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Map depicting approximately where different Lenape languages were spoken

The Lenape (pronounced /ˈlɛnəpiː/ or /ləˈnɑːpi/) are a group of several organized bands of Native American peoples with shared cultural and linguistic characteristics. Their name for themselves (autonym), sometimes spelled Lennape or Lenapi, means "the people." They are also known as the Lenni Lenape (the "true people") or as the Delaware Indians. English settlers named the Delaware River after Lord De La Warr, the governor of the Jamestown settlement. They used the exonym above for almost all the Lenape the Lenape people living along this river and its tributaries.

At the time of European contact in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Lenape lived in the area called Lenapehoking, roughly the area around and between the Delaware and lower Hudson Rivers. This encompassed what are now known as the U.S. state of New Jersey; eastern Pennsylvania around the Delaware and Lehigh valleys; the north shore of Delaware; and southeastern New York, particularly the lower Hudson Valley and New York Harbor. They spoke two related languages in the Algonquian subfamily, collectively known as the Delaware languages: Unami and Munsee.

Lenape society was organized into clans determined by matrilineal descent. Territory was collective, but divided by clan. At the time of European contact, the Lenape practiced large-scale agriculture, their primary crop being varieties of maize. They also practiced hunting and the harvesting of seafood. They were primarily sedentary, moving to different established campsites by season.

After the arrival of Dutch settlers and traders in the 17th century, the Lenape and other tribes became heavily involved in the North American fur trade. This depleted the beaver population in the area, proving disastrous for both the Lenape and the Dutch settlers. The Lenape were further weakened by new infectious diseases, and by conflict with both Europeans and traditional Lenape enemies, the Iroquoian-speaking Susquehannock. Over the next centuries, they were pushed out of their lands by Iroquoian enemies, treaties and overcrowding by settlers, and moved west into the Ohio River valley. In the 1860s, most Lenape remaining in the Eastern United States were sent to the Oklahoma Territory. In the 21st century, most Lenape now reside in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, with some communities living also in Kansas, Wisconsin, Ontario, and in their traditional homelands.


[edit] Society

Early Indian "tribes" are perhaps better understood as language groups, rather than as "nations". At the time of first European contact, a Lenape individual would likely have identified primarily with his or her immediate family and friends, or village unit; then with surrounding and familiar village units; next with more distant neighbors who spoke the same dialect; and ultimately, while often fitfully, with all those in the surrounding area who spoke mutually comprehensible languages, including the Mahican. Among other Algonquian peoples, the Lenape were considered the "grandfathers" from whom all the other Algonquian peoples originated. Consequently, in inter-tribal councils, the Lenape were given respect as one would to elders.

Those of a different language stock – such as the Iroquois (or, in the Lenape language, the Minqua) – were regarded as foreigners. As in the case of the Iroquois, the animosity of difference and competition spanned many generations, and tribes became traditional enemies. Ethnicity seems to have mattered little to the Lenape and many other "tribes". Archaeological excavations have found Munsee burials that included identifiably ethnic Iroquois remains interred along with those of ethnic-Algonquian Munsee. The two groups were bitter enemies since before recorded history. Intermarriage clearly occurred. In addition, both tribes practiced adopting captives from warfare into their tribes and assimilating them.

Overlaying these relationships was a phratry system, a division into clans. Clan membership was matrilineal; children inherited membership in a clan from their mother. On reaching adulthood, a Lenape traditionally married outside the clan, a practice known by ethnographers as, "exogamy". The practice effectively prevented inbreeding, even among individuals whose kinship was obscure or unknown.

Early Europeans who first wrote about Indians found matrilineal social organization to be unfamiliar and perplexing. Because of this, Europeans often tried to interpret Lenape society through more familiar European arrangements. As a result, the early records are full of clues about early Lenape society, but were usually written by observers who did not fully understand what they were seeing. For example, a man’s maternal uncle (his mother’s brother), and not his father, was usually considered to be his closest male ancestor, since his father belonged to a different clan. The maternal uncle played a more prominent role in the lives of his sister’s children than did the father. Such a concept was often unfathomable to early European chroniclers.

