Delaware Indians

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Confederacy of Algonquian tribes, were given their present name by colonists who found them in the Delaware River valley, but their own name is Leni-Lenape. Their early history and migration to North America are told in their tribal chronicle, the Walam Olum. In 1682 they made their famous treaty with Penn, which they retained for 50 years. Defeated by the Iroquois (1720), they moved into Ohio, where they sided with the French in the French and Indian War, and against the Americans in the uprising of Pontiac and the Revolution. The whites attacked a peaceful Delaware settlement in 1782, causing the remainder of these Christian Indians to flee to Ontario. Others ceded their lands to the U.S. and moved to Oklahoma. The Delaware figure as noble, wise, and just in the Leather-Stocking Tales, and appear also in Freneau's “Prophecy of King Tammany,” Brown's Edgar Huntly, Paulding's Koningsmarke, Nicholas Hentz's Tadeuskund, and outside of literature, in studies by Rafinesque, E. G. Squier, and D. G. Brinton. They are mentioned in Irving's Tour of the Prairies, but the most comprehensive early account of them was in Schoolcraft's six-volume History, Conditions, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes in the United States (1851–57), used as a source by Thoreau and Longfellow. A fictional view of them in modern life occurs in The Light in the Forest (1953) by Conrad Richter.

Subjects: Literature.

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