The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991 Page: 232
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
lized Tribes, many Delaware and Shawnee tribesmen were the products
of mixed marriages resulting from generations of white contact.
Scorned at times by certain whites as "half-breeds," their culture thus
straddled both worlds. Even so, their intimate knowledge of both cul-
tures added greatly to their ability as go-betweens during America's pe-
riod of expansion and conquest. Throughout the nine years when
Texas was an independent republic the Delawares and Shawnees
rendered vital aid during the struggling government's attempts to
maintain order on the wild frontier.
The Delawares, who called themselves Lenni Lenape (meaning "com-
mon people" or "original people"), were composed of several principal
bands that were part of the Algonkian linguistic family. According
to their early traditions, they were the parent stock from which other
Algonkian tribes, including the Shawnees, originated. Their aboriginal
home covered the Atlantic seaboard from Delaware Bay north to the
Catskills in New York. When William Penn held his memorable council
with them in 1682, the Delawares were reported generally docile in
their habits. Even so, they were a fairly powerful force, but around
1720 they were subjugated by the formidable Iroquois League, who
forbade them to sell off any land or use arms. As the years passed and
white pressure forced them to migrate westward, however, the Dela-
wares became increasingly independent of these northern overlords,
who were themselves suffering from the influx of whites. The first
treaty made by the United States with an Indian tribe was with the
Delawares at Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) in 1778. Here, as in subsequent
treaties, the whites did not follow the example of Penn in living up to
them. Allying themselves with the Shawnees and other western Algon-
kian tribes, the Delawares sometimes took up the hatchet against white
expansion, but to no avail, and over the years they were hounded, de-
bauched, missionized and sometimes slaughtered by those with whom
they collided. Uprooted and restless, they were well-suited for the role
they would play in the settlement of the West."
The Shawnees also experienced sporadic, often frustrating, periods
of conflict with various neighbors; ever since the seventeenth century
fragments of that tribe had migrated as far south as Georgia and east to
Pennsylvania to escape dominance by the Iroquois League. As pawns
on the political chessboard during the colonial wars between France
and England, the majority of the tribe finally wound up in the Ohio
2R[andolph] B. Marcy, Thirty Years of Army Life on the Border .. (New York: Harper and
Bros., 1866), 78-79; Clinton A. Weslager, The Delaware Indans: A History (New Brunswick, NJ:
Rutgers University Press, 1972), 320-321; Frederick Webb Hodge (ed.), Handbook of American
Indians North of Mexico, Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30 (2
vols.; Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1907), I, 385; William W. Newcomb, Jr., German Artist on the
Texas Frontier: Friedrich Richard Petri (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1978), 40-41.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991, periodical, 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/m1/276/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.