Land was assigned to a particular clan for hunting, fishing, and cultivation. Individual private ownership of land was unknown, but rather the land belonged to the clan collectively while they inhabited it.[1] Clans lived in fixed settlements, using the surrounding areas for communal hunting and planting until the land was exhausted. In a common practice known as "agricultural shifting", the group then moved to found a new settlement within their territories.

The Lenape practiced large-scale agriculture to augment a mobile hunter-gatherer society in the region around the Delaware River, the lower Hudson River, and western Long Island Sound. The Lenape were largely a sedentary people who occupied campsites seasonally, which gave them relatively easy access to the small game that inhabited the region: fish, birds, shellfish and deer. They developed sophisticated techniques of hunting and managing their resources.

By the time of the arrival of Europeans, the Lenape were cultivating fields of vegetation through the slash and burn technique. This extended the productive life of planted fields.[2][3][4][5][6][7] They also harvested vast quantities of fish and shellfish from the bays of the area,[8] and, in southern New Jersey, harvested clams year-round .[9] The success of these methods allowed the tribe to maintain a larger population than nomadic hunter-gatherers could support. Scholars have estimated that at the time of European settlement, there may have been about 15,000 Lenape total in approximately 80 settlement sites around much of the New York City area, alone.[10] In 1524 Lenape in canoes met Giovanni da Verrazzano, the first European explorer to enter New York Harbor.

[edit] History

[edit] European contact

Benjamin West‘s painting (in 1771) of William Penn‘s 1682 treaty with the Lenape

The first recorded contact with Europeans and people presumed to have been the Lenape was in 1524. The explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano was greeted by local Native Americans arriving by canoe, after his ship entered what is now called Lower New York Bay. The Lenape occupied coastal areas throughout the mid-Atlantic and New York.

The early interaction between the Lenape and Dutch traders in the 17th century was primarily through the fur trade, specifically, the Lenape trapped and traded beaver pelts for European-made goods. According to Dutch settler Isaac de Rasieres, who observed the Lenape in 1628, the Lenape’s primary crop was maize, which they planted in March. They quickly adopted European metal tools for this task.

In May, the Lenape planted kidney beans near the maize plants; the latter served as props for the climbing bean vines. The summers were devoted to field work and the crops were harvested in August. Women cultivated varieties of maize and beans, and did most of the field work, processing and cooking of food. The men limited their agricultural labor to clearing the field and breaking the soil. They primarily hunted and fished during the rest of the year. Dutch settler David de Vries, who stayed in the area from 1634 to 1644, described a Lenape hunt in the valley of the Achinigeu-hach (or "Ackingsah-sack," the Hackensack River), in which one hundred or more men stood in a line many paces from each other, beating thigh bones on their palms to drive animals to the river, where they could be killed easily. Other methods of hunting included lassoing and drowning deer, as well as forming a circle around prey and setting the brush on fire.

[edit] European settlement

Dutch settlers founded a colony at present-day Lewes, Delaware on June 3, 1631 and named it Zwaanendael (Swan Valley).[11] The colony had a short existence, as in 1632 a local tribe of Lenape Indians killed the 32 Dutch settlers after a misunderstanding over defacement of the insignia of the Dutch West India Company escalated.[12] In 1634, the Iroquoian-speaking Susquehannocks went to war with the Lenape over access to trade with the Dutch at Manhattan. They defeated the Lenape, and some scholars believe that the Lenape may have become tributaries to the Susquehannock.[13] Afterward the warfare the Lenape referred to the Susquehannock as "uncles." The Lenape were added to the Covenant Chain by the Iroquois in 1676, remaining tributary to the Five (later Six) Nations until 1753.

