Newton Lake – Part of the 1768 Fort Stanwix Treaty

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Lackawanna County was created in 1878. It resides in the lands of the November 5, 1768 Treaty at Fort Stanwix, commonly call the “New Purchase”, which extend from the northeast corner to the southwest corner of the Commonwealth.

As mentioned in a previous blog post the lands around Newton Lake, in Greenfield Township have a rich history. Prior to William Penn’s 1681 Charter from King Charles II the lands of Northeastern Pennsylvania were home to the Iroquois (Six Nations) and the Lenape (Delaware Nation) Indians. The Treaty at Fort Stanwix, in present-day Rome, New York settled land claims between the Six Nations and William Penn’s family. The Pennsylvania lands acquired from the Six Nations in 1768 was known as the New Purchase. The final portion of the Line of Property, called the Purchase line, was fixed in 1773 by representatives from the Six Nations and the Pennsylvania colony. They finalized the deal at a spot called Canoe Place at the confluence of West Branch of the Susquehanna River and Cush Cushion Creek in what is now Cherry Tree, Pennsylvania.

During the decades of the 18th century, most Lenape were pushed out of their homeland by expanding European colonies. The American Revolutionary War and United States’ independence pushed them farther west. In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma and surrounding territory) under the Indian removal policy.

As the colony of Pennsylvania was being settled, the lands around Newton Lake were originally part of Northhampton County. In 1786 Luzerne County was formed with Greenfield Township, formed in 1816, as part of it’s territory. Lackawanna County, with the lands around Newton Lake at its northern edge, was formed formed in 1878, nearly 200 years after William Penn’s Charter.