20 September 2006
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LENAPE-DELAWARE
Algonquian, the most populous and widely distributed
of the North American linguistic stocks, originally comprised several hundred
tribes who spoke nearly 50 related languages. The Algonquian people occupied
most of the Canadian region south of Hudson Bay between the Rocky Mountains and
the Atlantic Ocean and, excluding certain territory held by the Siouan and
Iroquoian tribes, that section of land of what is now the United States
extending northward from North Carolina and Tennessee. Algonquian tribes
inhabited various isolated areas to the south and west, including parts of what
are now South Carolina, Iowa, Wyoming, and Montana. The best known Algonquian
groups include the Algonquin, from which the stock takes its name, Amalecite,
Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Conoy [Piscataway], Cree, Delaware [Lenape],
Gros Ventre, Kickapoo, Massachusett, Miami, Mi'kmaq Micmac], Mohegan, Mahican,
Montagnais, Munsi [Munsee],
Narragansett, Naskapi, Nipmuc, Ojibwa, Ottawa,
Pequot, Potawatomie, Sac, Sauk), Shawnee, Tete de Boule, and Wampanoag. Some of
the principal Algonquian confederacies were the Abenaki, Pennacook, and
Illinois. (From Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2000)
The Delaware are a Native North American tribe (or nation) of the Algonquian linguistic family and of the Eastern Woodlands culture area, originally residing in what are now the states of New Jersey, New York (Staten Island, Manhattan, and western Long Island), Delaware, and eastern Pennsylvania. The term "Delaware" is not an Algonquian word. It comes from the name of Thomas West, Lord de la Warr, who was an early governor of Virginia. The State of Delaware and the Delaware River are named for him. Because the Lenape were located along that river and its tributaries, the Europeans gave them the name "Delaware." The name we have for ourselves is Lenape or Lenni Lenape (Len-ni Len-ah'-pay). It means simply, "The (Original) People." The Lenape belong to the Algonquian-speaking Indians of the Mid- and Northern-Atlantic Seaboard. According to their origin legend, they migrated from Siberia across the Bering Strait. The Lenape probably migrated from the West Coast of the present-day United States to the East Coast early in the American existence. perhaps around 1400. In historical times, the Lenape lived in present-day southeastern Pennsylvania, southeastern New York, Delaware, and New Jersey. They were among the first Native Americans to come in contact with the Dutch, English, and Swedish settlers. The first treaty of the Delaware was with William Penn 1682. The Delaware were venerated as "grandfathers" by other Native American people because we were the original occupants to come eastward to the land nearest the rising sun. As the "Grandfather" tribe they had the power to settle disputes among rival tribes. Though they were known for their fierceness in battle, they also chose to make settlements and peace where possible. The Lenape signed the first Indian treaty with the United States on 17 September 1778 at Fort Pitt (present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). The sixth article of the treaty shows the intention of the United States to create an Indian state, with the Delaware at its head. "To form a State, whereof the Delaware nation shall be the head and have a representative in Congress..."
In the 1600s the Delaware were forced to move West as European settlers usurped the land on which they lived. At this time the Delaware population was greatly reduced by contagious diseases and death by white settlers. Their westward migration took them first to the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and then to the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers. Pressure from white settlers after the American Revolution forced the Delaware to Indiana Territory. Splinter groups in 1790 moved north to Canada. They still occupy two small reserves in Moraviatown and Munsee in the Province of Ontario. By the Treaty of 18 August 1804, made at Vincennes by William Henry Harrison, the Governor of Indiana Territory, the Government forced the Delaware gave up their Ohio land. In return they were "given" land in Indiana Territory. This included all of the country bounded by the White River on the north and the Ohio River on the south. That treaty was made between the United States and several Indian tribes, including the Delaware Nation. By the Treaty made at St. Mary's, Ohio on 3 October 1818, the Delaware Nation gave up all its land in Indiana. In exchange, The United States gave the Delaware a reservation on the James Fork of the White River in Missouri Territory. They first stayed in Missouri a while on the Mississippi River before moving to Southwestern Missouri. The Delaware remained there until the signing of the Treaty of 24 September 1829. On that date, they gave up their land in Missouri and the Government granted land in Northeastern Kansas, where they lived for several decades. On 14 December 1843, the Delaware sold to the Wyandot 23,040 acres of land of the eastern part of their reserve. On 6 May 1854, the Delaware gave up to the United States the Western Outlet of their land, keeping a tract ten miles wide and 40 miles up the Kansas River. Under the Treaty of 30 May 1860, each member of the Delaware Nation was assigned eighty acres of land. The remainder of the land was sold to the Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western Railroad Company--later the Union Pacific Railroad)--which sold much of the land to white settlers. At this time there were about 900 Delaware in this area of Kansas (present-day Wyandotte County).
