• Here is a partial map of the of the Lenape Indians.
  • Lenape Indians all speak English today.
  • : Lenape Indian books.

Sponsored LinksPeople: The Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians are often said to be extinct.

Most Lenape Indians were driven outof their homeland by the British.

Introducing Delaware's Native American history and culture to kids.

: Thorough reference book about the Native American tribes of Delaware.
The "Delaware" were several bands of Indians from the Delaware River valley of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They had a similar language and culture, but were never united as one political unit. During the 1600s, Europeans pushed the Delaware westward. They eventually settled around the Muskingum River valley in eastern Ohio, with important towns at Coshocton and Newcomerstown. Moravian missionaries converted groups of Delaware at settlements such as Schoenbrunn in Tuscarawas County.

Like most Native American tribes, the Delaware Indian tribes are .


After Texas was annexed to the United States in 1845, the Delawares continued to play important roles as scouts, diplomats, and interpreters for the United States Army and the Indian Bureau. John Conner helped guide the Chihuahua-El Paso expedition in 1848 and was compensated with a league of land, granted by special act of the Texas legislature in 1853. Jim Shaw helped settle his German community in the in 1847 and continued to scout for military units on the West Texas frontier until his death in 1858. Black Beaver, a prominent Delaware chief, guided 's map-making expeditions through West Texas in 1849, 1852, and 1854. In 1854 remnants of the Texas Delawares and other friendly tribes were moved to the , established by the United States government on the Brazos River near the site of present Graham. But the Texas reservation system was short-lived. In 1859 the resident Indians were transplanted to a site on the Washita River in the vicinity of present Anadarko, Oklahoma. In 1874 the Anadarko Delawares decided to merge with the Caddos, while the main body of Delawares, transported to Indian Territory from Kansas in 1868, remained citizens of the Cherokee Nation. Both groups currently are represented by tribal business committees that meet respectively at Anadarko and Dewey, Oklahoma. Other significant groups of Delawares reside in Wisconsin, Kansas, and Ontario, Canada. The Delaware Nation, venerated by other American Indians as "the grandfather tribe," has survived a long journey.

 

: In-depth study of native Delaware history, culture, and traditions.


When Texas became a republic in 1836, President sought peace with all Texas Indians. He enlisted the services of the friendly Delawares in protecting the frontier from hostile western tribes. In 1837 Delaware scouts accompanied several ranger corps as they patrolled the western line of settlement. Houston also worked to secure the land claims of the immigrant tribes, but without success. Houston's successor to the presidency, , considered the immigrant tribes to be unauthorized intruders who threatened public safety and illegally occupied Texas land. He ordered them to be expelled from Texas. His removal policy culminated in the (1839), a conflict that involved all the immigrant bands. As a result of the war, most of the immigrant Indians in the , including the Delawares, were forced north of the Red River into Indian Territory. A few scattered Delawares remained in Texas after the war. When Houston was elected to a second term as president in late 1841, he immediately reinstated his peace policy. His emissaries negotiated a treaty with the Delawares and remnants of eight other tribes in 1843 at Fort Bird, near the site of present Fort Worth. Houston then elicited the aid of the Delawares in his attempts to make peace with the Comanches. He allowed a group of Delaware scouts and their families to settle along the Brazos and Bosque rivers, where they used their influence to induce the Comanches to come to council. Most prominent among those Delawares were John Conner, a mixed-blood chief, and Bill and , brothers who had earned reputations as skilled traders and scouts. The Delawares' diplomacy helped to bring the Comanches to a treaty council in 1844.


Remnants of that Missouri band drifted into Texas around 1820 and settled in the northeast corner of the Spanish province around the Red and Sabine Rivers. Those Delawares, along with other immigrant bands from the United States, shared East Texas with remnants of the Caddo Indians and a growing number of white settlers. After Mexico secured independence from Spain in 1821, the Delawares continued to have a peaceful relationship with Mexican officials, as well as with other immigrant tribes and Anglo-American colonists. When Gen. made an inspection of East Texas in 1828, he estimated that 150 to 200 Delaware families were living there. They petitioned the general to grant them land and send "teachers of reading and writing" to their villages. Mier was impressed with the level of acculturation that the Delawares had achieved and forwarded their request to Mexico City. The Mexican government, however, never granted the tribe legal title to any land. When Texans began their revolution against the Mexican government in 1835, they were anxious to win the immigrant tribes to their cause, or at least to ensure their neutrality. To accomplish that, the provisional government pledged to honor the land claims of twelve tribes living in East Texas, including the Delawares. In addition, government officials appointed three commissioners to negotiate a treaty with those groups. The resulting treaty, concluded in February 1836, delineated the boundaries of Indian land, but the agreement was never ratified by the Texas government.


: Anthropology book on the Native Americans of Delaware.

When a Lenape reached adulthood, he or she traditionally married outside of his or her phratry, a practice known by ethnographers as "exogamy", which effectively served to prevent inbreeding even among individuals whose kinship relationship was obscure or unknown.

: History and genealogy of American Indians in Delaware.

DELAWARE INDIANS. The Delaware Indians were one of many immigrant tribes from the United States who ventured into Texas in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The Texas Delawares were remnants of a once-powerful people who had experienced more than 150 years of upheaval and relocation as they were pushed west by advancing Euro-American culture. The traditional home of the tribe was the Delaware River basin, an area that extends from what is now southern New York to Delaware Bay. The location on the Atlantic coast brought the tribe into early contact with English colonists, who called them Delawares because they lived on the bay named in honor of Lord de la Warr, governor of the English colony at Jamestown in 1610. The Delawares, members of the Algonquian linguistic family, called themselves Lenni Lenape, or "common people." The people called Delawares lived in small villages scattered along the numerous waterways of the region. Each village was an independent community with its own chieftains, who served as counselors and decision makers. Often residents of villages along the same stream constituted a band. The most influential village leader functioned as head of the band. The Delawares lived in one-room bark huts, called wigwams, with a single doorway and a smoke hole in the roof. When first contacted by Europeans, they had no metal tools, and their principal weapon was the bow and arrow. They grew corn, beans, pumpkins, squash, and tobacco, and supplemented their diet by hunting, fishing, and gathering. Their clothing was made of animal skins, feathers, and plant fibers, and both men and women often painted and tattooed their bodies.

: Lenape and other American Indian dictionaries and language books.

These phatries were not political divisions, but rather 'flavors' of individuals common to all discrete bands of Lenape, which together made up the Lenape 'tribe' -- although the very notion of 'tribe' is misleading, suggesting a uniformity that did not exist.