Thursday, October 27, 2016






In 1983 New Jersey began building a short stretch of State Route 55 over land long ago occupied by American Indians confirmed by state archaeologist. The Lenape Indians had used the tract of land some 3500 years before the birth of Christ until the white man showed up some 5000 years later.

The state denied that the Lenape Indians had ever buried any of their dead there.

Not so said Sachem Wyandaga a Nanticoke Chief and Medicine Man. The day construction began he issued a warning “ Stop vandalizing Native American graves or be punished”. Then he began praying to Ancestors.

A foreman on the construction crew, Charles Shoemaker, told that when Wyandga put a curse on him, his freezer broke down. Shoemaker then developed ulcers and had to leave his job.

Reports by the Press tell that a 34 year old crewman was killed at the site when hit by a dump truck, another, an inspector , fell dead on a brain aneurysm, another healthy workman succumbed with cancer, and a mysterious wind blew a worker off a bridge. Other workmen, some of their families, fell victim to serious ailments. A van carrying five caught fire for no apparent reason.

The construction company, John Rouse & Company, lost millions on the project and almost went bankrupt. A lawyer for Rouse, John Land, said “ I am not superstitious, but if you believe in 'curses', this one sure did the trick” .

Sachem Wyandaga , the name means “chosen one”, is standing next to his pickup camper, looking over a pile of brick, he is about 67 year but not looking so. He is retired and just back from fishing. His fight with the New Jersey Tansportation Department is an example of wide differences that exist between Indians and White Men. Looking at the same thing they see it different. White men look at words on paper and Indians live with logic and oral traditions handed down generation to generation.

It is hard to believe that 'real' Indians live in our midst, they live, dress and behave just like the whites but when together , in buckskins and feathers, form a circle, holding hands and pray to “The Great Spirit” them become like their ancestors or hundred of years ago. Today Wyandaga is sorting blocks and bricks, his second wife, less than half his age, is raking leaves, in the camp ground which is in the middle of a forest near Elmer. He is building a patio as a car drives up. Lighting his pipe he lets the driver know he cannot talk too long as the pation needs to be done. Around his neck is a 'medicine bag' and two others on his belt. He says all 'traditional' Indians ware 'medicine bags' from the day they are born, in the bag is dust from the earth at their birth place, a sliver f gold, silver and maybe copper. Later are added herbs, roots and 'other things' necessary to the health and religion of the wearer. Another bag, he says is his money bag and yes we Indians also need money.

Three feathers are fit in his straw hat which he takes off and shows his shaved. All 'medicine men' shave their heads. Then he lays the feathers in the palm of his hand. Pointing to the feathers he says this one is a turkey feather for the Turkey Tribe. The one in center is a golden eagle feather, and is only allowed to be worn by an Indian. The next on is a guinea hen, it's decorative. Next on the hat is a lock of blond hair, a scalp, and yes I did kill Nazis for it. I earned twelve of them in Europe during WWII.
Last he hands over a necklace of bear claws which he admits the bear gave up under protest.

Still laying the bricks, blocks or whatever, he said that it needs to be understood that the ill fate of the builders of the road not a result of any curse even though the Nanticokes were known for witchcraft and the like by other tribe, curses were not one of the traditions.

When asked it he was sure there were graves, he replied, “here's the thing, there was no Indian village, where, within 500 yards, there was not a burial site, so, anyplace there was a village there was a grave site, I knew this, told them so, and if they destroyed the burials, that I as Chief had not alternative but to call down a curse. They did not listen to me. They laughed. It did not prevent what happened”. Out of breath, he drops the last brick into place and wipes his brow with the outside of his hand as all Indians did.

Wyandaga began his learning the ways of the Shaman from his grandmother when he was five. His father, deceased at the Battle of Blood Creek in south central Pennsylvania in the 1920's, a historically obscure event. From central Pennsylvania he moved to Philadelphia with his mother and grandparents, where he was a shoeshine boy, moving every year or so, to New Jersey, Delaware and back to Philadelphia. When WWII came about he joined the Army Airborne in Germany. While there he studied under the GI Bill, things that struck hid fancy, engineering, theology. Returning to Philadelphia he tried to live like the white man but could not make it work. He tried to reject his Indian heriatge and drank a lot and ended up in a hospital someplace. Calling on the Great Spirit he got the message to go back to the Indian ways. That was 20 year ago. Now, Wyandaga calls himself Chief of the Delaware Nation, 40,000 Indians who make up 12 Tribes.



