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Penn’s sontricks tribe

Dec 7, 2004 6:51 AM

Concern over land taking by government is nothing new. Just ask the Delaware Tribe of Indians that is looking to have 315 acres of Pennsylvania land returned to them.

Seems that back in the Colonial days, tribal leaders made a deal with the son of William Penn to turn over to the Colonists title to as much Indian land as they could cover in a day-and-a-half walk.

Crafty and a bit unscrupulous, Thomas Penn then had workers clear paths through the forest and hired the fastest runners he could find to cover as much ground as possible. When the "walk" was over, the Indians found to their dismay that they had lost 1,200 square miles.

With the hope of building a casino near the community of Easton, Pa., the Indians sued to have their land returned. No such luck.

Last week, a judge ruled that "as vile" as the outcome was, Penn was the sovereign power of the area, at the time, and had the "sweeping authority" to dump the original landowners and there was nothing their descendants could do about it.

The tribe said it will appeal.