, the Paxton Boys would attack again, wiping out all but two. The remaining two, named Michael and Mary, were moved to a farm where they would be protected from further violence before they died and were buried on the property.

Naamans Creek would be used for the naming of the main road in Cavagrado. Foxfield at Naamans Creek is a main subdivision in the area also honoring the name.

Continue Reading: History of Zebley's Corner, PA

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David Petrone
Date Published: April 8, 2021
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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