Tuesday, October 25, 2016



A Nanticoke legend of the Maryland Eastern Shore Tribe accounts for the stunted growth and crooked limbs as such:

“Long ago a chief had four beautiful daughters whose charms he schemed to barter for rich gifts. Suitors far and wide never satisfied the greedy chief.

Finally the Gods, exasperated at his meanness, turned him into a small low tree, with snarled bent branches, and then his daughters into the four white bracts surrounding the tiny cluster of flowers as the gigts the suitors brought.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sunday, April 18, 1943 AKA&EM

Sunday, October 23, 2016



Smithsonian Institute published this bulletin on the Nanticoke Indians which inhabited Talbot County along the Choptank River in the neighborhood of “The Wilderness” of the Speer Estate where have been found many relics of the Tribes.

This bulletin of the Smithsonian is interesting because it gives authoritatively the history of the Tribes.

Nanticoke, from Nentego, of Delaware Unechtgo, Unalashtgo, “ Tidewater People”, and important Algonquian Tribe who live on the Nanticoke River of Maryland's Eastern Shore. Here is where Captain Smith located their principal village in 1608.

Nanticoke were connected linguistically and ethnically with the Delaware Conoy Tribe. Traditional history is brief and affords but little aid in tracing their movements in prehistoric times.

Tenth Verse of the 5th Song of “The Walam Olum”, translated by Squier; “ The Nentego's and the Shawants wnet to the South Lands”. Here the Shawnee and the Nanticokes are brought together in this verse, it does not necessarily indicate that each separated from the main tribe at the same time and place. This separation appears to have occurred, according to verse 1 “Walam Olum” , in Talega Land, which was most likely now Ohio. Tradition indicates, by Beatty, location South is sme point below the latitude of Pittsburg. Pemmsylvania , but not south of the Kanawha. Another account , given to Heckewelder by old Chief White who said that they being better and great hunters. trappers and fishers, separated from the Delaware League when reaching the eastern seat, wandering on in search of better hunting grounds.

In 1660 the Conoy Tribe Chief informed the Maryland governor of a 'league that had existed for 13 generations with an emperor of Nanticoke lineage embracing all tribes of the province, also the Potomac and as they pretended, even the Iroquoian Conestoga. The Tocwogh and Doag were possibly identical with the Nanticoke.

The Maryland Colony Settlement found the Nanticokes a thorn in their side and were officially declared enemies as early as 1682 until a treaty was composed in 1678. After 1689 reservations were established for them and all was mostly peaceful. 1707 found at least seven villages 1722 the main village was Nanduge with some one hundred residents including the empress. She ruled over all neighboring Indians of near five hundred.

Soon the Nanticokes began moving north, stopping at the Susquehanna and Juniata , then about 1748 the greater part of the tribe moved on up the Susquehanna finally settling under Iroquois protection at Chenango, Chugum, and Owego on the east branch of the Susquehanna in southern New York state where they were about 500 in strength in 1765.

A few Nanticoke remained in Maryland where they lived until 1840, a tribe of 30 or so. Others went west , Ohio and Indiana , and the race disappeared as a distinct tribe. A few, mixed bloods, live on the Indian River in Delaware.

The Nanticoke were distinguished from neighboring tribes by a darker color and peculiar customs, were devoted to fishing and trapping as a means of subsistence . Traditions have it the Nanticoke Tribe invented poisonous substances, practiced witch craft.

The Nanticoke confederacy appears to have included , beside the Naticocks proper, the Arscek, Cuscarwaoe, Nause, Ozinies, and Sampinagh.

There were the following villages; Askimimkansen, Byengehten, Chenago, Conedogwinit, Locust, Necktown, Matchcouchtin, Matcheattochousie, Nanduge, Natahquois, Peixtan, Pekoinoke, Pohecommeati, Teahquois, Witichquasom.


1930 frigid pow wow NANTICOKE INDIANS


Frigid temperatures yesterday caused the Nanticoke Indian Braves to add their Indian blankets to their usual scant costumes at their Pow Wow ceremonies at the Indian River Reservation at Oak Orchard.
Instead of just feathers, war paint, and buckskins, the braves wrapped themselves in colorful blankets to
perform the tribal dances. It was a frosty Thanksgiving picnic enjoyed by thousands of Indians and guest from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, all shivering and longing for their own Indian blankets. High winds prevented the normally wild council fire for fear of setting neighboring leaves and structures afire.

During the afternoon guest from other reservations arrived ; Lacy Oxendine of the Cherokee's, Kowdelanche Lokotah, Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota, E. A. Roe of the Chippewa, and three students of the Pennsylvania University Research Team, Joseph McFarland, Irving Bird and Phillip Werner.