By the Treaty of 4 July 1866, the United States sold the remaining land--known as the "Delaware Diminished Reserve"--to the Union Pacific Railroad. The land was transferred on 7 January 1868. Under the Treaty of 1866, the Federal Government moved the main body of Delaware to Cherokee Land in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in 1867. The heads of 26 families and their 56 children remained in Kansas and became United State's citizens. Their descendants are the present-day "Kansas Delaware" or "Citizen Delaware."
Under an 1867 agreement with the Cherokee, the Delaware in Indian Territory in Oklahoma purchased land from the Cherokee Nation. That Delaware tribe is now the Delaware Tribe of Eastern Oklahoma) numbering about 10,000 persons, but the courts unfortunately have decreed that they are now Cherokee.
A Group of Delaware Who Went from Kansas to the Indian Territory Kansas 1867-1868
Front row: Richard C.
Adams, Herbert Ketchem, Willie Nicholas
Second Row: William Adams, , Abe Ketchem, Colonel Jackson (a chief and ceremonial leader), "Old Man" Curleyhead,", Andrew Miller
Top row: John Sarcoxie, Charles H. Armstrong, John Fours, Albert Curleyhead.
(From Richard C. Adams, A Delaware, Indian Legend and a Story of Their Troubles . This photo can also be found in Weslager, The Delaware Indians, p, 425, see Westlager, The Delaware Indians, A History under Bibliography, Standard. Reference.)
William Brown. Oklahoma Delaware (Algonquians of the East Coast, a Time-Life Book, highly recommended reading)
A smaller group of Delaware, the Western Delaware or "Absentee Delaware," took a different route from Missouri to Arkansas and Texas and also ended up in Oklahoma. That tribe is located in Anadarko, Oklahoma. They jointly control land with the Wichita and Caddo. These two tribes met jointly earlier this year, the first such meeting since they went separate ways in 1821. In 1997 and 1999, former Kansas Delaware Chief Thomas Swiftwater Hahn met with the Council of the Eastern Oklahoma Delaware Tribe of Indians, the first meeting of the two groups since their division in 1866-1867. [Though the term Native American is often the preferred term for those were first came to the United States, the term "Indian" is used in historical texts and is still used by many "Native Americans." This web site makes no intentional distinction as we believe that the usage is a matter of personal preference.- Editor]
[This entry will be revised and either expanded or consolidated with the Revised Concise History of the Lenape.--Editor.]
