Digital Paxton: Digital Collection, Critical Edition, and Teaching Platform

Origins of Discontent: The Friendly Association and the Seven Years’ War

Lacking a provincial militia, Pennsylvania relied upon a patchwork of all-volunteer militias. During the Seven Years’ War, Ohio country Indians began attacking frontier settlements in the Pennsylvania and Virginia backcountry.

During the war, Quakers played a central diplomatic role by organizing the Friendly Association, a non-governmental organization that laid the groundwork for the Treaty of Easton in 1758. At Easton, the Pennsylvania government promised to respect the autonomy of Ohio country Indians in return for their cessation of attacks on settlements. The Quakers’ chief ally was Teedyuscung, a Lenape chief who sought to secure his territories in the Wyoming Valley (Wilkes-Barre).

The Friendly Association’s influence was short-lived. After 1758, the Pennsylvania government began negotiating directly with Ohio country Indians, shutting out Teedyuscung, and with him his Quaker allies. Because of the significant visibility of their Indian diplomacy, Quakers raised the ire of some colonists, who increasingly saw all native peoples as enemies.

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