Nanticoke Chief Sea Gull, aka Ferdinand Clark, the head of those who lives and farms the grounds at the reservation , was master of ceremonies, in a wooded area on the banks of the Indian River at his home. Chief Mawitt, his brother, Robert , who lives in Philadelphia, was his assistant. Their mother, Princess Madacanna, Mrs. Florence Clark, was in charge of the food served at the repast and visiting Indian and guest entertainment. Little Owl, Charles Clark, also assisted in the ceremony’s.

Other notables who were guest of Chief Sea Gull and his mother were; Chief White Horn of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, who lives in Philadelphia, Chief Johnson of the Rappahannock Tribe of Virgina, now living in Baltimore, and Chief War Eagle, Delaware Lenape Tribe of Oklahoma.

Chief Sea Gull declared the Pow Wow was the smallest of attendance since the 1921 Association founding Pow Wow due to the business depression and drought.

Council was held Wednesday night in the Pavillion and held a dance in costume, Thursday, was given to hunting rabbits and quail during the day and the raccoons hunt that night.

This is the first in many years that Professor Frank Speck of the University of Pennsylvania Anthroplogy Department , who was instrumental in bringing about the organization of the Nanticoke Indian Association , was not able to attend.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016


APTIL 1935

Sometimes they call them reptiles when scorpions , salamanders, lizards, were included

in the reports. A red headed 'skink' , whatever that is or was, was thought to be poisonous. The male

fence lizard , a scorpion, was poisonous when its throat was blue, a female, Just a lizard, was not

and children played with them when harnessed in lizard grass nooses. Salamanders were said to be

full of venom and would kill and cats that ate them. Some cat could be saved by feeding it with fat

meat that gave relief to the poison.

The water snake, the hog nose snake, the field viper all were thought to be venomous bu

t were not. The blast racer was the only snake thought not to be poisonous. If a field viper bit itself it

died of its own poison. The copperhead emitted a smell like cucumbers. Black snake skin worn on the

body cured rheumatism. The hoop snake takes its tail by its mouth and rolls like a hoop. A black

snake is thought to suck milk from a cows udder. Hang a dead black snake on a tree branch and it will soon rain.

It was believed that the first spring thunder awoke the snakes from their winter sleep.

When a snake was killed, not long after, its mate come to seek the remains.


APRIL 26 1935

In spite of our civilization there is a great amount of superstition yet today, where such silly beliefs came from is hard to say.

From a study of the Nanticoke Indians it has been found that many beliefs have been handed down to well educated people, who are supposed to have average intelligence, yes, the present inhabitants.

A recent wedding dinner was held off because there were 13 guest were at the table and not served until a neighbor was called in and seated at the table to make fourteen guest.

One did not walk under a ladder suspended against a building.

Silly notions are still believed in by the country people and the following are cures believed in by the Nanticokes; a deerskin necklace kept the whooping cough away, a necklace of red corn prevented a nose bleed as did a dead spider worn around the neck.

A big one was that the seventh born child held the power of magic and had knowledge of the use of medicines and could cast 'spells' on people and animals.

To cure lameness, hang a worm in some sort of container, let it decay, then rub the decayed matter on the lame limbs .

Prevent summer fevers, chew the flower petals of the hepatica (liver) plant in the spring. Colds were cured by brewing and drinking horsemint.

The Calamus root, or muskrat root, made to a tea, was used for the colic. A mother would chew a piece of the root and blew into an infants mouth to stop pain and sooth them to sleep.

Leaves of the Mullein plant, made to a poulace, drenched with vinegar , places on parts of the body, keep the fever away.

The wild indigo leaves and those from poplar trees' brewed' to a lotion which was good for sprains. Pine tar made to a cathartic was also good for sore , sprains, and such.

Relief of rheumatism was had by an eel skin worn around the affected parts.

There were people who had the power to rub away warts, heal cuts with cobwebs and/or soot.

The smoke from tobacco blown into an ear prevented ear ache, also baby’s stomach ache when blown into its mouth.

Prickly Pear relieved inflammation from bites and stings and also removed warts.

Now this is one hard to take, a child with chickenpox could be cured by letting chickens fly over them. I guess they put them in the chicken house to sleep at night.
Page 1

A sore throat can be cured by pressing the jaws as far apart as is possible with the thumbs.

Skunk Cabbage brewed into a tea cured a cold. Got a backache, cut the skin from a live black snake, wrap it around the waist

Frost bite cure. Remove the bladder from a live animal and bind it to the affected area.

