The Wyoming Valley Lands

The Wyoming Valley is a resource-rich area located in what is today northeastern Pennsylvania. However, the territory was a hotbed for conflict: it was most notably the site of the Revolution's Battle of Wyoming (pictured below) and a source of contention between Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

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Both states had competing land claims for the area. King Charles II had issued both states royal charters for the area, Conneticut in 1662 and Pennsylvania in 1681.1 Connecticut began to settle the Pennsylvanian-occupied area in 1773 and even sent a peace committee to negotiate ownership of the land, but the Pennsylvanian settlers were unwilling to share the land. They even used force to repel the settlers from Connecticut.2

Tensions came to a boil during multiple skirmishes between settlers from Connecticut and Pennsylvania, collectively called the Yankee-Pennamite Wars. The most notable occurrence was the Battle of Wyoming, where several hundred Loyalists and Native Americans attacked settlers from Connecticut.3

In 1783, rather than the federal congress deciding this matter of land ownership, a court in Trenton was established by the states to rule over the matter. The court decided that the Yankee settlers could stay in the Wyoming Valley lands, but from that point on it would be under the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania.4

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