On Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at Lower Merion Academy, Jean Soderlund will discuss her new book Lenape Country: Delaware Valley Society before William Penn, which reveals that the ideals of Delaware Valley society—commitment to personal freedom, religious liberty, peaceful resolution of conflict, and opposition to hierarchical government—began with the Lenapes prior to the founding of Pennsylvania in 1681. Unlike Natives in Virginia and New England, the Lenapes preserved their sovereignty and power. By using targeted violence such as the destruction of the Dutch Swanendael colony in 1631 then forming alliances with the Dutch, Swedes, and Finns, the Lenapes fostered a culture of personal freedom in which trade could prevail.
Jean R. Soderlund is a Professor of History at Lehigh University. Her previous books include Quakers and Slavery: A Divided Spirit and (with Gary B. Nash) Freedom by Degrees: Emancipation in Pennsylvania and Its Aftermath.
Picture courtesy of Lower Merion Conservancy
506 Bryn Mawr Avenue
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004