Sassafras tea was always drank in the spring to ward off fever and ague, and to cool the blood.

Fish weed and snake roots were chewed or made into tea and drank to get rid of stomach worms

The ringing in the ears was known as 'death bells' and which announced the death of a friend or relative.

New Years Day it was custom for men to visit neighbors, the first man there, received a penny, but, it was ill omen for a woman to visit this day.

Like storks, fish hawks were venerated by the Nanticokes and it was a sin to kill one or disturb its nest which the fish hawks built near the habitations, close to the ground. The birds returned to them year after year. Buzzards were never molested.

When a scorpion lizard got upon a persons body and made the trip around it, that person was soon to die.

A hen that crows is a sign of bad luck and is to be killed. A rooster crowing at the door means a visitor is on their way.

Never pass a closed knife to a person, the knife needs to be opened.

Snake lore is a story all of its own and may appear in another paper later on. Trust me.

Page 2

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pirate Raid 1747 Delaware River Bombay Hook



A stretch of beach a few miles above Bombay Hook was the scene of a pirate raid in 1747 of two families. Prior to 1790 no coastal area was safe from privateers and pirates that infested the inlets along the coast.

On this lonely strip of beach there were only two houses, James Hart and his family occupied one and a short distance away lived his neighbor, Edmund Liston in the other house. Just after dinner, on 12 July 1747, Liston's little daughter, took one of the little slave girls as a companion and went to the beach, within sight of the house, to catch some crabs. Within a few minutes, fifteen or twenty, Spanish or French landed in an open boat, surrounded the children, took them prisoners, tying the black girl and leaving her at the beach , while they carried white child to the house. Here they found Liston at home, admitting they were pirates, demanding Liston to give them his slaves, together with his money. Fearing the safety of his family he complied with their demands without resistance. The pirates stripped the house of anything they could put in the boat, food, bedding, furniture and closthing.

A mile away, Hart, was also at home, had seen them coming and barricaded his house and gave a fight. QA slave girl who had failed to get into the barricaded house was caught and bound and brought to the house, however, Hart gave fight, and for a while keep the pirates away. However, Mrs Hart had been hit by a musket ball and was bleeding badly and in an effort to save her life, surrendered and opened the door, soon the house was stripped bare. Then Liston and Hart were taken back to the Liston house, saw the loot in the boat, with the slaves tied up among it. The two families were left , unhurt, on the beach shore.

This raid was immediately reported to the Council of Anthony Palmer. Evidently this was the start of our fondness of long and impressive investigations, as several years later, the court records were stuffed with letters and orders directing someone else to do something about it. Since the names of the pirates were unknown, nothing was ever done about the raid.

Sewell P. Moore, Delaware Historical Spots, Wilmington News Journal, 4 Oct., 1930

Sunday, October 16, 2016



Recently the large mansion house which stood at the northwest corner of Third & Jackson Streets, Wilmington, Delaware, was torn down to make room for a church building to be used in combination with St. Pauls Roman Catholic Church which is adjoining,

The house was built by Aaron Conrad in the winter of 1859 and 1860 and occupied in March of 1860 by the Conrad family until the spring of 1869 when the block on which it was built was sold to Bishop Thomas A Becker, the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Wilmington Diocese.

In the year 1855 Aaron Conrad bought a tract of  twenty acres extending from Monroe Street to the East to Van Buren Street to the West, and Front Street on the south to fourth street on the North, which was the Simpson Farm.  The farm buildings standing at that time were on the West side of Jackson Street , at bit North of Second Street. A year or two later there were six or eight small  double two story houses on Second Street, West of Monroe Street, built. At this time there are some of these houses still in original shape. On te South side of of Second  between Adams and Jackson there were built a dozen three story brick houses, several still stand.

In the fall of 1859 the house of our subject was built , a large two and half story brick dwelling,  situated on the whole block of Third and Fourth and Jackson and Van Buren . There was a brick stable, other out buildings and the rest of the block was garden.  Archie Given was the bricklayer and  James Morrison was carpenter, and was built very substantially.

The neighborhood did not improve as it was anticipated and was found that smaller hoses on smaller lots were in more demand that larger homes, so the rest of the twenty acres  was divided into small lots  and sold out rather fully .

A stream of spring water flowed from the west through the twenty acre tract, crossing Jackson between Second and Third,  going eastward to Adams. then flowed south over Second Street, joining another stream from the west.

