Displaying items by tag: Native Americans

Monday, 27 November 2023 21:14

A Native American Woman

For those of you who use our scrapbook collection, you know we have been working hard to digitize them. Since they are all made from newspaper, the material is falling apart and not repairable. Thanks to volunteers, we have scanned most of these scrapbooks which can now be easily accessed on our computers in the library. Today's blog is about a story from one of those scrapbooks. 

In scrapbook D-5 88, pages 473 to 475, someone wrote an article titled "Ancient Burial Sites in Perkiomen Township". The unknown author appears to have written this article for a local newspaper, but they do not indicate which one or the year it was written. They write about a few burial grounds in and near Perkiomen Township. One in particular caught our attention.

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The Lederach Burial Ground is located near the intersection of Morris Road and Andrews Drive in Lower Salford. At least four members of the Lederach family are known to be buried here, but the author claims more people are buried here in unmarked graves. One of these graves is said to belong to a Native American woman.

The story claims the woman stayed behind when her tribe was pushed out from the area. Being elderly, she likely either could not make the journey or did not want to leave her home. The author claims she was hiding because the custom was to kill the elderly who could not travel, but it is important to note they do not use any evidence to support this claim. Given that the author uses the derogatory word "squaw" to describe the woman, there is reason to question this part of the story in the absence of historical evidence. 

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Anyway, Andreas Zeigler is claimed to have adopted the woman into his family. She spent the rest of her life herding cattle and doing handiwork for the family. When she died (date not mentioned) a Mennonite minister named Henrich Hunsicker gave the sermon at her funeral.

These types of stories are usually passed down through oral histories. Given that the author claims to have spoken with many older residents of the area, it seems likely that an elderly Native American woman resided and is buried in the area. Without any other written evidence of this story, it is hard to tell how accurate each part of the story is. Hopefully some day we will learn more about this woman.


Published in Found in Collection