Leni lenape

Lenape peoples of North America
Total population
Estimated 16,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( Oklahoma) 11,195 (2010)[2]
Languages
English, Munsee, and Unami[1]
Religion
Christianity, Native American Church,
traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
Other Lenape and Algonquian peoples

The Lenape /ləˈnɑːpi/ are Native American peoples now living in Canada and the United States.[4] They are also called Delaware Indians, or the Delaware Nation[5] after their historic territory along the frequently mountainous landscapes flanking the Delaware River watershed.[notes 1] As a result of disruptions and political will of the white population following the American Revolutionary War and later developments such as the oft-voiced attitudes later termed manifest destiny, which in part led to the Indian removals from the eastern United States, the main groups now live in Ontario (Canada), Wisconsin, and Oklahoma.[6]

The Lenape kinship system was traditionally organized by clans determined by matrilineal descent. That is, children were considered to belong to the mother's clan, where they gained their social status and identity. The mother's eldest brother was more significant as a mentor to the boy children than was their father, who was of another clan. Hereditary leadership passed through the maternal line, and women elders could remove leaders of whom they disapproved. Traditionally, the Lenape had no concept of landed property. But clans had use rights. Agricultural land was managed by women and allotted according to the subsistence needs of their extended families. Matrilocal residence further enhanced the position of women in society. A young married couple would live with the woman's family, where her mother and sisters could also assist her with her growing family.

Early colonial era

At the time of sustained European contact in the 16th centuries and 17th centuries, the Lenape were a powerful Native American nation who inhabited a region on the mid-Atlantic coast spanning the latitudes of southern Massachusetts to the southern extent of Delaware in what anthropologists call the Northeastern Woodlands.[7] Although never politically unified, the confederation of the Delaware roughly encompassed the area around and between the Delaware and lower Hudson rivers, and included the western part of Long Island in present-day New York.[8] Some of their place names, such as Manhattan, Raritan, and Tappan were adopted by Dutch and English colonists to identify the Lenape people that lived there. Based on the historical record of the mid-seventeenth century, it has been estimated that most Lenape polities consisted of several hundred people[9] but it is conceivable that some had been considerably larger prior to close contact, given the wars between the Susquehannocks and the Iroquois,[5] both of whom were armed by the Dutch fur traders,[5] whilst the Lenape were at odds with the Dutch and so lost that particular arms race.[5]

Further, even regions at a long distance from European settlement, such as Iroquoia in upstate New York and Indian villages in central Pennsylvania, had been reported to be devastated by smallpox by the 1640s,[10] but others have pointed out the Lenape and Susquehannocks fought a war in the middle of the seventeenth century that left the Delaware a tributary state even as the Susquehannocks had defeated the Province of Maryland between 1642-50s,[11]

Most modern Lenape are native English speakers. In the seventeenth century, the Lenape spoke three closely related dialects: Unami, Munsee and Unalachtigo, which are collectively known as the Delaware languages. They have been classified by linguists as belonging to the Eastern Algonquian language group. The term "Algonquian" is occasionally used as a label for people who spoke languages of this group, but the distinct peoples in this large language family otherwise had little in common. Due to aggressive European expansion and the resulting migrations, population losses, and political reorganization, Lenape languages had converged by the mid-eighteenth century. Unami and Munsee were now the most dominant.[12] Another hundred years of forced migrations left the languages vulnerable.[13] They hardly survived the U.S. Indian policies of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.[14] Various people made efforts to revive or at least document Unami and Munsee in the late twentieth century.[15]

At the time of European contact, the Lenape practiced agriculture, mostly companion planting. The women cultivated many varieties of the "Three Sisters:" corn, beans, and squash. The men also practiced hunting and the harvesting of seafood. The people were primarily sedentary rather than nomadic; they moved to seasonal campsites for particular purposes such as fishing and hunting. European settlers and traders from the seventeenth-century colonies of New Netherland and New Sweden traded with the Lenape for agricultural products, mainly maize, in exchange for iron tools. Lenapes also arranged contacts between Minquas or Northern Iroquoians and the Dutch and Swedish West India companies to promote the fur trade. The Lenape were major producers of wampum or shell beads, which they traditionally used for ritual purposes and as ornaments. After the Dutch arrival, they began to exchange wampum for beaver furs provided by Iroquoian-speaking Susquehannock and other Minquas. They exchanged these furs for Dutch and, from the late 1630s, also Swedish imports. Relations between some Lenape and Minqua polities briefly turned sore in the late 1620s and early 1630s, but were relatively peaceful most of the time.[16]

Most Lenape were pushed out of their homeland by expanding European colonies during the eighteenth century after undergoing a debilitating weakening from Indian-on-Indian conflicts.[5] Lenape polities were weakened by newly introduced diseases, mainly smallpox, and European violence. Iroquoian polities occasionally contributed to the process. The surviving Lenape reorganized their polities and moved west into the upper Ohio River basin. The American Revolutionary War and U.S. independence pushed them further west. In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Oklahoma Territory under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape now reside in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, with some communities living also in Kansas, Wisconsin, Ontario (Canada), and in their traditional homelands.

