The Delaware Tribe by Laney
The Delaware Tribe, or Lenni Lenape, paid a terrible price for the peace they wanted that
they never received.
The Delaware Tribe first made its home in northern Delaware and southwestern
Pennsylvania. When colonists came to America, some of the tribe decided to move west, so they
would not be bothered by the colonists. The rest of the tribe moved west under threats of
violence made by the colonists. The Delaware inadvertently intruded upon the Iroquois tribe
territory. The Iroquois forced the Delaware farther west into Ohio territory.
During the American Revolution, the Delaware Tribe was attacked many times, even
though they did their best to remain peaceful. In 1781, a Lenni Lenape village by the name of
Coshocton was attacked by about 300 Americans. Coshocton and another village nearby,
Licheneau, were destroyed. Fifteen Lenape warriors were captured and killed. Later that year, in
the Gnadenhutten Massacre, Pennsylvania militiamen attacked the tribe, and almost one hundred
peaceful Christian Delaware were taken to a concentration camp. The Americans believed that
the Delaware were responsible for raiding, but they were mistaken. The Delaware never raided
the Americans. The Delaware at the concentration camp were released in 1782. However, that
same year, Americans massacred the same peaceful Christian Lenape. The Lenape were praying,
and an American ranger used a cooper's mallet to brain many of the Lenape. Also, in 1782,
Americans attacked Lenape at Smokey Island, and the Americans destroyed Lenape artifacts.
The Delaware tribe suffered in many ways during the American Revolution.
The Delaware Tribe did their best to be neutral, but failed. The tribe split into three parts.
One sided with the English. Another part remained neutral. The last sided with the Americans.
The Lenape that sided with the Americans even fought for the Americans. The rest of the Lenape
feared losing their lands if the Americans won the War. After the War the Americans took the
Delaware Tribe even further west, across the Mississippi River. They reside today in Oklahoma.
Though broken by the American Revolution, the Delaware Tribe stays strong. Although
the Lenape lost so many lives during the War, the tribe now grows larger and stronger by the
year. Many people are now discovering that their family background lies with the Lenni Lenape.
Though not the kind they originally desired, the Lenape are finally able to live in peace.