25 Dec 2009

Gambling is not indigenous.

No sign of British fort at casino-site dig

Archaeologists working at the SugarHouse casino site between Fishtown and Northern Liberties have concluded their field work without finding any trace of a Revolutionary-era British fort, a casino spokeswoman said yesterday.

But the abundance of Native American relics unearthed during the dig, some dating back 3,000 years, has drawn the interest of a New Jersey band of the Leni-Lenape Indians.

Casino spokeswoman Leigh Whitaker said archaeologists from A.D. Marble & Co. of Conshohocken found "thousands of artifacts," ranging from Indian artifacts to fragments of pottery.

"The field work is complete," Whitaker said. "The next step is for our archaeologists to catalog all the items that they did find."

The Sand Hill Band of the Lenape has made an official request to Gov. Rendell to view the artifacts.

"We thought what they would mostly find would be colonial things," said Chester Shadow Walker Robinson, a Cherokee chief from New Jersey. "We know there was a Lenape burial ground in that area." He said that if there were any human remains, "we'd like to reclaim them for proper burials."

Laura Zucker, a spokeswoman for the Sand Hill band, said the descendants of the Lenape also have asked the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission if they could inspect the items. Under an agreement with SugarHouse, the commission will eventually take possession of the relics.

"We want to see if there are any ancestral relics or items of antiquity, and sit down to discuss what will become of them," Zucker said.

Whitaker said many of the Native American items were stone fragments from tool-building. Many were found near an ancient hearth on the 22-acre site, between Northern Liberties and Fishtown on Delaware Avenue.

Historians say ancient trails that were heavily used by tribes - which became Frankford and Germantown Avenues - ended near the waterfront. Before the arrival of European settlers, tribes would encamp on the Delaware to fish and hunt, returning to inland settlements in the winter, said Ken Milano, a Kensington historian.

The absence of any evidence of the British redoubt from 1777 has disappointed local historians, who pressured SugarHouse to look for it. SugarHouse released an early archaeological report in 2007 that made no mention of the fort. Neighborhood experts produced 18th-century maps pinpointing the fort to a location under what became Penn Street.

Whitaker said archaeologists looked for evidence of the small fort on Dec. 3 and 4. She said archaeologists found that the area had been "highly disturbed," perhaps when utility lines were installed decades ago.


(emphasis added by me)

William Penn was greatly interested in the Indians and even before coming to America, he had established a policy of making honest agreements of peace and consent with the Indians. King Charles II had made Penn the absolute owner of the entire province, but Penn did not agree with the king that "the savages" had no more right to the land than did squirrels and rabbits.

In 1862 Penn arrived in America and quickly made it his business to get to know the Indians well. He even learned to speak the Lenape language and liked the melody of its words. The Indians called him Miquon, the word for quill in their language or Brother Onas, using the Iroquois word. Penn entered into cordial negotiations with more than twenty sachems because no single leader could speak for the Lenape people and that is how Penn got to know Tamanend.


In May 1863 Penn mounted his white horse and rode north to an Indian village called Perkasie, the present site of Silverdale in Hilltown Township, Bucks County. There Tamanend and his son, Yaqueekhon, received Penn with great hospitality at a feast of venison, roasted acorns, and boiled hominy. A short vigorous man of 39, Penn joined the young men in leaping and dancing to Indian singing and the beating of drums.

Penn began by winning the trust of the Indians for his purpose of establishing a league of peace and amity. Then he laid the groundwork for buying tracts of land. He wanted to make sure that all Indian claims to land were settled before he would take the next steps of surveying parcels of land and selling them to European immigrants. And Penn reserved to himself exclusive rights; no settler was permitted to buy land from the Indians as they did across the river in New Jersey.

Penn's ideas of land as property for exclusive and personal use and the Indian concepts of the land as our mother were worlds apart. Furthermore Tamanend's people knew nothing about the English legal system of written deeds of sale and legal title to permanent land ownership.

For Europeans personal ownership of land was an intense and lifelong concern. The possibility of owning a big tract of of land was the magic of America. Buying land was the way for a European to gain personal liberty, to accumulate wealth and status, and to insure security in old age.

The Lenape Indians, however, already had liberty and security in their communal society where individual wealth was of little importance. To sell land was as incomprehensible to Tamanend as it would be to sell a bushel of tomorrow's sunshine.


“Perhaps more than anyone else, the Native American community faces huge challenges that have been ignored by Washington for too long. It is time to empower Native Americans in the development of the national policy agenda.” President Obama

“We’ve got to make sure we are not just having a BIA that is dealing with the various Native American tribes; we’ve got to have the President of the United States meeting on a regular basis with the Native American leadership and ensuring relationships of dignity and respect.” President Obama, Elko, NV, January 18, 2008

Beautiful Babylon Babies Unite !!!

This Blog existed after Bush II "the lesser" stole 2 elections, before Google ate Blogger,

This Blog existed after Bush II "the lesser" stole 2 elections, before Google ate Blogger,
Love Trumps hate.

Hits of the Month

Poetic HyperLinks Defeating the Impossibilities of Peace

Also sprach Zarathustra to the brothasistahs lost out in the woods…
Rolling stones and hurricanes prime us for the rapid eye movement of whose dream?
A stairway to the dark side of the moon reveals an orchestrated King
singing the blues while sexual pistols whip Jesus’ son.
Who’s influence weens us?
Me and my friends gratefully raged against the machine for three days
in the shadow of the valley of the dead
so big brother and company held us down while the wind cried
nothing to be gained here (except copied rights),
Then a questing tribe of beastly boys found a digable plant
where a buffalo soldier picked up a Gideon’s bible from the Godfather
in joe’s garage (or was it in one of 200 motels?)
Anyway, on a Holiday, the pinball wizard boy (Billie)
followed his heart and stopped pretending he was the king of the little plastic castles
while education, missed in the house of the naked apes, evolved and mutated
into and with ~ Nature Art Love Truth ~ and we do too…
And somewhere over the rainbow dancing fools send clowns and purple rain
into imagine nations where everything is now sacred
and there are no more public enemies or rusted Roots or minor threats
or bad brains or busted rhymes or widespread panic
and everyone can read the hieroglyphics on the wall
and we are all refugees of courtney’s love attaining nirvana….
But then again, you’re so vain, you probly think this poem’s about you-
we are everywhere and we cannot be beaten
it’s all over now baby blue, all we need is Love
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