Name

Lenni Lenape means "Human Beings" or the "Real People" or "Original People" in the Unami language.[1] Their (autonym) is also spelled Lennape or Lenapi, meaning "the people." The term "Delaware" was used by the English, who named the people for their territory by the Delaware River. They named the river in honor of Lord De La Warr, the governor of the colony at Jamestown, Virginia.[1] The English colonists used the exonym "Delaware" for almost all the Lenape people living along this river and its tributaries.

Society


The area of Lenape settlement, which they called Scheyichbi (see: Unami language), encompassed the lower Hudson River Valley and the Delaware Valley, with the area in between—what are now known as the U.S. state of New Jersey; eastern Pennsylvania around the Delaware and Lehigh valleys; the north shore of Delaware; and much of southeastern New York, particularly the lower Hudson Valley, Upper New York Bay, Staten Island and western Long Island. Bands often identified themselves[dubious ] by their geographic locations. The Lenape spoke two related languages in the Algonquian subfamily, collectively known as the Delaware languages: Munsee in the northern areas and Unami and a variation of Unami, Unalichtigo, in the southern areas.[8]

Early Indian "tribes" are better understood as language groups, rather than as "nations". At the time of first European contact, a Lenape individual would likely have identified primarily with his or her immediate family and clan, friends, and/or village unit; then with surrounding and familiar village units; next with more distant neighbors who spoke the same dialect; and ultimately, with all those in the surrounding area who spoke mutually comprehensible languages, including the Mahican. Among many Algonquian peoples along the East Coast, the Lenape were considered the "grandfathers" from whom other Algonquian peoples originated. Consequently, in inter-tribal councils, the Lenape were given respect as one would to elders.

Those of a different language stock – such as the Iroquois (or, in the Lenape language, the Minqua) – were regarded as foreign. As in the case of the Iroquois, the animosity of difference and competition spanned many generations, and different language tribes became traditional enemies. Ethnicity seems to have mattered little to the Lenape and many other "tribes". Archaeological excavations have found Lenape burials that included identifiably ethnic Iroquois remains interred along with those of Lenape. The two groups were bitter enemies since before recorded history, but intermarriage occurred. In addition, both tribes practiced adopting young captives from warfare into their tribes and assimilating them as full tribal members.

Overlaying these relationships was a phratry system, a division into clans. Clan membership was matrilineal; children inherited membership in a clan from their mother. On reaching adulthood, a Lenape traditionally married outside the clan, a practice known by ethnographers as, "exogamy". The practice effectively prevented inbreeding, even among individuals whose kinship was obscure or unknown.

Early Europeans who first wrote about Indians found matrilineal social organization to be unfamiliar and perplexing. Because of this, Europeans often tried to interpret Lenape society through more familiar European arrangements. As a result, the early records are full of clues about early Lenape society, but were usually written by observers who did not fully understand what they were seeing. For example, a man's maternal uncle (his mother's brother), and not his father, was usually considered to be his closest male ancestor, since his uncle belonged to his mother's clan and his father belonged to a different one. The maternal uncle played a more prominent role in the lives of his sister's children than did the father. Early European chroniclers did not understand this concept.

The band assigned land of their common territory to a particular clan for hunting, fishing, and cultivation. Individual private ownership of land was unknown, as the land belonged to the clan collectively while they inhabited it, but women often had rights to traditional areas for cultivation.[19] Clans lived in fixed settlements, using the surrounding areas for communal hunting and planting until the land was exhausted. In a common practice known as "agricultural shifting", the group then moved to found a new settlement within their territory.

The Lenape practiced large-scale agriculture to augment a mobile hunter-gatherer society in the regions around the Delaware River, the lower Hudson River, and western Long Island Sound. The Lenape were largely a sedentary people who occupied campsites seasonally, which gave them relatively easy access to the small game that inhabited the region: fish, birds, shellfish and deer. They developed sophisticated techniques of hunting and managing their resources.

By the time of the arrival of Europeans, the Lenape were cultivating fields of vegetation through the slash and burn technique.[20][21][22][23][24][25] This extended the productive life of planted fields. They also harvested vast quantities of fish and shellfish from the bays of the area,[26] and, in southern New Jersey, harvested clams year-round.[27] The success of these methods allowed the tribe to maintain a larger population than nomadic hunter-gatherers could support. Scholars have estimated that at the time of European settlement, there may have been about 15,000 Lenape total in approximately 80 settlement sites around much of the New York City area, alone.[28] In 1524 Lenape in canoes met Giovanni da Verrazzano, the first European explorer to enter New York Harbor.

