Vance Hawkins (see biographical
note at bottom of page), 15 Sep 2006 --
website http://www.graydovetrading.com/Nanticoke.html (now inoperative)
clearly showed Nanticoke Indians in the location where"Blackfoot
Town" was located on or near the Delaware/Maryland Border.
. . the majority of the tribe [Nanticoke] , in company with remnants
of the Mahican and Wappinger, emigrated to the west about 1784
and joined the Delaware in Ohio and Indiana, with whom they soon
became incorporated, disappearing as a distinct tribe. A few mixed
bloods live on Indian river, Delaware. . . .
amongst the Delaware of Oklahoma are Nanticoke Indians.
famous (on Saponitown forum) "Blackfoot Church", where
an early settler said it was named after Indians who lived nearby,
is located in Pike County, and it borders Gibson County. I will
send a link to this site when I refind it.
of Gibson County [Indiana]. by Gil Stormont, mentions (p 32
-37 or so) many tribes who lived in this part of Indiana. Altho
it doesn't mention Delaware (I thought it did) -- all those mentioned
are Alqonquin, including Shawnee. I recall a map I'd seen before
showing Delaware in So. Indiana. This could account for the Blackfoot
Town in So. Indiana as well as the MD/DE border.
are references to Delaware living in this region on Miami lands.
They asked permission and it was granted by the Miami.
the map at the link above. Notice the location of Delaware and
Shawnee Indians in Southern Indiana near the Kentucky border,
about 1810. If you look at a map of Indiana, Pike County (which
borders Gibson County) is in Southern Indiana and compare it to
a map of where Indian tribes lived in Indiana. The "Blackfoot
Church," was said to have been named after a tribe of Indians
that lived nearby in the late 1790s when the church was first
founded, is in Pike County. See how close the 2 Indian Shawnee/Delaware
Villages are to Pike County, near the Southern tip of Indiana
in 1810? So the only tribe in common to both locations -- one
in Delaware/Maryland called Blackfoot Town/Dagsborough, and the
other the Blackfoot Church in Pike County, Indiana -- is the Nanticoke,
as it was said that the Nanticoke travelled west with the Delaware.
the Nanticoke have any legends or stories about a band of their
people being called "Blackfoot"? Just curious.
on the www.saponitown.com/forum
and I believe yall copied the articles, it said the Totra (aka
Tutelo) wre found near this same location.
at the above website it says --
1722, through the efforts of the Colonial governments, peace was
finally made between the Iroquois and the Virginia tribes. In
consequence the Saponi and Tutelo some years later moved to the
north and settled on the Susquehanna at Shamokin, Pa., under Iroquois
protection, later moving up the river to Skogari. Their chiefs
were allowed to sit in the great council of the Six Nations. In
1763 the two tribes, together with the Nanticoke and Conoy, numbered,
according to Sir Wm. Johnson, 200 men, possibly 1,000 souls. In
1771 the Tutelo were settled on the east side of Cayuga inlet,
about 3 miles from the south end of the lake, in a town called
Coreorgonel, which was destroyed in 1779 by Gen. Sullivan. The
last surviving full-blood Tutelo known was Nikonha, from whom
Hale obtained the linguistic material by which he determined the
relation of the tribe to the Siouan stock. He died in 1871.
want to know when Blackfoot Town changed its name to Dagsborough
(I might have that misspelled). I also would like to know when
it was founded. If it was founded before 1722 that would be before
the Tutelo showed up in the area. Also I'd like to know where
Shamokin (mentioned at the above link as the location the Delaware,
Nanticoke, Conoy and Tutelo were at that time) was located, as
this is the location the Tutelo were for a while on the Susquehana
River. Was Shamokin near the original Blackfoot Town? I believe
this was NOT the homeland of the Nantecoke, but it is where those
went that migrated westward with the Delaware. Others remained
behind at/near Dagsboro.
Tutelo also clearly are migrating to Canada, not Indiana ith the
Delaware, but the Delaware and Nanticoke at Shamokin DID migrate
to Indiana and eventually to here in Oklahoma. That map clearly
shows Nanticoke in Central Indiana but does not mention Tutelo.
above link is to that church in Indiana I mentioned. It says it
was cfreated in the 1790s I think, and the only Indians in the
region at that time were Delaware/Miami/Shawnee.
researching my family, one branch lived in Gibson County, Indiana
from 1806 to 1844 when they went to Arkansas, and in 1872 to Indian
Territory, aka Oklahoma, where we have remained. This is why I
became interested in the history of that region.
have formulated a theory then sought evidence to back it up. I
don't want to do that. I looked for evidence and sought what theory
best fits it. Altho the Tutelo theory is interesting -- perhaps
it is possible -- but the "best fit" for the evidence
for the origin of the term "Eastern Blackfoot" seems
to be Nanticoke, based on the 2 places the name "Blackfoot"
is found in historical records.
