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Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

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Wilkes-Barre is the county seat Luzerne County.

History

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilkes-Barre,_Pennsylvania''

By the 18th century, the Wyoming Valley was inhabited by the Shawnee and Delaware Indian (Lenape) tribes. In 1753, the Susquehanna Company was founded in Connecticut for settling the Wyoming Valley (in modern-day Pennsylvania). Connecticut succeeded in purchasing the land from the Native Americans; however, Pennsylvania already claimed the very same territory through a purchase they made in 1736. In 1762, roughly two hundred Connecticut settlers (Yankees) established a settlement near Mill Creek. They planted wheat and constructed log cabins. The Yankees returned to New England for the winter.

The Connecticut settlers returned in the spring of 1763 with their families and additional supplies. A party of Iroquois also visited the area with the dual purpose of turning the Delaware (Lenape) against the colonists and killing Teedyuscung, a local Delaware chief. On April 19, 1763, the residence of the chief, along with several others, was set ablaze. Chief Teedyuscung perished in the inferno. The Iroquois let the Delaware believe that this atrocity was committed by the settlers. As a result, the Delaware attacked the colonists on October 15, 1763. Thirty settlers were killed, and several others were taken prisoner. Those who managed to escape fled back to New England. The Delaware then burned what was left of the Yankee settlement.

In 1769, the Yankees returned to the Wyoming Valley. Five townships were established by Connecticut. Each one was five square miles and divided amongst forty settlers. Wilkes-Barre Township was one of the original townships; it was named in honor of John Wilkes and Isaac Barré — two British members of Parliament who supported colonial America. Pennsylvanians (Pennamites) also arrived in the valley that same year.

The Connecticut settlers established Fort Durkee, which was named in honor of their leader (Colonel Durkee). This was immediately followed by a series of skirmishes between the Pennsylvanians and Connecticut settlers. The land changed hands several times between the two groups. The Congress of the Confederation was asked to resolve the matter. With the Decree of Trenton, on December 30, 1782, the confederation government officially decided that the region belonged to Pennsylvania; the Wyoming Valley became part of Northumberland County.

Pennsylvania ruled that the Connecticut settlers (Yankees) were not citizens of the Commonwealth. Therefore, they could not vote and were ordered to give up their property claims. In May 1784, armed men from Pennsylvania force-marched the Connecticut settlers away from the valley. By November, the Yankees returned with a greater force. They captured and destroyed Fort Dickinson in Wilkes-Barre. With that victory, a new state (which was separate from both Connecticut and Pennsylvania) was proposed. The new state was to be named Westmoreland. To ensure that they didn't lose the land, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania worked out a compromise with the Connecticut (Yankee) settlers. The Yankee settlers would become citizens of Pennsylvania and their property claims would be restored (prior to the Decree of Trenton). As part of the compromise, Pennsylvania would establish a new county in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Yankees agreed to the terms.

On September 25, 1786, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a resolution which created Luzerne County. It was formed from a section of Northumberland County and named after Chevalier de la Luzerne, a French soldier and diplomat during the 18th century. Wilkes-Barre became the seat of government for the new territory. This resolution ended the idea of creating a new state.

In 1797, several decades after the community's founding, Louis Philippe, later the King of France from 1830 to 1840, stayed in Wilkes-Barre while traveling to the French Asylum settlement.

Wilkes-Barre's population skyrocketed due to the discovery of anthracite coal in the 19th century. In 1808, Judge Jesse Fell of Wilkes-Barre discovered a solution to ignite anthracite with the usage of an iron grate; it allowed for the coal to light and burn easier. This invention increased the popularity of anthracite as a fuel source. This led to the expansion of the coal industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania; Wilkes-Barre was nicknamed "The Diamond City" due to its high productivity of mining coal.

Throughout the 1800s, canals and railroads were constructed to aid in the mining and transportation of coal. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants flocked to the city; they were seeking jobs in the numerous mines and collieries that sprang up throughout the region. In 1806, Wilkes-Barre Borough was formed from a segment of Wilkes-Barre Township; it was later incorporated as a city in 1871. This was the direct result of the population boom. At its peak, Wilkes-Barre had a population of over 86,000 in the 1930s and 40s.

New industries were established and the Vulcan Iron Works was a well-known manufacturer of railway locomotives from 1849 to 1954. During Wilkes-Barre's reign as an industrial and economic force in America, several major companies and franchises became based in the city, such as Woolworth's, Sterling Hotels, Miner's Bank, Bell Telephone, Luzerne National Bank, and Stegmaier.

Wilkes-Barre is located within Pennsylvania’s Coal Region. The anthracite coal mining industry, and its extensive use of child labor in the early 20th century, was one of the industries targeted by the National Child Labor Committee and its hired photographer, Lewis Hine. Many of Hine's subjects were photographed in the mines and coal fields near Wilkes-Barre. The impact of the Hine photographs led to the enactment of child labor laws across the country.

The coal industry continued despite several disasters, including an explosion at Wilkes-Barre's Baltimore Colliery in 1919, which killed 92 miners. The industry declined when the United States switched to other energy sources, and most coal operations had left Wilkes-Barre by the end of World War II. The 1959 Knox Mine Disaster, resulting in the flooding of numerous mines, marked the end of large-scale coal mining in the area. Industrial restructuring also caused the city to lose jobs and begin a decades-long decline.

In 1926, Planters Peanuts Company was founded in Wilkes-Barre by two Italian immigrants. The company maintained its headquarters in the city until 1961.

In 1929, baseball player Babe Ruth hit one of the longest home runs in history at Artillery Park in Wilkes-Barre.

In November 1972, 365 subscribers of Service Electric Cable were the first to receive HBO's premium cable television service, making Wilkes-Barre the birthplace of modern cable TV programming.

Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming_Valley

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocono_Mountains

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endless_Mountains

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehigh_Valley

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susquehanna_River

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knox_Mine_disaster

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawnee

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenape

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iroquois

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Dickinson

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Westmoreland

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthracite

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan_Iron_Works

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_Brewery,_Inc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_Region

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_Mine_Tunnel_Disaster

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planters

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artillery_Park_(baseball)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Agnes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Sterling