The early European settlers, especially the Dutch and Swedes, were surprised at the Lenape's skill in fashioning clothing from natural materials. In hot weather both men and women wore only loin cloth and skirt respectively, while they used beaver pelts or bear skins to serve as winter mantles. Additionally, both sexes might wear buckskin leggings and moccasins in cold weather.[29] Deer hair, dyed a deep scarlet, was a favorite component of headdresses and breast ornaments for males.[30] The Lenape also adorned themselves with various ornaments made of stone, shell, animal teeth, and claws. The women often wore headbands of dyed deer hair or wampum. They painted their skin skirts or decorated them with porcupine quills. These skirts were so elaborately appointed that, when seen from a distance, they reminded Dutch settlers of fine European lace.[31] The winter cloaks of the women were striking, fashioned entirely from the iridescent body feathers of wild turkeys.[32]

History

European contact

The first recorded contact with Europeans and people presumed to have been the Lenape was in 1524. The explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano was greeted by local Lenape who came by canoe, after his ship entered what is now called Lower New York Bay.

The early interaction between the Lenape and Dutch traders in the 17th century was primarily through the fur trade, specifically, the Lenape trapped and traded beaver pelts for European-made goods. According to Dutch settler Isaac de Rasieres, who observed the Lenape in 1628, the Lenape's primary crop was maize, which they planted in March. They quickly adopted European metal tools for this task.

In May, the Lenape planted kidney beans near the maize plants; the latter served as props for the climbing bean vines. They also planted squash, whose broad leaves cut down on weeds and conserved moisture in the soil. The women devoted their summers to field work and harvested the crops in August. Women cultivated varieties of maize, squash and beans, and did most of the field work, processing and cooking of food.

The men limited their agricultural labor to clearing the field and breaking the soil. They primarily hunted and fished during the rest of the year. Dutch settler David de Vries, who stayed in the area from 1634 to 1644, described a Lenape hunt in the valley of the Achinigeu-hach (or "Ackingsah-sack," the Hackensack River), in which one hundred or more men stood in a line many paces from each other, beating thigh bones on their palms to drive animals to the river, where they could be killed easily. Other methods of hunting included lassoing and drowning deer, as well as forming a circle around prey and setting the brush on fire.

17th century

New Amsterdam was founded in 1624 by the Dutch in what would later become New York City. Dutch settlers also founded a colony at present-day Lewes, Delaware on June 3, 1631 and named it Zwaanendael (Swan Valley).[33] The colony had a short life, as in 1632 a local band of Lenape killed the 32 Dutch settlers after a misunderstanding escalated over Lenape defacement of the insignia of the Dutch West India Company.[34] In 1634, the Iroquoian-speaking Susquehannock went to war with the Lenape over access to trade with the Dutch at New Amsterdam. They defeated the Lenape, and some scholars believe that the Lenape may have become tributaries to the Susquehannock.[35] After the warfare, the Lenape referred to the Susquehannock as "uncles." The Iroquois added the Lenape to the Covenant Chain in 1676; the Lenape were tributary to the Five Nations (later Six) until 1753, shortly before the outbreak of the French and Indian War (a part of the Seven Years War in Europe).

The Lenape's quick adoption of trade goods, and their need to trap furs to meet high European demand, resulted in their disastrous over-harvesting of the beaver population in the lower Hudson Valley. With the fur sources exhausted, the Dutch shifted their operations to present-day upstate New York. The Lenape who produced wampum in the vicinity of Manhattan Island temporarily forestalled the negative effects of the decline in trade.[36] Lenape population fell sharply during this period, due to high fatalities from epidemics of infectious diseases carried by Europeans, such as measles and smallpox, to which they had no natural immunity, as the diseases had arisen on the Asian continent and moved west into Europe, where they had become endemic in the cities.

The Lenape had a culture in which the clan and family controlled property. Europeans often tried to contract for land with the tribal chiefs, confusing their culture with that of neighboring tribes such as the Iroquois. The Lenape would petition for grievances on the basis that not all their families had been recognized in the transaction (not that they wanted to "share" the land).[37] After the Dutch arrival in the 1620s, the Lenape were successful in restricting Dutch settlement until the 1660s to Pavonia in present-day Jersey City along the Hudson. The Dutch finally established a garrison at Bergen, which allowed settlement west of the Hudson within the province of New Netherland. This land was purchased from the Lenape after the fact.[37]

In 1682, William Penn and Quaker colonists created the English colony of Pennsylvania beginning at the lower Delaware River. A peace treaty was negotiated between the newly arriving English and Lenape at what is now known as Penn Treaty Park. In the decades immediately following, some 20,000 new colonists arrived in the region, putting pressure on Lenape settlements and hunting grounds. Although Penn endeavored to live peaceably with the Lenape and to create a colony that would do the same, he also expected his authority and that of the colonial government to take precedence. His new colony effectively displaced many  Lenape and forced others to adapt to new cultural demands. Penn gained a reputation for benevolence and tolerance, but his efforts resulted in more effective colonization of the ancestral Lenape homeland than previous ones.[38]

18th century

William Penn died in 1718. His heirs, John and Thomas Penn, and their agents were running the colony, and had abandoned many of the elder Penn's practices. Trying to raise money, they contemplated ways to sell Lenape land to colonial settlers. The resulting scheme culminated in the so-called Walking Purchase. In the mid-1730s, colonial administrators produced a draft of a land deed dating to the 1680s. William Penn had approached several leaders of Lenape polities in the lower Delaware to discuss land sales further north. Since the land in question did not belong to their polities, the talks came to nothing. But colonial administrators had prepared the draft that resurfaced in the 1730s. The Penns and their supporters tried to present this draft as a legitimate deed. Lenape leaders in the lower Delaware refused to accept it.

