As the great Conference was prepared in Easton, Benjamin Franklin was on a mission to London representing the Pennsylvania legislature (whose majority represented many Quaker members) in their ongoing tax dispute with the Penns. Upon instructions from the Legislature, Franklin prepared a brief to the English Privy Counsel on behalf of the Delaware Tribe, attacking the Penn Family’s dealings with the Indians. The objective was to discredit the Penns’ colonial stewardship, and lobby the King to turn Pennsylvania into a royal colony. Franklin’s petition failed, but he did help publicize the Delaware Tribe’s arguments.
In Easton, Teedyuscung’s land fraud complaints were successfully delayed and deflected by the Penn Proprietary interests. Among other things, the Penns’ representatives managed to discredit Teedyuscung’s authority. In particular Teedyuscung, when inebriated, played into the Penns’ hands by making an unfortunate public statement, in which he claimed that he “was King of all the nations of the world and the Six Nations [the Iroquois] were fools.” He urged that the Indians wage war on the colonists periodically, as a means of getting their attention.
Whatever the merits of Teedyuscung’s war strategy, the Iroquois in particular took offense at his claims to represent them, since they had made a major political concession by allowing Teedyuscung (a Delaware Chief) to speak for his own tribe and other Indian peoples who they regarded as Iroquois subjects. Urged on by the Penn Proprietary representatives, they now encouraged the other Indian nations to repudiate Teedyuscung’s leadership. Countervailing attempts by the Quakers to describe Teedyuscung as a “great man” were rejected by both the Iroquois Chiefs and Governor Denny (each in their own languages). On one notable occasion when Teedyuscung rose to speak about the Penn land frauds, each of the other Chiefs (except one ancient Oneida) quietly left, leaving him alone and unsupported at the day’s conference. Thus effectively ended Teedyuscung’s leadership authority, and his land fraud claims as well.
· The land fraud issue was ultimately deferred, by referring it to the British King and his unsympathetic Indian Agent, Sir William Johnson. It was heard at Easton in 1762. After a two-day recess in the case presentations, Teedyuscung rose and stated that his claims were “mistaken”. Immediately afterwards, the Pen