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Chief Woapalanne (died June 1779) — also known as Chief Bald Eagle (the English translation of his name) — was a Lenape (Delaware) Indian tribal leader of mid-18th century central and western Pennsylvania. In his later years, he was said to have frequently traveled to the distant hunting lands of the Monongahela River watershed.[1] He belonged to the Munsee (Wolf) subtribe of the Lenape.

Biography[edit | edit source]

During the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), Woapalanne lead war parties from Bald Eagle's Nest (present day Milesburg, Centre County, Pennsylvania) against white settlements in the West Branch Susquehanna Valley. He reputedly killed James Brady near Williamsport in 1778. He was himself killed in June 1779 by James' elder brother Sam, near Brandy's Bend in present Clarion County, Pennsylvania.

Another, very different, version of Woapalanne's death is described in Alexander Scott Withers' Chronicles of Border Warfare (1831):

The Bald Eagle was an Indian of notoriety, not only among his own nation, but also with the inhabitants of the North Western frontier; with whom he was in the habit of associating and hunting. In one of his visits among them, he was discovered alone by Jacob Scott, William Hacker and Elijah Runner, who, reckless of the consequences murdered him, solely to gratify a most wanton thirst for Indian blood. After the commission of this most outrageous enormity, they seated him in the stern of a canoe, and with a piece of journey-cake thrust into his mouth, set him afloat in the Monongahela. In this situation he was seen descending the river, by several, who supposed him to be as usual, returning from a friendly hunt with the whites in the upper settlements, and who expressed some astonishment that he did not stop to see them. The canoe floating hear to the shore below the mouth of George’s creek, was observed by a Mrs. Province, who had it brought to the bank, and the friendly, but unfortunate old Indian decently buried.[2]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

  • At the entrance of Brandon Park in Williamsport, Pennsylvania is a wooden monument to Woapalanne carved in 1990 by sculptor Peter Wolf Toth.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.westerly-journeys.com/colonial/colopenn.html
  2. Withers, Alexander Scott, Chronicles of Border Warfare, or a History of the Settlement by the Whites, of North-Western Virginia, and of the Indian Wars and Massacres in that section of the State; with Reflections, Anecdotes, &c., Edited and annotated by Reuben Gold Thwaites, with several notes by Lyman Copeland Draper. (Cincinnati: The Robert Clarke Company, or Steward and Kidd Publishers, 1895). Reprinted in 1961 by McClain Printing Company, Parsons, W.Va., ISBN 0-8063-4509-8, pp 135-136.
  3. "Bald Eagle State Park". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/baldeagle/index.htm. Retrieved December 19, 2006. 

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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