What followed was a "convoluted sequence of deception, fraud, and extortion orchestrated by the Pennsylvania government that is commonly known as the Walking Purchase."[39] In the end, all Lenape who still lived on the Delaware were driven off the remnants of their homeland under threats of violence. Some Lenape polities eventually retaliated by attacking Pennsylvania settlements. When they fought British colonial expansion to a standstill at the height of the Seven Years' War, the British government investigated the causes of Lenape resentment. The British asked William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to lead the investigation. Johnson had become wealthy as a trader and acquired thousands of acres of land in the Mohawk River Valley from the Iroquois Mohawk of New York.[39]

Beginning in the 18th century, the Moravian Church established missions among the Lenape.[40] The Moravians required the Christian converts to share their pacifism, as well as to live in a structured and European-style mission village.[41] Moravian pacifism and unwillingness to take loyalty oaths caused conflicts with British authorities, who were seeking aid against the French and their Native American allies during the French and Indian War (Seven Years War). The Moravians' insistence on Christian Lenapes' abandoning traditional warfare practices alienated mission populations from other Lenape and Native American groups, who revered warriors. The Moravians accompanied Lenape relocations to Ohio and Canada, continuing their missionary work. The Moravian Lenape who settled permanently in Ontario after the American Revolutionary War were sometimes referred to as "Christian Munsee", as they mostly spoke the Munsee branch of the Delaware language.

During the French and Indian War, the Lenape initially sided with the French, as they hoped to prevent further British colonial encroachment in their territory. But, such leaders as Teedyuscung in the east and Tamaqua in the vicinity of modern Pittsburgh shifted to building alliances with the English. After the end of the war, however, Anglo-American settlers continued to kill Lenape, often to such an extent that the historian Amy Schutt writes the dead since the wars outnumbered those killed during the war.[42]

The Treaty of Easton, signed in 1758 between the Lenape and the Anglo-American colonists, required the Lenape to move westward, out of present-day New York and New Jersey and into Pennsylvania, then Ohio and beyond. Sporadically they continued to raid European-American settlers from far outside the area.

In 1763 Bill Hickman, Lenape, warned English colonists in the Juniata River region of an impending attack. Many Lenape joined in Pontiac's War, and were numerous among those Native Americans who besieged Pittsburgh.[43] In April 1763 Teedyuscung was killed when his home was burned. His son Captain Bull responded by attacking settlers from New England who had migrated to the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania. The settlers had been sponsored by the Susquehanna Company.[44]

The Lenape were the first Indian tribe to enter into a treaty with the new United States government, with the Treaty of Fort Pitt signed in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War. By then living mostly in the Ohio Country, the Lenape supplied the Continental Army with warriors and scouts in exchange for food supplies and security.

Displacements

Further information: Lenape settlements

After the signing of the Treaty of Easton in 1758, the Lenape were forced to move west out of their native lands into what is today known as Ohio, although not everyone went.[45]

During the American Revolution, the Munsee-speaking Lenape (then called Delaware) bands of the Ohio Country were deeply divided over which side, if any, to take in the conflict. Their bands lived in numerous villages around their main village of Coshocton.[46] At the time of the Revolutionary War, the Lenape villages lay between the western frontier strongholds of the British and the Patriots: the American colonists had Fort Pitt (present-day Pittsburgh) and the British with Indian allies controlled the area of Fort Detroit (in present-day Michigan).

Some Lenape decided to take up arms against the American colonials and moved to the west, closer to Detroit, where they settled on the Scioto and Sandusky rivers. Those Lenape sympathetic to the United States remained at Coshocton, and leaders signed the Treaty of Fort Pitt (1778) with the Americans. Through this, the Lenape hoped to establish the Ohio Country as a state inhabited exclusively by Native Americans, as part of the new United States. A third group of Lenape, many of them converted Christian Munsees, lived in several mission villages run by Moravians. (They spoke the Munsee branch of Delaware, an Algonquian language.)

White Eyes, the Lenape chief who had negotiated the treaty, died in 1778. Many Lenape at Coshocton eventually joined the war against the Americans. In response, Colonel Daniel Brodhead led an expedition out of Fort Pitt and on 19 April 1781 destroyed Coshocton. Surviving residents fled to the north. Colonel Brodhead convinced the militia to leave the Lenape at the Moravian mission villages unmolested, since they were unarmed non-combatants.

Brodhead's having to restrain the militia from attacking the Moravian villages was a reflection of the brutal nature of frontier warfare. Violence had escalated on both sides. Relations between regular Continental Army officers from the East (such as Brodhead) and western militia were frequently strained. The tensions were worsened by the American government's policy of recruiting some Indian tribes as allies in the war. Western militiamen, many of whom had lost friends and family in Indian raids against settlers' encroachment, blamed all Indians for the acts of some.

