Saturday, March 7, 2009

The "Indians of North America" Series

I've been aware of the Indians of North America series since before I really got interested in Algonkian church history. The books in the series are illustrated and readable enough to be classified as "Juvenile Literature," but I recommend them for adults as well as teens. Titles in the series include the following Algonkian nations: The Ojibwa, The Narragansett, The Menominee, The Nanticoke, The Wampanoag, The Chipewyan, The Cheyenne, The Potawatomi, the Abenaki, and today I'll be quoing from The Lenape (The Delaware [including Munsee] Indians were known by that name prior to white contact). Other titles of interest in the series include The Aztecs, Federal Indian Policy, The Iroquois, The Maya, Urban Indians, and Women in American Indian Society.


The yellow part of this map is Lenapehoking, or the land of the Lenape (you can see that it makes up what is now New Jersey, plus parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New York State


I do recommend The Lenapes. That doesn't mean that it is without errors, but I think errors will result when anybody tries to tackle the pre-contact culture and 400 years of history of a major Indian nation in roughly 100 pages. Anyway, the anecdote I'm going to quote for you is from page 63. I'll call it

The Conversion of Glickhican

In 1771, in what is now Ohio, the Delaware Indians made their main council fire, or capitol city at Newcomer's Town (it is known as Newcomerstown to this day). The newly formed government included Chief Netawatwees of the Turtle clan and he was advised by a Great Council which was made up of representatives of all the Delaware towns - except for the Moravian Delawares.

Only the Moravian Delawares were denied representation in council deliberations, because their Christianity made them suspect to their fellows. Most chiefs at Newcomer's Town tolerated the Moravians in the area. Many, however, neither fully accepted nor entirely trusted them, and several sought to drive them away altogether. At one point, these chiefs convinced the Great Council to send the noted warrior Glickhican (Gun Sight) to force the Moravians to leave. Engaging him in discussion, the missionaries talked Glickhican into joining their community instead.

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