Pennsylvania and the Iroquois agreed to share control of the Susquehanna Valley, formalizing their alliance in treaties signed in 1701 and 1736. Washington Map Tourist Attractions The Pennsylvania government assumed responsibility for European settlers, missionaries, and traders, and the Iroquois claimed the exclusive right to speak for the various native tribes and nations who settled there.
A host of displaced native peoples the Delaware, surviving Susquehannocks, the Shawnee who had retreated to the Ohio Country, displaced Chesapeake tribes like the Conoy, displaced New England tribes like the Mahican, and a host of smaller bands settled in the Susquehanna Valley under the auspices of the Iroquois and Pennsylvania. In the 1720s, European settlers, mainly German Protestants and Scottish and Irish Presbyterians, began establishing farms and settlements in the lower Susquehanna Valley. Historians have long noted the importance of diversity in colonial Pennsylvania, and the Susquehanna Valley was its most diverse part. Routine meetings to settle issues of trade and land trade might involve representatives from a dozen Native Country nations, mediators and negotiators from Pennsylvania and Iroquois nations, and scores of missionaries, traders, interlopers, and transients.
Often, these meetings would be conducted in five or six languages. At one 1753 meeting, a Shawnee spoke, a Nanticoke translated his words into English, a German missionary then translated the English into German, and two Native Countrys then translated the German into Delaware and Mahican. Meanwhile, an official acting for the Iroquois and the Pennsylvania government, versed in any number of languages, silently observed to ensure that the proceedings accorded with their interests. Conflicting interests, dislike, and distrust often threatened to produce violence between Native Countrys and European settlers. But the diverse peoples of the Susquehanna Valley had shared interests, too, and Iroquois and Pennsylvania officials worked hard to remind them that peace and trade benefited all. Through the 1750s, Pennsylvania and Iroquois negotiators maintained a carefully constructed peace, largely freeing the Susquehanna Valley from the wars and violence that plagued so many other frontiers in British North Country.
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