During the early 1770s, missionaries, including David Zeisberger and John Heckewelder, arrived in the Ohio Country near the Delaware villages. The Moravian Church sent these men to convert the natives to Christianity. The missionaries established several missions, including Gnadenhutten, Lichtenau, and Schoenbrunn. The missionaries asked that the natives forsake all of their traditional customs and ways of life. Many Delaware did adopt Christianity, but others refused to do so. The Delaware became a divided people during the 1770s, including in Killbuck's family. Killbuck resented his grandfather for allowing the Moravians to remain in the Ohio Country. The Moravians believed in pacifism, and Killbuck believed that every convert to the Moravians deprived the Delaware of a warrior to stop further white settlement of their land.

During the French and Indian War, Killbuck assisted the English against their French enemy. In 1761, Killbuck led an English supply train from Fort Pitt to Fort Sandusky. The British paid him one dollar per day. Later Killbuck became a leader in a very dangerous time for the Delaware. The American Revolution had just begun, and Killbuck found his people caught between the English in the West and the Americans in the East. At the war's beginning, Killbuck and many Delaware claimed to be neutral. In 1778, Killbuck permitted American soldiers to traverse Delaware territory so that the soldiers could attack Fort Detroit. In return, Killbuck requested that the Americans build a fort near the natives' major village of Coshocton to provide the Delaware with protection from English attacks. The Americans agreed and built Fort Laurens, which they garrisoned.

Other Indian groups, especially the Wyandot, the Mingo, the Munsee, the Shawnee, and the Wolf Clan of the Delaware, favored the British. They believed that by their proclamation of 1763, restricting Anglo-American settlement to east of the Appalachian Mountains, that the British would help them preserve a Native American territory. The British planned to attack Fort Laurens in early 1779 and demanded that the neutral Delawares formally side with the British. Killbuck warned the Americans of the planned attack. His actions helped save the fort, but the Americans abandoned it in August 1779. The Delaware had lost their protectors and, in theory, faced attacks from the British, their native allies, and the American settlers who flooded into the area in the late 1770s and early 1780s after the war. Most Delaware formally joined the British after the American withdrawal from Fort Laurens.

Facing pressure from the British, the Americans, and even his fellow natives, Killbuck hoped a policy of neutrality would save his people from destruction. It did not.

19th century

The amateur anthropologist Silas Wood published a book claiming that there were several American Indian tribes that were distinct to Long Island, New York. He collectively called them the Metoac. Modern scientific scholarship has shown that two linguistic groups representing two Algonquian cultural identities lived on the island, not "13 individual tribes" as asserted by Wood. The bands to the west were Lenape. Those to the east were more related culturally to the Algonquian tribes of New England across Long Island Sound, such as the Pequot.[47][48] Wood (and earlier settlers) often misinterpreted the Indian use of place names for identity as indicating their names for "tribes."

Over a period of 176 years, European settlers progressively crowded the Lenape out of the East Coast and Ohio, and pressed them to move further west. Most members of the Munsee-language branch of the Lenape left the United States after the British were defeated in the American Revolutionary War. Their descendants live on three Indian reserves in Western Ontario, Canada. They are descendants of those Lenape of Ohio Country who sided with the British during the Revolutionary War. The largest reserve is at Moraviantown, Ontario, where the Turtle Clan settled in 1792 following the war.

Two groups migrated to Oneida County, New York by 1802, the Brotherton Indians of New Jersey and the Stockbridge-Munsee. After 1819, they removed to Wisconsin, under pressure from state and local governments.

Indiana to Missouri

By the Treaty of St. Mary’s, signed October 3, 1818 in St. Mary's, Ohio, the Delaware ceded their lands in Indiana for lands west of the Mississippi and an annuity of $4,000. Over the next few years, the Delaware settled on the James River in Missouri near its confluence with Wilson Creek, occupying eventually about 40,000 acres (160 km2) of the approximately 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) allotted to them.[49] Anderson, Indiana is named after Chief William Anderson, whose father was Swedish. The Delaware Village in Indiana was called Anderson's Town, while the Delaware Village in Missouri on the James River was often called Anderson’s Village. The tribes' cabins and cornfields were spread out along the James River and Wilson Creek.[50]

Role in western history

Many Delaware participated in exploration of the western United States, working as trappers with the mountain men, and as guides and hunters for wagon trains. They served as army guides and scouts in events such as the Second Seminole War, Frémont's expeditions, and the conquest of California during the Mexican-American War.[51][52][53] Occasionally, they played surprising roles as Indian allies.[54]

Sagundai accompanied one of Frémont's expeditions as one of his Delaware guides. From California, Fremont needed to communicate with Senator Benton. Sagundai volunteered to carry the message through some 2,200 kilometres of hostile territory. He took many scalps in this adventure, including that of a Comanche with a particularly fine horse, who had outrun both Sagundai and the other Comanche. Sagundai was thrown when his horse stepped into a prairie-dog hole, but avoided the Comanche's lance, shot the warrior dead, and caught his horse and escaped the other Comanche. When Sagundai returned to his own people in present-day Kansas, they celebrated his exploits with the last war and scalp dances of their history. These were held at Edwardsville, Kansas.[55]