The Lenape’s quick adoption of trade goods and their need for furs to meet high European demand resulted in disastrous over-harvesting of the beaver population in the lower Hudson Valley. With the fur source exhausted, the Dutch shifted their operations to present-day Upstate New York. The Lenape population fell, due mostly to infectious diseases carried by Europeans, such as measles and smallpox, to which they had no natural immunity.

Differences in conceptions of property rights between the Europeans and the Lenape resulted in widespread confusion among the Lenape and the loss of their lands. After the Dutch arrival in the 1620s, the Lenape were successful in restricting Dutch settlement to Pavonia in present-day Jersey City along the Hudson until the 1660s. The Dutch finally established a garrison at Bergen, allowing settlement west of the Hudson within the province of New Netherlands.

In the early 1680s, William Penn and Quaker colonists created the English colony of Pennsylvania on the Delaware River. In the immediately following decades some 20,000 new colonists arrived in the region, putting pressure on Lenape settlements and hunting grounds. Although Penn endeavored to live peaceably beside the Lenape and to create a colony that would do the same, he also expected his authority and the authority of the colonial government to take precedence. His new colony effectively displaced the Lenape and forced others to adapt to new cultural demands. Ironically, Penn himself gained a reputation for uncommon benevolence and tolerance while more effectively organizing the colonization of the ancestral Lenape homeland than any other previous effort.[14]

[edit] 18th century

Beginning in the 18th century, the Moravian Church established missions among the Lenape.[15] The Moravians required the Christian converts to share their pacifism, as well as to live in a structured and European-style mission village.[16] Moravian pacifism and unwillingness to take loyalty oaths caused conflicts with British authorities, who sought aid against the French and their Native American allies during the French and Indian War (Seven Years War). The Moravians’ insistence on Christian Lenapes’ abandoning traditional warfare practices alienated mission populations from other Lenape and Native American groups. The Moravians accompanied Lenape relocations to Ohio and Canada, continuing their missionary work. The Moravian Lenape who settled permanently in Ontario after the Revolutionary War were sometimes referred to as "Christian Munsee", as they mostly spoke the Munsee branch of the Delaware language.

Lapowinsa, Chief of the Lenape, Lappawinsoe painted by Gustavus Hesselius in 1735.

The Treaty of Easton, signed in 1758 between the Lenape and the Anglo-American colonists in 1758, required the Lenape to move westward, out of present-day New York and New Jersey and into Pennsylvania, then Ohio and beyond. Sporadically they continued to raid European-American settlers from far outside the area.

During the French and Indian War, the Lenape initially sided with the French. However, such leaders as Teedyuscung in the east and Tamaqua in the vicinity of modern Pittsburgh made the shift to building alliances with the English. After the end of the war, however, Anglo-American settlers continued to kill Lenape, often to such an extent that people claimed the dead since the wars outnumbered those during the war.[17]

In 1763 the Lenape known as Bill Hickman warned English colonists in the Juniata River region of an impending attack. Many Lenape joined in Pontiac’s War, and were numerous among those Native Americans who besieged Pittsburgh.[18] In April 1763 Teedyuscung was killed when his home was burned. His son Captain Bull responded by attacking settlers from New England who had migrated to the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania. The settlers had been sponsored by the Susquehanna Company.[19]

The Lenape were the first Indian tribe to enter into a treaty with the new United States government, with the Treaty of Fort Pitt signed in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War. The Lenape, by then living mostly in the Ohio Country, supplied the Continental Army with warriors and scouts in exchange for food supplies and security. They may have been misled by an undocumented promise of a role at the head of a future Native American state.[citation needed]

[edit] 19th and 20th centuries

In the early 19th century, the naturalist Constantine Samuel Rafinesque claimed to have found the Walam Olum, an alleged religious history of the Lenape, which he published in 1836. However, only Rafinesque’s manuscript exists; the tablets upon which his writings were allegedly based either were never found, or never existed. Most authorities and scholars now consider the document a hoax.[20]

Amateur anthropologist Silas Wood published a book claiming that there were several American Indian tribes that were distinct to Long Island, New York. He collectively called them the Metoac. Modern scientific scholarship has shown that two linguistic groups represented two Algonquian cultural identities on the island, not "13 individual tribes" as asserted by Wood. The bands to the west were Lenape. Those to the east were more related culturally to the Algonquian tribes in New England.[21][22] Wood (and earlier settlers) often misinterpreted Indian use of place names for identity as indicating that was their name for "tribes."