THE KANSAS DELAWARE TRIBE OF INDIANS
The Lenape-Delaware people are a Native North American nation of the Algonquian linguistic family of the Eastern Woodlands culture area. In historical times, we resided in what are now the states of New Jersey, southeastern New York, Delaware, and southeastern Pennsylvania. The term "Delaware" is not an Alngonquian word. It comes from the name of Thomas West, Lord de la Warr, who was an early governor of Virginia. The State of Delaware and the Delaware River are named for him. Because the Lenape were located along that river and its tributaries, the Europeans gave us the name "Delaware." The name we have for ourselves is Lenape or Lenni Lenape (Len-ni Len-ah'-pay), meaning simply, "The (Original) People." According to our origin legend, we migrated from Siberia across the Bering Strait. The Lenape probably migrated from the West Coast of the present-day United States to the East Coast early in the American existence, perhaps around 1400. We were among the first Native Americans to come in contact with the Dutch, English, and Swedish settlers. The first treaty of the Delaware was with William Penn in 1682. Other Native American people venerated the Delaware as "Grandfather People” because we were the original occupants to come eastward to the land nearest the rising sun. As the "Grandfather Tribe” we had the power to settle disputes among rival tribes. Though we were known for our fierceness in battle, we also chose to make settlements and to make peace where possible. The Lenape signed the first Indian treaty with the United States on 17 September 1778 at Fort Pitt (present Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). The regard for the Delaware is evident in the sixth article of that treaty, which states the intent of the United States to create an Indian state, with the Delaware at its head, and giving the Delaware a representation in Congress.
In the 1600s, the Delaware were forced to move west as European settlers usurped the land on which they lived. Beginning at that time, the Delaware population was greatly reduced by contagious diseases contracted from whites and by being killed by white settlers. Their westward migration took us to the Susquehanna River and Allegheny Rivers in Pennsylvania and then to the Ohio River and its tributaries in Ohio. Splinter groups in 1790 moved north to Canada. They still occupy two small reserves in Moraviatown and Munsee in the Province of Ontario. By the Treaty of 18 August 1804, made at Vincennes by William Henry Harrison, the Governor of Indiana Territory, the Delaware gave up our Ohio land. In return, they were given land in Indiana Territory. That land included all of the country bounded by the White River on the north and the Ohio River on the south. That treaty was made between the United States and several Indian tribes, including the Delaware Nation. By the Treaty made at St. Mary's, Ohio on 3 October 1818, the Delaware Nation gave up all its land in Indiana. In exchange, the United States gave the Delaware a reservation on the James Fork of the White River in Missouri Territory. They first stayed for a while on the Mississippi River in Missouri before moving to Southwestern Missouri. The Delaware remained there until the signing of the Treaty of 24 September 1829. On that date, they gave up our land in Missouri and were granted land in Northeastern Kansas, where we were among the first Native American emigrants to go to Kansas. Unfortunately, other Native American tribes were moved to accommodate the Delaware. Every move had its hardships for all the Native Americans involved.
Kansas and the Delaware
(This article paragraph is from The History of
Wyandotte County, Kansas..., pp. 147-149)
In the early part of the nineteenth century, when the United States became possessed of the extensive Territory of Louisiana, the Pawnee Indians claimed possession and ownership of a large tract of country including what is now Wyandotte County. The Pawnees were a powerful and warlike tribe, and for a century they maintained sway over the country embraced by the branches of the Kansas River, and over the whole region watered by the Platte, from near the Rocky Mountains to its mouth [of the Missouri River]. They were divided into several villages or bands, one of which, the Pawnee Republic, gave its name to the Republican River. The Otoes, Omahas and other tribes acknowledged the superiority of the Pawnees, and lived under their protection. In 1832, however, all these tribes were ravaged by the small-pox, and it is said that the Pawnees then lost half their population. The following year, by treaty, they disposed of, to the United States, all their claims to the land lying south of the Platte River, and agreed to locate themselves north of that river and west of the Missouri. This they did. But large bodies of Sioux came down on their new settlements, and drove them back with great slaughter. Some returned to their old villages; others joined their allies, the Otoes and the Omahas. They continued to be unfortunate, and by the ravages of wars and disease rapidly dwindled in numbers. [T. G. Adam's Homestead Guide.]