Kansas reservation

By the terms of the "Treaty of the James Fork" made September 24, 1829 and ratified by the US Senate in 1830, the Delaware were forced to move further west. They were granted lands in Indian Territory in exchange for lands on the James Fork of the White River in Missouri. These lands, in what is now Kansas, were west of the Missouri and north of the Kansas River. The main reserve consisted of about 1,000,000 acres (4,000 km2) with an additional "outlet" strip 10 miles (16 km) wide extending to the west.[56][57][58]

In 1854 Congress passed the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which created the Territory of Kansas and opened the area for white settlement. It also authorized negotiation with Indian tribes regarding removal. The Delaware were reluctant to negotiate for yet another relocation, but they feared serious trouble with white settlers, and conflict developed.

As the Delaware were not considered United States citizens, they had no access to the courts, and no way to enforce their property rights. The United States Army was to enforce their rights to reservation land after the Indian Agent had both posted a public notice warning trespassers and served written notice on them, a process generally considered onerous. Major B.F. Robinson, the Indian Agent appointed in 1855, did his best, but could not control the hundreds of white trespassers who stole stock, cut timber, and built houses and squatted on Delaware lands. By 1860 the Delaware had reached consensus to leave Kansas, which was in accord with the government's Indian removal policy.[59]

Oklahoma

The main body of Lenape arrived in the northeast region of Oklahoma in the 1860s. As a result of the multiple removals, each leaving some Delaware who chose to stay in place, recognized tribes of Lenape descendants are located today in New Jersey, Wisconsin and southwest Oklahoma.

The two largest groups are the Delaware Nation (Anadarko, Oklahoma), and the Delaware Tribe of Indians (Bartlesville, Oklahoma), the only two federally recognized Lenape (Delaware) tribes in the United States.[60] The Oklahoma branches were established in 1867. The Delaware were required to purchase land from the reservation of the Cherokee Nation; they made two payments totaling $438,000. A court dispute followed over whether the sale included rights for the Delaware as citizens within the Cherokee Nation.

While the dispute was unsettled, the Curtis Act of 1898 dissolved tribal governments and ordered the allotment of communal tribal lands to individual households of members of tribes. After the lands were allotted in 160-acre (650,000 m²) lots to tribal members in 1907, the government sold "surplus" land to non-Indians. The relatively arid land was not suitable for subsistence farming on such small plots.

Texas

The Delaware migrated into Texas in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Elements of the Delaware migrated from Missouri into Texas around 1820, settling around the Red River and Sabine River. The Delaware were peaceful and shared their territory in Spanish Texas with the Caddo and other immigrating bands, as well as with the Spanish and ever-increasing American population. This peaceful trend continued after Mexico won their independence from Spain in 1821.[61]
In 1828, Mexican General Manuel de Mier y Terán made an inspection of eastern Mexican Texas and estimated that the region housed between 150 to 200 Delaware families. The Delaware requested Mier y Terán to issue them land grants and send teachers, so they might learn to read and write the Spanish language. The General, impressed with how well they had adapted to the Mexican culture, sent their request to Mexico City, but the authorities never granted the Delaware any legal titles.
The situation changed when the Texas Revolution began in 1835. Texas officials were eager to gain the support of the Texas tribes to their side and offered to recognize their land claims by sending three commissioners to negotiate a treaty. A treaty was agreed upon in February 1836 which mapped the boundaries of Indian lands; but, this agreement was never officially ratified by the Texas government.[61]
  • Texas Republic

The Delaware remained friendly after Texas won its independence. Republic of Texas President, Sam Houston favored a policy of peaceful relations with all tribes. He sought the services of the friendly Delaware and in 1837 enlisted several Delaware to protect the frontier from hostile western tribes. Delaware scouts joined with Texas Rangers as they patrolled the western frontier. Houston also tried to get the Delaware land claims recognized but his efforts were only met by opposition.

The next Texan President, Mirabeau B. Lamar, completely opposed all Indians. He considered them as illegal intruders who threatened the settlers safety and lands and issued an order for their removal from Texas. The Delaware were sent north of the Red River into Indian Territory, however, a few scattered Delawares remained in Texas.

In 1841, Houston was reelected to a second term as president and his peaceful Indian policy was then reinstated. A treaty with the remaining Delaware and a few other tribes was negotiated in 1843 at Fort Bird and the Delaware were enlisted to help him make peace with the Comanche. Delaware scouts and their families were allowed to settle along the Brazos and Bosque rivers in order to influence the Comanche to come to the Texas government for a peace conference. The plan was successful and the Delaware helped bring the Comanches to a treaty council in 1844.[61]

  • State of Texas

In 1845, the Republic of Texas agreed to annexation by the US to become an American State. The Delaware continued their peaceful policy with the Americans and served as interpreters, scouts and diplomats for the US Army and the Indian Bureau. In 1847, John Meusebach was assisted by Jim Shaw (Delaware), in settling the German communities in the Texas Hill Country. For the remainder of his life, Shaw worked as a military scout in West Texas. In 1848, John Conner (Delaware) guided the Chihuahua-El Paso Expedition and was granted a league of land by a special act of the Texas legislature in 1853. The expeditions of the map maker Randolph B. Marcy through West Texas in 1849, 1852, and 1854 were guided by Black Beaver (Delaware).