In 1860 there were no buildings between Jackson and Washington Streets and that tract was a pasture enclosed by post and rail fence. Fourth Street went on for three or four blocks. Fourth and Madison had a few buildings and Third Street was not open west of Jefferson Street.

Public schools number 3 and 4 were in existence under the principal,  Miss Laura Osgood.

Between 1860 and 1870 improvements developed in this territory ,  in 1869 and 1870 St. Pauls Roman Catholic Church was erected ,  New Castle County Alms House was located on Broom Street.

By the son of Aaron Conrad for the Wilmington News Journal  September 20, 1930.



The State of Delaware is rich in Indian lre and relics but the appreciation of these is spoilt for the most of us by the amount of confusion in names and locations. Historian have given different names to the same tribes which is unavoidable since the Indians themselves were known by different names in different languages. One would need to spend an effort of going through histories to make a clear picture of the time of early settlers.

It is necessary to forget the prehistoric people which were driven away by the Indians before the discovery of America. We do not know if they were another nation of Red Man or an entirely different kind of people. First imagine a horde of Red Men swarming East from across the Mississippi which might have been sudden or gradual. They took up the eastern part of Canada and America, except, the south most lands of America. Florida and the extreme southern area were inhabited by an entirely different nation of Indians. Iroqois settled the North and East Canada, a region around the Great Lakes. The southern nation, Algonquins, held the east coast , St Lawrence River to the Carolinas. There was no central control and each nation had many smaller nations. The Algonquins are known to have been a race, other than a nation.

Delaware concerns itself with the Algonquins Nation tribes of Lenni Lenapes, who held territory from Hudson River to the Potomac.Leadership was loose, mostly ruled by Lenni Lenape Chiefs, who were the most intelligent and domestic, the 'original people' , the Grandfathers. This nation was divided into Tribes, much like our States.

Delaware Indians, a name given three tribes of Indians of the region, needs to be forgotten, as it was the name given by the settlers, not the Indians.

Unamis or 'Turtle People' , the most progressive and intelligent of the Lenni Lenape Nation, were fishermen, planters, and hunters, with lands from the junction of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers down to the middle of Delaware on Delaware., the most prominent in Delaware history. They had very little occasion to make war in the territory of Delaware.

The Minsi, or 'Wolf People', friendly with the Unamis, occupied a crescent shaped tract from the northern part of the Delaware River to a tip that spread out in Cecil County Maryland, through to Christiana Creek, surrounding the Unamis. Although little of their territory was in Delaware they were important , being warriors, as guards and protectors to other tribes below them.

The last tribe, Unalachtgoe, 'Turkey People' , on lands now of Kent, Sussex and the rest of the peninsula, were peaceful and domestic, carried on farming and domestic arts to a high development and were good hunters and fishermen. They considered themselves to be a separate nation and divided into smaller tribes with strong leadership.

Source: Wilmington Delaware News Journal Saturday September 20 1930 : Abstract

Saturday, October 15, 2016



(Neil R. Judd – American Archeologist – 1930)

The site of 'Tocwogh' described by Captain John Smith, in his 1608 account of the exploration of the Chesapeake Bay, as a flourshing Indian settlement located on Kent Island , across from Annapolis near the mouth of Chester Rover.

The town with structures of woven grass covering wooden frameworks was abandoned and disappeared three centruries ago, leaving only a heap of oyster shells to mark the spot of a community famous among the natives for practitioners of 'black magic'.

There were many relics found mixed with the oyster shells , arrowheads, stone hammers, pots of soapstone and clay pottery, being found by a later day farmer by name of Tolson who had collected many which were turned over to the National Museum. They took the attention of Neil R. Judd of the American Archeologist Society who decided this was “Tocwogh”.

Tocwogh, a mound covering several acres about two feet high, was one of the chief strongholds of the Nanticoke Indians, said to be one of the Algonquin tribes, which were dreaded by other Indian Tribes and resisted the first white settlers. It is told the Nanticokes were a darker race and were believed to possess secret poisons that could destroy whole settlements by merely blowing their breath upon it.

The first white settlers who came to the Chesapeake region found an Indian Confederacy ruled by a Nanticoke Empress and were known to be friendly to the white settlers. There are facts that tell the Nanticokes were unfriendly and were in 1642 declared 'enemies' until 1678 when a treaty was signed with the Maryland Proprietorship.

In 1706 the Nanticokes began movement to the northwest of Maryland into New York and Canada, mingled with the Iroquois and disappeared from history.

The articles found in the Kent Island shell heaps now are the only museum relics of this mysterious people.

