Piatt Township, Pennsylvania

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Piatt Township (pronounced /ˈpaɪ.ət/) is a township in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The population was 1,259 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Piatt Township was formed from part of Mifflin Township by the Pennsylvania General Assembly on April 30, 1857. The new township encompassed what was the southermost part of Mifflin Township. Piatt Township is named for William Piatt who has an associate judge in Lycoming County when the township was created.[3]

When colonial settlers first arrived in what is now Piatt Township they were outside the western boundary of what was then the Province of Pennsylvania. These settlers were not under the jurisiction or protection of any type from any of the Thirteen Colonies. They became known as the Fair Play Men. These men established their own form of government, known as the "Fair Play System", with three elected commissioners who ruled on land claims and other issues for the group. In a remarkable coincidence, the Fair Play Men made their own Declaration of Independence from Britain on July 4, 1776 beneath the "Tiadaghton Elm" on the banks of Pine Creek.

In the American Revolutionary War, settlements throughout the Susquehanna valley, including Piatt Township, were attacked by Loyalists and Native Americans allied with the British. After the Wyoming Valley battle and massacre in the summer of 1778 (near what is now Wilkes-Barre) and smaller local attacks, the "Big Runaway" occurred throughout the West Branch Susquehanna valley. Settlers fled feared and actual attacks by the British and their allies. Homes and fields were abandoned, with livestock driven along and a few possessions floated on rafts on the river east to Muncy, then further south to Sunbury. The abandoned property was burnt by the attackers. Some settlers soon returned, only to flee again in the summer of 1779 in the "Little Runaway". Sullivan's Expedition helped stabilize the area and encouraged resettlement, which continued after the war.

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