The New International Encyclopædia/Delaware (tribe)

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DELAWARE (from the Delaware River). One of the most important tribes of Algonquian stock, originally occupying what is now New Jersey and the Delaware River basin, eastern Pennsylvania, and southeastern New York. They call themselves Lenape, ‘true men,’ and claimed and were accorded precedence over nearly all the other tribes of Algonquian kinship. They had a number of subtribes in three principal divisions, of which the Munsee (q.v.) or Wolf tribe differed considerably from the others. They were friendly with the Dutch and Swedish colonists, and in 1682 made the celebrated treaty with William Penn, which was faithfully kept on both sides for over half a century. German Moravian missionaries, among whom were the devoted Zinzendorf, Zeisberger, and Heckewelder, labored among them with great success. Through the aggression of the later settlers, backed by the powerful Iroquois, they were finally compelled to retire to the Susquehanna and upper Ohio region, in consequence of which they became embittered against the English colonists and threw their whole strength with the French side in the French and Indian War of 1754-63. In the Revolution they joined with the British against the Americans, and, with other tribes of the Ohio Valley, continued the struggle until crushed by Wayne and compelled to accept the treaty of Greenville, by which, in 1795, the allied tribes ceded nearly all their ancient claims in what is now Pennsylvania and Ohio. During this struggle occurred the massacre of the peaceful Christian Delawares at Gnadenhuetten, Ohio, in consequence of which the remaining converts fled to Canada. By successive removals the larger portion of the tribe drifted from Indiana to Missouri and Kansas, a considerable band settling by Spanish permission in eastern Texas. The main body removed in 1867 from Kansas to the Indian Territory and became incorporated with the Cherokee Nation. The whole tribe, including the Munsee, numbers now about 1750, distributed as follows: Incorporated in Cherokee Nation, 780; on (late) Wichita reservation, Oklahoma, 95; Munsee, with Chippewa, in Kansas, 55(?); Munsee, with Stockbridge, at Green Bay, Wis., 210(?); ‘Moravians of the Thames,’ Ontario, 355; ‘Munsees of the Thames,’ Ontario, 120; Delaware, with Six Nations, on Grand River reserve, Ontario, 135.