The pottery fragments are of especial interest because of the decorations made by patting the wet clay with cord wound paddles, the cord being from fibers of the milkweed, somewhat like hemp.

The Nanticoke villages, described by Capt. Smith as 'pallizdoed' , the 'houses' mantelled with tree bark , with mounts abrest them. Smith had sailed the Chester River and seen several villages. The Chief Nanticoke settlement was told to be 'down' the river but no trace was found of it. The people off these settlements are said to be small farmers of 'maize', found games and fruits in the heavy wooded forest and took molluscs and fish from the beaches.

Most of the Indian history has been destroyed by the settlers who wiped out the tribes, considered them a nuisances rather than other human beings and objects of study. Their existence ploughed under , the mounds carried off and used as fertilizer with no notice of the relics..

Source: The Courier-Journal , Louisville, Kentucky, June 2 1930

Thursday, October 13, 2016



Brilliant in their native garb, with war paint, feathers, beads, buckskins, blankets and in tune with the beating of tom- tom's , giving war whoopes which echoed throughout the woodlands and across the Indian River waters, descendants of the Nanticoke Tribe , that inhabit the territory in the vicinity of Warwick and Oak Orchard, Sussex county, Delaware, held their Thanksgiving Day pow-wow, on the banks of the Indian river at River Dale Park, the home of Chief Seagull, known to his neighbors as Ferdinand Clark.

The Nanticoke Indian Association, ten years old, chartered in Delaware 1921, through efforts of the late Chief Wyniaco, William Russell Clark, father of Chief Seagull. Having much difficulty he sought assistance of Dr. Frank C. Speck, head of the Department of Anthropology of the University of Pennsylvania, who sponsored the cause of Clark and obtained the charter and the Nanticoke Indian Association was founded .

Wyniaco was the name of the first chief who began to rally the clan and make memberships. He died 8 October, 1928 and succeeded by his son Chief Seagull.
At todays pow-wow prominent Indians present were ; Chief White Horn member of the Omaha Tribe, now living in Philadelphia, Lacey Oxendine , a Cherochee of Wilmiington, , Kardelanche Takotah, aka Herbert Davis of Wilmington, who is a Dakota from Pine Ridge Reservation, a Ogallala Sioux, EathenAllen Poe, a Chippewah, , Chief Gen Yen Twa Ga, aka James Johnson, Baltimore, of the Rappahanock Tribe of Indian Neck,Virginia, whose Indian name means “corn planter”, Assist Chief Mawett of Nanticoke tribe, living in Philadelphia, , Field Chief Little Owl, aka Charles Clark, a Nanticole living in Philadelphia, Joseph McFarland of the University of Pennsylvania, an honorary member named Shummotut, Nanticokes who will participate in the ceremony are Sequino, aka Carrie Wright, Laughing Water, Vina Harmon, Kooleon, Pat Harmon, Rus Hos, R. L. Harmon, Kitty Cawndigiqua, Isaac Harmon, Red Fox , Geathew Clark of Philadelphia, . Little Owl, Red Fox and Mawett are brothers of Chief Seagull.

Princess Madacanna, mother of Chief Seagull, was unable to attend because of a stroke she had several months ago, neither did Chief Seagull, who was under emergency care at Milford Hospital.
Chief Mawett was master of ceremonies and made invocation to the Great Spirit after which the Pipe of Peace was smoked. , then made welcomed tribesmen and visiting Indians. Dances during the afternoon were the welcome dance, greeting dance to the chiefs, round dance, square dance, duck and snake dances, turkey dance, war dance and farewell dance. Later was a big dinner served to all present.

Tonight was the council meeting and tomorrow will be spent hunting for relics and mounds will be excavated , the raccoon hunt that night. Saturday is for fishing and boating on the river, while the girls make “much heap talk”' . Saturday night is the Council Big Fire Meeting and farewell dance. In the Council House.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016



Some interesting discoveries have been made on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia by a Professor William Dinwiddle connected with Maryland State Bureau of Ethnology making a “study”
of prehistoric archeology .

Two ancient Indian villages have been found on the shore of the Manokin River and many relics were found on Maddox Island.

Dinwiddle encamped first at Vienna, where on the banks of the Chicone creek was found signs of an extensive village, known as Indian Town by the people of the Fork district of Dorchester county.

In 1698 an Act of General Assembly of Maryland, renewed in 1704, a grant of land in Dorchester was made to the Indians, a tract of fifty square miles, from the Delaware boarder to the west side of Nanticoke River, according to Bosmans History of Maryland. Out of this tract, three small tracts were granted to whites by the Indians. The Indians were unable to hunt, take timber nor till the lands which led to unpleasant relations and the children left and nothing remains to mark these happy hunting grounds.