In 1854, despite the history of peaceful relations, the last of the Texas Delaware were moved by the American government to the Brazos Indian Reservation near Graham, Texas. In 1859 the US forced the remaining Delaware to remove from Texas to a location on the Washita River in the vicinity of present Anadarko, Oklahoma.[61]

20th century

In 1979, the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs revoked the tribal status of the Delaware living among Cherokee in Oklahoma. They began to count the Delaware as Cherokee. The Delaware had this decision overturned in 1996, when they were recognized by the federal government as a separate tribal nation.

21st century

The Cherokee Nation filed suit to overturn the independent federal recognition of the Delaware. The tribe lost federal recognition in a 2004 court ruling in favor of the Cherokee Nation, but regained it on 28 July 2009.[62] After recognition, the tribe reorganized under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act. Members approved a constitution and by laws in a May 26, 2009 vote. Jerry Douglas was elected as tribal chief.[60]

In 2004, the Delaware Nation filed suit against Pennsylvania in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, seeking to reclaim 315 acres (1.27 km2) included in the 1737 Walking Purchase to build a casino. In the suit titled "The Deleware Nation v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" the plaintiffs acting as the successor in interest and political continuation of the Lenni Lenape and of Lenape Chief “Moses” Tundy Tatamy, claimed aboriginal and fee title to the 315 acres of land located in Forks Township in Northampton County, near the town of Tatamy, Pennsylvania. After the Walking Purchase, Chief Tatamy was granted legal permission for him and his family to remain on this parcel of land, known as “Tatamy's Place". In addition to suing the state, the tribe also sued the township, the county and elected officials, including Gov. Ed Rendell.

The court held that the justness of the extinguishment of aboriginal title is nonjusticiable, including in the case of fraud. Because the extinguishment occurred prior to the passage of the first Indian Nonintercourse Act in 1790, that Act did not avail the Delaware.

As a result the court granted the Commonwealth's motion to dismiss. In its conclusion the court stated: ... we find that the Delaware Nation's aboriginal rights to Tatamy's Place were extinguished in 1737 and that, later, fee title to the land was granted to Chief Tatamy-not to the tribe as a collectivity.[63]

Contemporary tribes and organizations

Federally recognized groups

Three Lenape tribes are federally recognized in the United States. They are as follows:

Canadian First Nations

The Canadian Lenape left the United States in the late 1700s following the American Revolutionary War and settled in what is now Ontario. Consequently, Canada recognizes three Lenape First Nations (with four Indian reserves); they are located in Southwestern Ontario:

Eastern United States

New Jersey has two state recognized tribes, who are in part Lenape: the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indians of New Jersey and Ramapough Lenape Nation.[64] In Delaware, the Lenape are organized and state-recognized as the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware.[65]

Some Lenape or Delaware live in communities known as Urban Indians in their historic homeland in a number of states such as Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia. A small town, Lenni Lenape, NJ, is located in New Jersey between Princton and Trenton, along US Route 1. New York City and Philadelphia are known to have some Lenape residents.

  • New Jersey Lenni Lenape National Empire

Central United States

Some Lenape live within the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and others live in diaspora across the country. Large communities of Lenape descendants live in the vicinities of Bartlesville, Oklahoma and Anadarko, Oklahoma. Additionally, over a dozen unrecognized tribes claim Lenape descent. Unrecognized Lenape organizations in Colorado, Idaho, and Kansas have petitioned the United States federal government for recognition.[66]

Currently

In Canada, they are enrolled in the Munsee-Delaware Nation 1, the Moravian of the Thames First Nation, and the Delaware of Six Nations. In the United States, they are enrolled in three federally recognized tribes, that is, the Delaware Nation and the Delaware Tribe of Indians, both located in Oklahoma, and the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, located in Wisconsin. In Delaware, they are organized and state-recognized as the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware.[67] The Ramapough Mountain Indians and the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape identify as Lenape descendants and are recognized as tribes by the state of New Jersey.[68]

Literature and popular culture

The Delaware feature prominently in The Last of the Mohicans and the other Leatherstocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper. The Boy Scouts of America honor society, Order of the Arrow was inspired by their interpretation of Lenape culture and language.

The Walam Olum, which purported to be an account of the Delaware's migration to the lands around the Delaware River, emerged through the works of Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in the 19th century. For many decades, scholars believed it was genuine. In the 1980s and 1990s, newer textual analysis suggested it was a hoax.[69][70]

In Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, the group of American scalphunters are aided by an unspecified number of Delaware, who serve as scouts and guides through the western deserts. In The Light in the Forest, True Son is adopted by a band of Lenape.