But later the Kansas or Kaw Indians claimed to have, 8in a great measure, supplanted the Pawnees in their right to the occupancy of their country, supplanted the Pawnees in their right to the occupancy of their country, and by treaty dated June 3, 1825, they (the Kaws) ceded to the United States a tract of territory including what is now embraced in Wyandotte County. Subsequently, early in the thirties, the United States granted to the Delaware Indians a large reservation in the purchased from the Kaw Indians, which included all of what is now Wyandotte County lying north of the Kansas River. An then, or soon thereafter, the Shawnee Indians, by treaty or otherwise, claimed a large tract of country lying immediately south of the Kansas River."
Long before the United States possessed the vat territory west of the Mississippi, the French and the Spaniards had explored the Missouri and Kansas Rivers to points above their junction, but made no permanent settlements. Of these explorations but little was known [in 1890]. In 1800 a trading post was established at Randolph Bluffs, three miles below present Kansas City, but it did not lead to a settlement. The first Americans who saw this part of country under dominion of the United States were Messrs. Lewis and Clarke, who traveled in 1804, on their famous expedition up the Missouri, passing the mouth of the Kansas River early in May of that year, or perhaps late in April, where they made a temporary camp and procured plenty of game. In 1811 the western limit of white settlement was at Fort Osage in Missouri, thirty-four miles below the mouth of the Kansas River. In 1819 Maj. Stephen H. Long, in the employ of the Government, with a corps of topographical engineers on his way to the Yellowstone country, passed the site of the present Wyandotte County. In 1825 Cyprian Choteau, a Frenchman, established a trading post on the south side of the Kansas River about opposite the present site of Muncie. A few years later he was joined by his brother, Frederick, and later still they moved their trading post about eighty miles farther up the river. In 1827 a part of the Third Regiment of United States troops passed the mouth of the Kansas River on their way to Leavenworth, where they erected barracks and a fort.
The Delaware lived on the Kansas Reserve for several decades, but the Federal Government gradually reduced it in size during that period of time. Information regarding this period can be found in the Treaty and Chronology pages. On 14 December 1843, the Delaware sold 23,040 acres of land to the Wyandot Nation on the eastern part of their reserve. On 6 May 1854, they gave up to the United States the Western Outlet of our land, keeping a tract ten miles wide and 40 miles up the Kansas River. Under the Treaty of 30 May 1860, each member of the Delaware Nation was assigned eighty acres of land. The Government sold the remainder of the land to the Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western Railroad Company--later the Union Pacific Railroad)--which in turn sold much of the land to white settlers. At this time there were about 900 Delaware in this area of Kansas (present-day Wyandotte County).
Under the terms of the Treaty of 4 July 1866, the United States sold the remaining land--known as the "Delaware Diminished Reserve"--to the Union Pacific Railroad. The land was transferred on 7 January 1868. Under the Treaty of 1866, the Federal Government moved the main body of Delaware to Cherokee Land in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in 1867. That tribe, known as the Delaware Tribe of Indians, is presently centered in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Another tribe, the Western Delaware Tribe of Indians (or Absentee Delaware), was in 1867--and remains today--at Anadarko, Oklahoma. These three groups comprise most of the Delaware Nation, but many groups and and individuals were left along the way in several states.
Before the removal of the main tribe of Lenape-Delaware from Kansas, the heads of families were given the choice to remove to Indian Territory and occupy Cherokee lands, or to remain in Kansas and become citizens of the United States. The heads of twenty-six families made the decision to remain in Kansas with their 56 children where they became United States citizens and Kansas citizens. The descendants of those early Kansas pioneers comprise the present-day "Kansas Delaware" or "Citizen Delaware"--the Kansas Delaware Tribe of Indians.
Since 1867, when the Delaware who remained in Kansas became citizens of Kansas, they entered into the mainstream of life in Kansas. In general, depending on their individual generations and circumstances, their great-great-grandparents, great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents were born and raised, went to school, worked, paid taxes and went to church in Kansas, and did the things that most Kansans do. Many of their families have lived in Kansas since the early 1830s. Others, as happened to other Kansans, especially during and after World War II, moved to other states where their military service or work took them. However, they remained Native American Kansas Lenape-Delaware, and Kansans, in their hearts. They have maintained close family and tribal ties and have maintained our interest in our Delaware heritage throughout our history.