In 1711 another grant of three thousand acres was made them north of Broad Creek for the special use of the Nanticoke Tribe, which at first was of Somerset County Maryland but in 1762 became Sussex county Delaware by resurvey. . The Nanticoke's were a powerful tribe and the last to leave the hunting grounds of the Eastern Shore. In the 1762 survey all provincial records cease.

The first new evidence of the Nanticoke Indians was in 1748 a resident of Bethlehem saw them pass by Shomonkin in ten canoes up the Susquehanna toward the Wyoming Valley near the end of the eighteenth century. Almost a centrury later they began to move from Wyoming Valley to Kentucky on the Ohio River, to Ohio. There there were only a small handful and most traces of them were lost.

There are a few males of an Iowa tribe who claim to be descendants of the Nanticokes..

Source: Wilmington Evening Journal, Monday November 7, 1892. page 5.

Saturday, October 8, 2016



Baltimore Sun , October 6, 1880; Baltimore. Maryland

Ridgely, in his “Annals of Annapolis” speaks of the apparitions of two old Indians, “King

Abraham” and “Queen Sarah” the last survivors of the settlement of Nanticoke Indians in Dorchester

County, Maryland, the tribe having removed to Canada, who used to be seen in and around Annapolis

before the Revolution. They came and went across the Chesapeake Bay in their canoe like ghost out

of the past, and were the spectators of a 'growth and progress' they could not understand.

Here were swamp and forest where they speared fish, took oysters and crabs, are industries,

elevator piers, black hulled steamers sending forth their various clamors to frenzy the air.

Finally they came no more.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


William Christie MacLoud
University of Pennsylvania

Oak Orchard, Indian River, Delaware December 10, 1923

Within the Delmarva area there are mounds built by ancient Indian inhabitants and descendents of the people who built them still live in the neighborhood where they are found. The region lays along the Indian River near Millsboro. A party of scientist from the University of Pennsylvania of Philadelphia have began digging in these mounds to study the descendent of their builders. This group also plans to spend Thanksgiving week end enjoying the hospitality of these Indians and other Indians who come from all over the United States to attend a great Council Fire.

The mounds built by the Nanticoke Indians are of a very curious origin. The tribe held the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware to the Indian river and west to the Susquehanna River. It is known that these Indians, ever since they were discovered by John Smith in 1608 mummified their Kings or Chiefs after death just as did the Egyptians. To mummify a body the insides were cut our and buried and the corpse filled with herbs and spices, then smoked dried over a sacred fire, then placed in a Kiocasan, a temple so to speak, in which stood an Idol of Kiocas, where they remained until the temple was full.

What happened to the mummies after the temple became crowded? This is why the scientist are doing the study and the mounds being examined. It is the thinking that the mounds cover the temples and remains of the Nanticoke Indians. The scientist need to move carefully and work slowly. They have been dug into only about ten feet so far. No skeletons have been recovered but spearheads, tomahawks, arrow heads and pottery have been dug out.

Members of the Pennsylvania Department of Anthropology attending this Council were Dr. Frank Gouldersmith Speck, his wife , A. Irvin Hallowell, instructor, A. R. Davidson, student, Yale Nathan, student and W. C. MacLoud.

The visiting Indian Chiefs gathered at the Nanticoke settlement are from the remnants of the tribe of the great Powhaten Confederacy which when John Smith landed in Virginia in 1608 were under the Emperor Powhatan who ruled a territory eight thousand miles in extent and whose influence reached the Nanticoke Tribe on Delaware shores.

Todays chief of the confederacy , Chief Tomacoma, or A. R. Nelson, whichever you wish, is also Chief of the Rappahannock of Tappahannock Indians, and twentieth century successor of Emperor Powhaten.

Chief Nantacuus or B. T. Atkins, whichever you wish, is chief of the Chiekahoming Indians, Chief Wahauganoche, aka T. L. Bass, chief of the Nassumund tribe, who live below the Great Dismal Swamp
of Virginia,

Tribal Councilors present were Chief Namuacus , aka A. L Clarke, of the Rappahannock Indians, andchief Tap-ha-cope, aka N. C. Bass, of the Nansumunds. Chief Pahamencoot , head of the Pamunkey Tribe was unable to come due to illness. The host of the Ccouncil was Chief Wyniaco, aka, R. H. Clarke.

