"The Fair Play Men were illegal settlers (squatters) who established their own system of self-rule from 1773 to 1785 in the West Branch Susquehanna River valley of Pennsylvania in what is now the United States. Because they settled in territory claimed by Native Americans, they had no recourse to the Pennsylvania colonial government. Accordingly they established what was 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."
The Fair Play Settlers
of the West Branch Valley,
A Study of Frontier Ethnography
History of Lycoming County Pennsylvania
edited by John F. Meginness; ©1892