Posted on Facebook March 29 at 7:16 AM (CST)
“In 1783, due to threats of mutiny and lack of protection from the Pennsylvania militia, Continental Congress moved from Philadelphia to the room above in Nassau Hall at Princeton University in NJ.
In 1774 my 6th Great Grandfather, Chief Bartholomew ‘WiltedGrass’ Calvin was on track to be the first Native American to get a Princeton degree. However, the Scottish missionary fund paying his tuition was inactivated by the revolutionary war, and in 1776, he left Princeton and enlisted with Washington’s army where he severed until 1780 when he returned to the Brotherton Community then in New York. This decision was partially made because the Brotherton were the closest Lenape community as the rest of us had by then been pushed to Ohio.
By 1802 the Brotherton Community that was Down to perhaps 80 people so the Brotherton leadership petitioned the NY legislature to allow it to sell the land, to provide funds to move itself to Oneida Lake, New York, with the Stockbridge Mahican tribe, who had been removed from Massachusetts. By 1822, the community unease was so prevalent, the remains of the Brotherton tribe chose to petition New Jersey for its remaining funds from the 1802 land sale, in order to move to the west of the Michigan territory, near what is now Green Bay, Wisconsin.
On March 12, 1832 Chief Wilted Grass Calvin stood and addressed the legislature: “The final act of official intercourse between the State of New Jersey and the Delaware Indians, who once owned near the whole of its territory, has now been consummated and in a manner which must redound to the honor of this growing state. And, in all probability, to the prolongation of a wasted, yet grateful people. Upon this parting occasion, I feel it to be an incumbent duty to bear the feeble tribute of my praise to the high-toned justice which, in this instance, and so far as I am acquainted, in all former times, has actuated the councils of this commonwealth in dealing with the aboriginal inhabitants. Not a drop of our blood have you spilled in battle; not an acre of ground have you taken but by our consent. These facts speak for themselves, and need no comment. They place the character of New Jersey in bold relief and bright example to those states within whose territorial limits our brethren still remain… I fervently pray that God will have [the legislators] in his holy keeping — will guide them in safety through the vicissitables of this life, and ultimately, through the rich mercies of our Blessed Redeemer, receive them into the glorious entertainment of his kingdom above.” The entire room erupted in applause and cheers.
Princeton sits upon Lenapehoking the Homelands of Lenapehok the Lenape people. We are proud to work alongside these powerful leaders!”
Story and Photos by Daniel Strong Walker Thomas