Topic: Delaware

Nanticoke Tribe

Nanticoke Indians (from Nentego, var. of Delaware Unechtgo, Unalachtgo, ‘tidewater people’).  An important Algonquian tribe living on Nanticoke River of Maryland, on the east shore, where Smith in 1608 located their principal village, called Nanticoke. They were connected linguistically and ethnically with the Delaware and the Conoy, notwithstanding the idiomatic variance in the language of the latter. Their traditional history is brief and affords but little aid in tracing their movements in prehistoric times. The 10th verse of the fifth song of the Walam Olum is translated by Squier: “The Nentegos and the Shawani went to the south lands.” Although the Shawnee and Nanticoke are brought together in this verse, it does not necessarily indicate that they separated from the main body at the sane time and place; but in both cases the separation appears to have occurred in the region that in verse 1, same canto, is designated Talega land, which was probably in Ohio, since their tradition recorded by Beatty 1Brinton, Lenape Leg., 139, 1885 is precisely the same as that of the Shawnee. It is also probable that “south” in the legend signifies some point below the latitude of Pittsburg, Pa., but not south of the Kanawha. A different and more probable account was given to Heckewelder by the old chief, White, who said that, being great trappers and fishers, they separated from the Delaware after...

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Conoy Tribe

Conoy Indians. An Algonquian tribe, related to the Delawares, from whose ancestral stem they apparently sprang, but their closest relations were with the Nanticoke, with whom it is probable they were in late prehistoric times united, the two forming a single tribe, while their language is supposed to have been somewhat closely allied to that spoken in Virginia by the Powhatan. Heckewelder believed them to be identical with the Kanawha, who gave the name to the chief river of West Virginia. Although Brinton calls this “a loose guess,” the names Conoy, Ganawese, etc., seem to be forms of Kanawha Conoy Tribe History The application of the same name to the Piscataway tribe of Maryland, and to the river, is difficult to explain by any other theory than that the former once lived on the banks of the Kanawha.In 1660 1Proc. Coun., 1636-67, Md. Archives, 403, 1885 the Piscataway applied to the governor of the colony to confirm their choice of an “emperor,” and to his inquiry in regard to their custom in this respect, replied: “Long a go there came a King from the Eastern Shoare who commanded over all the Indians now inhabiting within the bounds of this Province (naming every town severally) and also over the Patowmecks and Sasquehannoughs, whom for that he did as it were embrace and cover them all they called Vttapoingassinem this man...

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Delaware Indian Chiefs and Leaders

Allaquippa Allaquippa. A Delaware woman sachem of this name lived in 1755 near the mouth of Youghiogheny River, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and there may have been there a small Delaware settlement known by her name. Buckongahelas Buckongahelas (breaker in pieces) . A Delaware chief who lived during the Revolutionary period; born in the first half of the 18th century. He was the son of Wewandochwalend, apparently a chief of a Delaware band in Ohio. Buckongahelas became the head warrior of all the Delaware Indians then residing on Miami and White rs. Although he took part with the English against the colonists, he does not appear to have been cruel to non-combatants; and Drake 1Drake, Biog. and Hist. Inds., 63, 1837. says he was not only a great, but a noble warrior, who took no delight in shedding blood. The conduct of the English at the battle of Presque Isle, Ohio, in 1794, so disgusted him that his sympathies were diverted to the United States. He was present at Ft McIntosh, where Beaver, Pennsylvania, now stands, when the treaty of 1785 was made, but his name is not among the signers. He was a signer, however, of the treaty of Greenville, Ohio, August 3, 1795; treaty of Ft. Wayne, Indana, June 7, 1803, and treaty of Vincennes, Ind., August 18, 1804. Soon after signing the last his death occurred, probably in...

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Axion Tribe

Axion Indians (‘the muddy place’, from assiscu ‘mud’). A division of the New Jersey Delawares, formerly living on the East bank of Delaware River, between Rancocas Creek and the present Trenton. In 1648 they were one of the largest tribes on the river, being estimated at 200 warriors. Brinton thinks the name may be a corruption of Assiscunk, the name of a creek above Burlington. For Further Study The following articles and manuscripts will shed additional light on the Axion as both an ethnological study, and as a people. Evelin (1648) in Proud, Pa., I, 113,...

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Aquackanonk Tribe

Aquackanonk Indians (from ach-quoa-k-kan-nonk, a place in a rapid stream where fishing is done with a bush-net. Nelson). A division of the Unami Delawares which occupied lands on Passaic River, New Jersey, and a considerable territory in the interior, including the tract known as Dundee, in Passaic, just below the Dundee Dam, in 1678. In 1679 the name was used to describe a tract in Saddle River Township, Bergen County, as well as to designate “the old territory, which included all of Paterson’s of the Passaic River, and the city of Paterson.” The Aquackanonk sold lands in 1676 and...

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The Delaware in Kansas

In 1682, the seat of the Delaware government was at Shackamaxon, now Germantown, Pennsylvania. There Penn found them and made his famous treaty with them. Although extremely warlike, they had surrendered their sovereignty to the Iroquois about 1720. They were pledged to make no war, and they were forbidden to sell land. All the causes of this step were not known. Because of it the Iroquois claimed to have made women of the Delaware. They freed themselves of this opprobrium in the French and Indian War. The steady increase of the whites drove the Delaware from their ancient seat. They were...

