Early History

Indian Hannah

  Hannah was born in 1730 or 1731 to Lenape parents who lived on the property of Quaker William Webb in Kennett Township [now Kennett Square] in Chester County. Her family, which also included a grandmother, two aunts, and two brothers, typically spent winters in their cabins on Webb's property and then moved during the summer months to sites near Brandywine Creek, where they fished and planted corn. As the surrounding area became more densely settled with colonists, the Indians were squeezed out of their summer encampments, and many moved farther inland to the Susquehanna Valley.

European Settlers

When the European settlers arrived, they found the land covered with timber, particularly oak, hickory, walnut, sycamore and poplar.  There was little underbrush, and thick, short grass covered the ground.   The trees were some distance apart; the lower limbs were high above the ground, and a horseback rider could easily ride anywhere through the woods.

Indian History

The first inhabitants arrived perhaps as early as 11,500BC, when nomadic hunters and gatherers roamed the late Ice Age landscape. Theirs was a tough life. They wore skins for protection against the frigid weather, and hunted in migratory bands the big game of the Ice Age.

Early Explorers

The Dutch were the first Europeans in Chester County, in 1616.  The English followed in 1634; the Swedes, in 1638; the Finns, in 1640; and Welsh-Quakers, in 1682.  In the southeastern part of Chester County in the late 1600’s, the English Quakers and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians predominated.