I thank yall for letting me post thie results of this research.
I always admit I might be wrong. I am not gonna publish anything
-- whatever I say is free for anyone to share however they like.
A reply from Brian Alnutt, 15 Sep 2006 --
Another theory of the origin of the term "Blackfoot"
believe the Native American town of Shamokin, distinct from the
present-day town, was located where Sunbury PA now stands, at
the junction of the 2 Susquehanna River branches. -Brian (Gould)
from Jillyn, 15 & 16 Sep 2006 --
Re: Another theory of the origin of the term "Blackfoot"
I wonder if you know of Scharf and his book about early Delaware
History. He writes about Dagsboro and Blackfoot Town:
DAGSBOROUGH VILLAGE is located on that part of "Dagworthys
Conquest" taken up by General John Dagworthy, from whom it
derived its name. In deeds recorded previous to 1785, it is mentioned
"as the place formerly called Blackfoot town, but now Dagsbury."
Have you read Helen C. Rountree's Book? (one of my most favorite
of all time)
& Noble books OR Amazon.com
is called Eastern Shore Indians of Virginia and Maryland It has
quite a lot of info about the "Indian River Indians"
and Robin, The Interpretor" who lived with their tribe in
the area of "Blackfoot Town". There are names of people
listed in the book taken from colonial records. I have read this
book over and over and over... and I pretty much use it as a reference
book because it has so much information in it. Perhaps you can
trace some of the names.
I do not know if The "Indian River Indians" at that
time were "Nanticoke" but I have a strong sense that
they were at least closely related.
spend much of my time walking along the Indian River and I have
lived on the Indian River Bay in Sussex County Delaware for most
of my life. Over the years I have collected pottery sherds, stone
points and tools and some things that I dont know what are they
really... The ceramics I have found on the banks of the Indian
River area look just like the Nanticoke" ceramics I have
found in Vienna, Maryland (about 35 miles southwest) on the old
colonial land reservation below marshy hope creek. The Clay and
Temper looks a little different sometimes and the Color can range
from orangey to brown to tan to grey to very dark grey/brown.
But the designs look identical to me. It makes me feel that these
two different groups of people are at least related. Plus... I
have a strong inner vibe that they are related at least.
If someone asked me if the people at "Blackfoot Town"
were related to the Nanticoke People, and If I had to pick yes
or no, I would go with yes.
know that the Nanticoke Language is in the Algonquin (?not sure
of that spelling?) family of language. I believe the Tutelo and
Saponi peoples are thought to be Eastern Blackfoot" and is
their language group Souian?
I am happy to share my thoughts with you on the subject- It is
all so fascinating! But, take with a grain of salt because I really
do not know what is true on the matter.
Filon wrote: "I believe the Nanticokes have been
pretty concentrated in Indian River Hundred, on the opposite bank
of the River from Dagsboro, such that Nanticokes outside IRH were
pretty much scattered, not having "towns" of their own
such as "Blackfoot Town" would seem to indicate. I could
be corrected on any of this, but I've looked into it pretty thoroughly
several communities of Nanticoke people noted in colonial records:
The Broad Creek Reservation on the upper Nanticoke River created
from the site of a Nanticoke town that had been in the approximate
location for at least the previous century. Chicone Reservation
is in Vienna Maryland and was created from the site of a Nanticoke
town already occupied at the time of contact.
The Indian River Indians called themselves The Askocksy Indians.
They received a land patent for 1000 acrea on the south side of
the Indian River in 1705. The town was called Askekesky or Ashquesonne
Town (Ashquash). Interpretor and Leader of these people, Robin,
stated to Maryland authorities that the tribe had been expelled
from Buckingham (Berlin Maryland) and Assawoman (near Assateague
Maryland) and finally had been forced to retreat from the last
settlement at the mouth of the Indian River (Long Neck to Warwick)
and up to its head.