In Mark Raymond Harrington's 1938 novel, The Indians of New Jersey: Dickon among the Lenapes, a group of Lenape find a shipwrecked English boy. His gradual integration into the tribe provides a study of Lenape life, society, weaponry, and beliefs. The book includes a glossary for Lenape terms. Trouble's Daughter: The Story of Susanna Hutchinson, Indian Captive is a young adult novel of a fictional kidnapping by the Lenape Turtle Clan of a daughter of Anne Hutchinson, the religious reformer and founder of the Rhode Island colony. Moon of Two Dark Horses is a novel of the friendship between a white settler and a Lenape boy at the time of the Revolutionary War. Standing in the Light, The Captive Diary of Catherine Carey Logan, part of the Dear America series of fictional diaries, is a novel by Mary Pope Osborne. It tells the story of the capture of a teenage girl and her brother by a band of Lenape, and the youths' assimilation into Lenape culture.

Peter Lindestrom's Geographia America with an Account of the Delaware Indians is one of the few sympathetic contemporary accounts of Lenape life in the lower Delaware River valley during the 17th century.

Moravian missionary John Heckewelder published a sympathetic account of the Lenape in exile in the Ohio Valley. His account, published in 1818, provides some alternate Lenape tribal history disputing the tributary relationship with the Susquehannock. "Scouts of '76: a tale of the revolutionary war", a 1924 book by Charles E. Willis, contains an account of the contributions of the Lenni Lenape to the American Revolution when they lived in the area of Lake Wawayanda.

The television series Warehouse 13 featured a magical "cloak of the Lenape people" in one episode.

Notable Lenape people

See also

Notes

  1. portions of Western Connecticut upto the latitude of the Massachusetts corner of today's boundaries the eastern bounds of their influence, thence their region extended:
  2. westerly past the region around Albany, NY to the Susquehanna River side of the Catskills, then
  3. southerly through the eastern Poconos outside the rival Susquehannock lands past Eastern Pennsylvania then southerly past the site of Colonial Philadelphia past the west bank mouth of the Delaware and extending south from that point along a stretch of sea coast in northern colonial Delaware.

The Susquehanna-Delaware watershed divides bound the frequently contested 'hunting grounds' between the rival Susquehannock peoples and the Lenape peoples, whilst the Catskills and Berkshires played a similar boundary role in the northern regions of their original colonial era range.

Footnotes

References

  • Burrows, Edward G. and Wallace, Mike, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1989 Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-19-514049-4.
  • Dreibelbis, Dana E., "The Use of Microstructural Growth Patterns of Mercenaria Mercenaria to Determine the Prehistoric Seasons of Harvest at Tuckerton Midden, Tuckerton, New Jersey," thesis, Princeton University, 1978.
  • Jennings, Francis, The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire, 2000. ISBN 0-393-01719-2
  • Kurlansky, Mark. The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2007. ISBN 978-0-345-47639-5
  • Mitchell, S. H. . Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1895.
  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1.
  • Spady, James. ". Daniel K. Richter and William A. Pencak, eds. Friends and Enemies in Penn's Woods: Indians, Colonists, and the Racial Construction of Pennsylvania. University Park, PA: PSU Press, 2004: 18–40.
  • Vansina, Jan. ISBN 0-85255-007-3.
  • Weslager, C.A. The Delaware Indians: A History. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1972. ISBN 0-8135-0702-2.

Further reading

  • Adams, Richard Calmit, The Delaware Indians, a brief history, Hope Farm Press (Saugerties, NY 1995) [originally published by Government Printing Office, (Washington, DC 1909)]
  • Bierhorst, John. The White Deer and Other Stories Told by the Lenape. New York: W. Morrow, 1995. ISBN 0-688-12900-5
  • Brown, James W. and Rita T. Kohn, eds. ISBN 978-0-253-34968-2. Indiana University Press (2007).
  • Kraft, Herbert C., The Lenape: archaeology, history and ethnography, New Jersey Historical Society, (Newark, NJ 1986)
  • Kraft, Herbert C. The Lenape-Delaware Indian Heritage: 10,000 B.C. to A.D. 2000. Stanhope, NJ: Lenape Books, 2001.
  • O'Meara, John, Delaware-English / English-Delaware dictionary, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, 1996) ISBN 0-8020-0670-1.
  • Otto, Paul, The Dutch-Munsee Encounter in America: The Struggle for Sovereignty in the Hudson Valley (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006). ISBN 1-57181-672-0
  • Pritchard, Evan T., Native New Yorkers: The Legacy of the Algonquin People of New York. Council Oak Books: San Francisco, 2002, 2007. ISBN 1-57178-107-2.
  • Richter, Conrad, The Light In The Forest, (New York, NY 1953).

External links

  • Lenni Lenape Historical Society
  • official 'Delaware Nation, Anadarko, Oklahoma' website
  • official 'Delaware Tribe of Indians, Bartlesville, Oklahoma' website
  • Lenape/English dictionary
  • Lenape (Southern Unami) Talking Dictionary
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