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Wilted Grass speaks to the legislature of New Jersey

In 1832, Bartholomew S. Calvin (Shawuskukukung - "Wilted Grass") came east as a representative of the "original people." 

He was seventy-six years old, a veteran of the Revolutionary War and Princeton educated.

He lost no time and went straight to the heart of the matter, as he addressed the state legislature.  Hunting and Fishing rights had never been bargained away by the tribe and there was some subtle reference to using the courts. Still, he allowed that the members would look with "an eye of pity" on the plight of the Lenni-Lenape.
The legislature voted "by fair and voluntary purchase and transfer," to pay $2000," as a memorial of kindness and compassion to a once powerful and friendly people.            

In return, Bartholomew on March 12, 1832, wrote the legislature a letter that forever eased the consciences of a state. His most quoted paragraph:

             "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. Naught save benisons can fall upon her from the lips of a Lenni-Lenape."

Having written the letter, he took the $2000 and returned west to what remained of the "Original People."

  • New Jersey
  • 12 Nar 1832

Contributor: DianeinAtlanta
Created: April 15, 2007 · Modified: April 15, 2007

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