I believe that since the Nanticokes and Indian River Indian as
well as the Assateagues were all Algonquian speaking peoples,
it would be pretty unlikely that they originated from the same
family as the Blackfoot (since Blackfoot are Souian speakers)
(Tutelo are Souian Speaking people and that seems indicative of
the two possibly sharing ancestry). It is recorded that the Nanticoke
removed from Chicone (carrying the bones of their ancestors) to
Bethlehem Pa where they were taken in and made a part of the Susquehanock's
family (interesting since Susquehanock are Iroquoian speakers).
the Delaware Indians (Lenapi) were adopted by the Cherokee and
that is interesting as well (since cherokee are Iroquoian speakers
and Lenapi are Algonquian speakers).
I am wondering if: The different tribes had more distinct culture
and traditions before contact period. Same language groups may
have been related culturally. As time goes on the interaction
between different tribes and different native languages, intermarriage
and mixing and an assimilation of the different tribes that we
tend not to think about as much as we think of the assimilation
of native language, culture, tradition with European. Really,
right up to the present time we are still "assimilating"
into one anothers' cultures and families.
Esperanza Gailliard replies, 16 Sep 2006 --
be honest with the group, in the book A Short History of the Indians
of the United States, Professor Spicer states that many of the
Eastern Algonquian speaking tribes were under the protection of
the Iroquois League and many of the men from the Iroquios League
married into the tribes that they protected. Here is an excerpt
from page 26 :
"The Iroquiis military actions was nearly continuous from
1644 until about 1700. During this period they reached their peak
in population and in military and diplomatic power. The Iroquios
program had two aspects, On the one hand, they were engaged in
destroying or subordinating all the indian nations from New England
to Illinois and from the St. Lawrence to the Ohio. On the other
hand, they were concerned with resisting any sort of domination
or control by the French. In the first of these objectives they
were highly successful and in the course of achieving it they
were thrown into incessant conflict with the French. To achieve
the second objective they sought alliance with the British who
were also seeking to combat the French and eliminate them from
the theater of trade and political influence in what is now the
northeastern United States. As the Iroquois became the dominant
Indian power in the whole area by 1700, they emerged as a political
entity which the British accepted as a foreign power."
"Having consolidated their western postition deep into the
terrirtory being tapped by the French traders, they did not rest
content. They continued as they had for some time harassing the
remnants of the New England tribes, forcing them into ever greater
subordination to the British colonists there. They now moved southeast
at the same time that they were raiding into Illinois and instituted
a successful campaign to subordinate the Algonkian speaking peoples
in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. By 1680 they had succeeded in
dominating the Delawares, the Nanticokes, and smaller groups of
At the same time that the Iroquois were achieving their dominant
position among all the Iroquoian and Algonkian speaking Indians
of the northeast , they had been waging offensive and defensive
war against the French.
This information concerning the domination of our peoples by the
Iroquois Confederacy is very important when doing family history
and looking for ancestors and actually coming into the reality
of the situation. Survival is the key, when we think of US. Survival
and we would not be here today if not for our ancestors who did
NOT give up the fight.
Peter Filon replies, 15 & 18 Sep 2006 --
the term "Eastern Blackfoot" of Nanticoke/Delaware origin.
I was referring
to the period after the Nanticokes arrived in Indian River Hundred
from the other reservations/towns, with regard to the discussion
of Blackfoot Town/Dagsboro. But thanks for the historic reminders!
many people with Native American ancestry rooted in what is now
the southeastern United States have handed down the term "Blackfoot,"
most famously the "Blackfoot Cherokee." Some theorize
the term Blackfoot indicates partial African ancestry, i.e., Black.
Information on this is available all over the internet. It's certainly
not limited to Delmarva, in fact it's mostly outside Delmarva.
I'm sure I've seen it in the archives of this list too, maybe
in the last year or so.
small handful of researchers today still think the term indicates
any connection with the Blackfeet Nation in Montana and western
Canada, hence the "Eastern" distinction. So ISTM debunking
the Saponi/Tutelo theory of Blackfoot Town/Dagsboro, DE, wouldn't
necessarily default it to a branch of Nanticoke. Before the Nanticoke
arrived on the Indian River, both banks were controlled by "Indian
River Indians," possibly Assateagues based in what is now
Millsboro (the town proper and a little to the west), and southeast
of Dagsboro in a community they called Assawoman (which I believe
was pronounced "oss-uh-WAH-min").
other hand, I believe the Nanticokes have been pretty concentrated
in Indian River Hundred, on the opposite bank of the River from
Dagsboro, such that Nanticokes outside IRH were pretty much scattered,
not having "towns" of their own such as "Blackfoot
Town" would seem to indicate. I could be corrected on any
of this, but I've looked into it pretty thoroughly myself.