From the far away Ojibway Tribe of the west came Chief Strongwolf, who served in the World War I, enlisting in an Canadian regiment in 1914. From the Mohican Tribe of Connecticut came Princess Gladys Tantequidgeon lineal descendant of Indian Chief Uncas, who was friends to the Puritans, and ate at the first American Thanksgiving in the 1600's. Princess Madacanna, Jannie Harmon, of the Nanticoke Tribe was host to the Connecticut Princess.

War Paint and Feathers

The Tuesday night prior to Thanksgiving Day most of the Virginia Chiefs were dressed in their every day ordinary cloths. On Wednesday the Pennsylvania University people arrived as did more Indians and the settlement was crowded with Indians in War paint and Dance paint, feathers and ancient costumes of the various tribes. They must have numbered well over six hundred.

That morning the Council of the Confederacy was held and routine business transacted. Plans were laid
to furthering the cause of Indians who even today meet with injustice. At one thirty a Great Council Fire was built and the chiefs of the tribes smoked the pipe of peace and made welcoming addresses to the settlement and its white visitors. After a turkey feast which was enjoyed by all, and spirits ran high, a dance was held in the council house. Chief Strongwolf of the Ojibway opened the danceing with the Dance of the Snake followed by an hour long weird war dance to the beating of ten wild tom-toms . Indian songs and feasting followed, the scalp dance, the dancers painted and feathered, crying a wild war whoop , winding out of the Council House along the pine shadowed river and back.

Friday morning the Council Fire was blackened and the Indians in a much quieter mood. After another turkey feast the Council gathered to consider a most important question laid before them. The Indian Tribes since the 1641 war with whites, had never been permitted to socialize with the whites. This did not trouble them until compulsory state public education came about. The Indians refused to attend the schools they were told to attend and built their own schools and paid their own teachers. It must be noted they had their own churches too. It was noted that governments were passing bills allowing states to build and endow schools for the Powhatan Confederacy.

The evening following the council another banquet was held outdoors for hundreds of Indians in war paint and feathers. A Place of Honor was given to the two beautiful Indian Princesses , Princess Madacama of the Nanticokes and Princess Tantequidgeon of the Connecticut Mohican Tribe. The Rappahannock Chief chanted to the beat of ten tom-toms , in true Indian manner, a poem dedicated to the two charming girls.

Late that night when the most of the virginia Indians had left, the pale face group from Pennsylvania decided to go on a coon hunt. As we had not made any previous preparations we could find only one dog, a red one, with no idea what the excitement was about and we thought he would never tree a coon.
We were surprised however, when the evening was saved, when the red dog treed a cat and it was voted that the coon hunt was a success.

A Country Full of Romance

The country side which held the Powhaten Confederate Council of Tribes this year is one of beauty and romance. The Indian village that is now the present Nanticoke Settlement was the northern most
of the Nanticoke villages and marked the north limits of the Powhaten empire. At Lewes on Delaware, only a few miles north, was the village of Sieonnese, the southernmost of the Delaware Indians. The region between Cape Henlopen and Indian River was neutral, neither Delaware Indians nor Nanticoke claimed it, The Delaware and Nanticoke Indian were often at war with each other. In 1630 a Dutch Colony purchased Indian land and built a settlement which was soon destructed by an Indian disagreements.

Indian lore tells that the area was covered by great flocks of pigeons that would obscure the sun, the woods were full of the Carolina Parokeet, whales ascended the Delaware river and at time to the west were found herds of buffalo.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

1609 Henry Hudson at Cape Henlopen



The Hudson – DeVries celebration was held with the greatest pomp ever seen in lower coastal Delaware commemorating the three hundredth anniversary of Hudsons landing on 28 August 1609, and the arrival of a Dutch colony headed by David Peterson DeVries in April 1631.

The most important activity was the unveiling at noon of the monument erected to honor DeVries.

Federal Judge George Grey of Wilmington was the orator who presented the monument to Governor Simon Penniwill of Delaware.

The ancient town, at the mouth of the Delaware Bay, was crowded as never before was covered with decorations of American and Dutch colors.

Baron Loudon , Dutch Minister to the United States, was guest of honor. The United States Navy sent the Battleship Montana, Cruiser Dixie and a flotilla of eight torpedo boats to the Lewes Breakwater.

Rev. C. H. B. Turner, rector of the Saint Peters Episcopal Church of Lewes, was the celebrations originator and was the one who discovered that Hudson had arrived at 'Lewes Creek days before reaching New York and announced it should be noted so.

Thursday , September 23, 1909 The Baltimore Sun of Baltimore Maryland source.