Delaware

Delaware , the English name given several closely related Native American groups of the Algonquian. In the 17th cent., they lived in what is now New Jersey, Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania, and South Eastern New York. They called themselves the Lenni-Lenape or the Lenape and were given the name Delaware by the settlers because they lived in the vicinity of the Delaware River. The Delaware evolved into a loose confederacy of three major divisions: the Munsee (wolf), the Unalachtigo (turkey), and the Unami (turtle) clans. They occupied the territory from which most of the Algonquian tribes had originated and were accorded the respectful title of grandfather by these tribes. They traded with the Dutch early in the 17th cent., sold much of their land, and began moving inland to the Susquehanna valley. In 1682 they made a treaty of friendship with William Penn, which he did his best to honor. In 1720 the Delaware fell victim to Iroquois attack and were forced to move into what is now Ohio.
In 1795 they and their allies ceded their lands in Pennsylvania and Ohio. They crossed the Mississippi River and migrated to Kansas and then to Texas. They were later moved to the Indian Territory and settled with the Cherokee.


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