Historical Markers
Frederick Post Historical Marker
Mouse over for marker text

Frederick Post

Pittsburgh Region


Marker Location:
Pa. 18 and 108 S. of New Castle

Dedication Date:
August 1, 1968

Behind the Marker

"By this Belt I make a Road for you, and invite you to come to Philadelphia to your Old Council Fire."

-Message carried by Christian Frederick Post to the Ohio Indians, 1758

Oil on canvas of Frederick Post and Native Americans.
Robert Griffing, Post and King Beaver, 1997.

At a time when Indian and white worlds in Pennsylvania threatened each other with destruction, Christian Frederick Post and Pisquetomen, a Delaware headman and interpreter, played central roles in mediating between the warring camps. While these intercultural diplomats could not turn back the clock on the destruction wrought by the French and Indian War, they did help restore peace, at least for a time, on Pennsylvania's embattled frontier.

Post was born in Prussia in 1710, and he came to Pennsylvania with the Moravian migration that established Bethlehem in the early 1740s. The Moravians were a German Protestant religious sect committed to communal living and missionary activity among Africans and Indians in the New World. Post initially undertook his missionary work among Indians living in the Hudson Valley and western Connecticut. When the local colonists in those regions grew intolerant of the Moravians and their converts, Post and his fellow believers moved to a missionary village on the Lehigh River.

Post earned the respect and trust of his Indian neighbors by learning their language and customs. He was also married twice to Indian women, the first time to a Wampanoag during his New England ministry and the second time to a Delaware in Pennsylvania.

He emerged as a significant figure in Pennsylvania's Indian relations during the French and Indian War, when Governor William Denny relied on him as a diplomatic emissary to the western Delaware Indians. During the eventful year of 1758, as the British general John Forbes launched a major expedition against the French at Fort Duquesne, Denny sent Post on several missions to the Indians living in the Wyoming and Allegheny Valleys. Post was accompanied by Pisquetomen, a Delaware of considerable influence who had grown up in eastern Pennsylvania but moved west with many of his kinsmen some time during the 1740s.
This painting by Robert Griffing shows a Cherokee with the Forbes expedition scouting Fort Duquesne.
Scouting for the English, by Robert Griffing, 2000.

Both men put themselves at considerable risk from colonial and native enemies when they traveled through Pennsylvania to carry news of the Easton Treaty to Indians living in the Allegheny Valley. The Ohio Indians were angry with the Iroquois, who had sold Delaware lands in eastern Pennsylvania to the Penn family and suppressed Delaware objections to such sales at treaty conferences in Lancaster and Easton. At places such as markerKuskuskies Towns where many Delaware now lived, Post and Pisquetomen delivered marker Governor Denny's offer to resume peaceful relations with the Ohio Indians if they would agree to remain neutral as Forbes approached Fort Duquesne. Post and Pisquetomen also carried back to Philadelphia marker speeches from the western Indians warning that war would resume if the British did not evacuate the Ohio country after removing the French.

Post continued to work as an agent for the Pennsylvania government until 1761, at which point he moved to the Muskingum River valley in Ohio to resume the Moravians' missionary work among the Delaware. Gradually, however, he distanced himself from the Moravians' work among the Ohio Indians. When his second wife died, some Delaware expected him to marry another Indian woman, but he declined. Instead, Post took two missionary trips to the Mosquito Coast of Central America. Toward the end of his life, he left the Moravians for the Episcopal Church and settled near Philadelphia. He died in Germantown in 1785. The spiritual heirs of his missionary work among the Delaware includedmarkerDavid Zeisberger and markerJohn Heckewelder, Moravians who lived among the Ohio Indians after the American Revolution.
Back to Top