Several Kansas Delaware and their families moved into the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory, that is present Oklahoma, to be near their family members, who had moved to the Cherokee Nation pursuant to the 1866 Treaty. They remained Kansas Delaware and saw no reason to buy citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. The members of this group of Kansas Delaware participated in tribal affairs, attended its meetings, voted in its elections, and were actively involved until 1972. There was never any "giving up of tribal ways" by the Kansas Delaware, and the ones who stayed in the Kansas City area stayed in close contact with their tribe and family members. The Kansas Delaware retained their history as a tribe and even provided leadership in the mainstream of Lenape-Delaware that removed to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Joe Bartles, the grandson of Nannie Pratt Bartles who elected to remain in Kansas pursuant to the 1866 Treaty, was the chairman of the Delaware Tribe from about 1920 to the 1950s. During his tenure as chairman, he led the tribe's successful pursuit of claims before the Indian Claims Commission. Solomon Ketchum, another Kansas Delaware, also served as a member of the Delaware Tribal Committee in the 1930s.
In the 1960s, there was a fund distribution under Docket No. 337. The law required proof of Indian Ancestry, which the Kansas Delaware could easily establish. The Kansas Delaware received payment under this docket. The claims under Dockets 72 and 298 were claims for inadequate compensation for lands taken from the Delaware Reserve in Kansas in the 1850's. When the Kansas Delaware learned that they were to be excluded from compensation under Dockets 72 and 298, they formed as an organization to pursue their right in the funds. A lawsuit was filed that eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court decided in Delaware Tribal Committee v. Weeks, that it was up to Congress to provide a remedy if the Kansas Delaware had been wrongfully excluded from the fund distribution. In legislature that followed, Congress provided this remedy by amending the law to include the Kansas Delaware in the distribution. Like all Indian tribes, our members have disbursed throughout the country and the world over the past 130 years. Naturally, the Kansas Delaware have participated in and contributed to the modernization of the world, as all Native American people have. As an Indian tribe native to the eastern woodlands, the Delaware had interacted with whites since the 1600s. By the late 1800s, all the Delaware had "adapted" to the white civilization. A significant portion our our group still remains in Kansas in the area that composed the former Delaware Reserve.
The Kansas Delaware were incorporated in the State of Oklahoma in 1974 as the Kansas Delaware Tribe of Indians, Incorporated. The incorporation was done there as a convenience for legal purposes when the responsible Bureau of Indians Affairs Office was in Muskogee, Oklahoma, as were the attorneys that we hired in the legal actions we took in the 1970s to recover some of the losses incurred by the illegal sale of our lands in the 1850s and 1860s. The governing body of the Kansas Delaware today is an eleven-person General Council, the members of which are elected for a one-year term during the annual meeting. The newly-elected Council Members meet after the annual meeting to elect the Tribal Officers. For the past several years we have met in Kansas City or Kansas City in Wyandotte County as that was the center of activity on the old Kansas Delaware Reserve.
The Kansas Delaware are proud that our ancestors were among the earliest Pioneer of Kansas. We are grateful for our heritage as Kansas Citizens and of the United States citizens as well as being proud of being Kansas Lenape-Delaware. Members of our tribe fought for the U.S. Government in the Civil War and all subsequent U.S. wars, and early Delaware fought on the side of the United States in every war since the American Revolution. Our desire is that we remain responsible citizens and that the past accomplishments of our ancestors be acknowledged.
It is not known where and when an annual meeting will be held in 2006.
Prepared by Thomas Swiftwater Hahn . Revised data provided by Martin Weeks. Paper copy 13 May 2002. Edited 31 January 2004. Times New Roman. Photo check A. TH