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Walam Olum, Tribal Chronicle

Walam Olum. The sacred tribal chronicle of the Lenape or Delawares. The name signifies ‘painted tally’ or ‘red score,’ from walam, ‘painted,’ particularly ‘red painted,’ and olum,’ a score or tally.’ The Walam Olum was first published in 1836 in a work entitled “The American Nations,” by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, an erratic French scholar, who spent a number of years in this country, dying in Philadelphia in 1840. He asserted that it was a translation of a manuscript in the Delaware language, which was an interpretation of an ancient sacred metrical legend of the tribe, recorded in pictographs cut upon wood, which had been obtained in 1820 by a Dr Ward from the Delawares then living in Indiana. He claimed that the original pictograph record had first been obtained, but without explanation, until two years later, when the accompanying songs were procured in the Lenape language from another individual, these being then translated by himself with the aid of various dictionaries. Although considerable doubt was cast at the time upon the alleged Indian record, Brinton, after a critical investigation, arrived at the conclusion that it was a genuine native production, and it is now known that similar ritual records upon wood or birch bark are common to several cognate tribes, notably the Chippewa. After the death of Rafinesque his manuscripts were scattered, those of the Walam Olum finally coming into...

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Pontiac’s War

Early in the eighteenth century the French had commenced extending their influence among the tribes who inhabited the country bordering on the great western lakes. Always more successful than the other European settlers in conciliating the affections of the savages among whom they lived, they had obtained the hearty good will of nations little known to the English. The cordial familiarity of the race, and the terms of easy equality upon which they were content to share the rude huts of the Indians, ingratiated them more readily with their hosts, than a course of English reserve and formality could...

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The Delaware Indians

Associated with the early history of the Delawares are thoughts of William Penn, and of his peaceful intercourse with, and powerful influence over, the wild natives with whom he treated. At the first settlement of the country by Europeans, the tribes of this nation occupied no small portion of the present state of Pennsylvania, but their principal settlements lay between the Potomac and the Hudson. Situated between the great northern and southern confederacies, they were in turn at enmity and engaged in wars with either party; but, at an early day, they were in a measure subdued and reduced...

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Personal Names of Indians of Pennsylvania

The following names of Delaware Indians are gleaned from the Pennsylvania Records, and the Pennsylvania Archives, First Series. Many of these Indians were formerly residents of New Jersey, and they all spoke the same language as the Indians living between the Delaware and the ocean. Akalawhanind, a Delaware Indian, 1758. See Teedyuscung. Aketawnikity, a Delaware Indian, 1728. See Sassoonan. Alemeon, a Delaware Indian, 1738. See Hithquoquean. Allummapees or Sassoonan, King of the Delawares, 1728. See Sassoonan. Allummapis (alias Sassoonan), the Chief of the Delaware Indians, with divers of their Ancient men, as Owcawyekoman, Saykalm, Shapopaman, Naynachkeemand, Saymningoe, Opemanachum, Peeskeekond, Weytcholeching, Laylachtochoe, Old men, with others, old and Young, as Metaweykoman, Pokanjeechalan, &c.,” called on Thomas Penn, Proprietor of Pennsylvania, Lieut-Gover nor George Thomas, and the Council, at Philadel phia, October 3, 1738. Penn. Col. Records, IV., 307. Alomipas, Chief of the Delawares, sick, 1744. Penn. Col. Rec. N., 742. Dies, 1748. Ib., V., 222. Anondounoakom, son of the Chief of the Minisinks, 1760. Rec., IV., 742. Dies, 1748. Ib., V., 222. Apiscawa, a Minisink Indian, 1758. See Teedyuscung. Awahelah, Owehela, an “Indian King” (of the Delawares), on Christina, 1694. Penn. Col. Records, I, 448; II., 26. (Awé hellea a flying bird.) Awawnoos, a Delaware Indian, 1758. See Teedyuscung. Ayshataghoe, a Delaware Indian, 1737. See Manawkyhickon. Aysolickon, a Delaware Indian, 1737. See Manawkyhickon. Chepelunguenawnehink, a Delaware Indian, 1758. See Teedyuscung....

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Iroquois Ceremonies

Among the Iroquois, and, indeed, all the stationary tribes, there was an incredible number of mystic ceremonies, extravagant, puerile, and often disgusting, designed for the cure of the sick or for the general weal of the community. Most of their observances seem originally to have been dictated by dreams, and transmitted as a sacred heritage from generation to generation. They consisted in an endless variety of dances, masquerading, and nondescript orgies; and a scrupulous adherence to all the traditional forms was held to be of the last moment, as the slightest failure in this respect might entail serious calamities. Dreams were the great Indian oracles, and were implicitly obeyed. They believed them to be direct emanations from the Great Spirit, and as such were immutable laws to them. From this source arose many of their evils and miseries. In them were revealed their destiny and duty; war and peace, health and sickness, rain and drouth, were all revealed by a a class of professional dreamers and dream interpreters. Wizards and witches were the great bane of the Iroquois, and objects of utter detestation. Murder might be condoned, but witchcraft was punishable with death in all cases. Any one might kill a witch on sight with impunity. They believed that witches could transform themselves at will into any one of the wild animals or birds, or even assume the shape...

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