The Lenape were progressively crowded out of the East Coast and Ohio by European settlers and pressed to move over a period of 176 years. Most members of the Munsee-language branch of the Lenape live on three Indian reserves in Western Ontario, Canada. They are descendants of those Lenape of Ohio Country who sided with the British during the Revolutionary War. The largest reserve is at Moraviantown, Ontario, where the Turtle clan settled in 1792 following the war.

The main body of Lenape arrived in the northeast region of Oklahoma in the 1860s. Along the way many smaller groups left, or were told to stay where they were. Consequently today, from New Jersey to Wisconsin to southwest Oklahoma, there are groups who retain a sense of connection with ancestors who lived in the Delaware Valley in the 17th century and with cousins in the Lenape diaspora.

The two largest groups are the Delaware Nation (Anadarko, Oklahoma), and the Delaware Tribe of Indians (Bartlesville, Oklahoma), the only two federally recognized Lenape (Delaware) tribes in the United States.[23] The Oklahoma branches were established in 1867. The Delaware were required to purchase land from the reservation of the Cherokee Nation; they made two payments totaling $438,000. A court dispute followed over whether the sale included rights for the Delaware as citizens within the Cherokee Nation.

While the dispute was unsettled, the Curtis Act of 1898 dissolved tribal governments and ordered the allotment of tribal lands to individual members of tribes. The Lenape fought the act in the courts but lost, and in 18?? (date? if this is in response to Curtis Act, it can’t be 1867) the courts ruled that the Delaware had only purchased rights to the land in Oklahoma for the lifetimes of the owners. After the lands were allotted in 160-acre (650,000 m²) lots to tribal members in 1907, the government sold "surplus" land to non-Indians. It soon became obvious that the land was not suitable for subsistence farming on such small plots.

In 1979, the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs revoked the tribal status of the Delaware living among Cherokee in Oklahoma. They began to count the Delaware as Cherokee. The Delaware had this decision overturned in 1996, when they were recognized by the federal government as a separate tribal nation.

The Cherokee Nation filed suit to overturn the recognition of the Delaware. The tribe lost federal recognition in a 2004 court ruling in favor of the Cherokee Nation, but regained it on 28 July 2009.[24] After recognition, the tribe reorganized under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act. Members approved a constitution and bylaws in a May 26, 2009 vote. Jerry Douglas is serving as tribal chief.[23]

In 2004 the Delaware of Oklahoma sued the state of Pennsylvania over land lost in 1800. This was related to the Walking Purchase of 1737, an agreement of doubtful legal standing.[25][26]

[edit] Lenape communities today

Lenni Lenapes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are not officially recognized as tribes by the United States. This means they do not have reservation land or their own government system, though they still practice the Lenape culture. A small, unrecognized Native American community known as Lenapehoking for Lenni-Lenape Indians is in West Philadelphia.


[edit] Notable Lenape

Andrew Jackson

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Andrew Jackson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States (1829–1837). He was military governor of Florida (1821), commander of the American forces at the Battle of New Orleans (1815), and eponym of the era of Jacksonian democracy. A polarizing figure who dominated American politics in the 1820s and 1830s, his political ambition combined with widening political participation, shaping the modern Democratic Party.[1]

His legacy is now seen as mixed, as a protector of popular democracy and individual liberty for American citizens, checkered by his support for slavery and Indian removal.[2][3] Renowned for his toughness, he was nicknamed "Old Hickory". As he based his career in developing Tennessee, Jackson was the first president primarily associated with the American frontier.