Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Delaware Indians

Delaware Indians, a large division of the Algonquian race, of which they regard themselves as the elder branch or original stock, whence their national name Lenni Lenape, "Genuine" or "Trueborn Men." Their original domain comprised Delaware, with parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, where they formed the league of the "Five Delaware Nations," which also comprised the now extinct Mohicans. But this league was broken up at an early date by the more powerful Iroquois Confederacy, and in the seventeenth century the Delawares proper were confined to the banks of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It was here that William Penn concluded his famous treaty with them in the year 1682 beneath the shade of the Shackamaxon elm, where he founded the city of Philadelphia. But this treaty of "Brotherly Love" did not save them from the irresistible advance of the white settlers; and at present the Delaware nation is confined partly to a Reserve (Kiowa and Wichita Agency) in Indian Territory, and partly to the Six Nations' Reservation of Ontario, Canada. The latter now usually speak Minsi; but the original Delaware, a typical Algonquian language, was first reduced to writing by the Moravian Brethren, who began to evangelise these Indians about the year 1740. David Zeisberger's Grammar was published in the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society in 1827, and his Dictionary was issued at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1887. A fuller dictionary from an anonymous MS. was edited by Dr. D. G. Brinton for the Pennsylvania Historical Society, Philadelphia, 1888. The Lenape and their Legends, by the same author, appeared at Philadelphia in 1885.