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Shamokin (; Saponi Algonquian Schahamokink, meaning "place of eels") (Lenape Indian language: Shahëmokink ) is a city in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, surrounded by Coal Township at the western edge of the Anthracite Coal Region in central Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River Valley. It was named after a Saponi Indian village, Schahamokink. At the 2010 decennial United States Census, the population was 7,374, approximately half what it was in 1950.
The first human settlement of Shamokin was probably Shawnee natives migrants. A large population of Delaware Indians (also known as the Lenapes) were also forcibly resettled there in the early 18th century after they lost rights to their land in the "Walking Purchase" (also known as the "Walking Treaty") along the eastern border of the colonial Province of Pennsylvania in the upper northern reaches of the Delaware River in 1737. Canasatego of the Six Nations, enforcing the Walking Purchase on behalf of George Thomas, Deputy Governor of Pennsylvania (1738-1747), ordered the Delaware Indians to go to two places on the Susquehanna River.
The city of present-day Shamokin was founded as a village by colonists in 1773, but did not develop much until the following 19th century. The discovery of anthracite coal resources in the region, known as "hard coal," became the basis of much industry. Railroad companies, such as Reading Railroad, bought interests in coal and became major employers of the area, building railroads to ship coal to markets and controlling most jobs. Workers gradually organized into unions to develop means of bargaining with these powerful companies.
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