Lenape settlements

Lenape settlements are villages and other sites founded by Lenape people, a Native American tribe from the Northeastern Woodlands. Many of these sites are located in Ohio.

Hell Town

Hell Town, Ohio is a village located on Clear Creek, known today as Clear Fork, near the abandoned town of Newville, Ohio.[1] The site is on a high hill just north of the junction of Clear Creek and the Black Fork of the Mohican River.[1] The reference to the village sitting on a "high hill" counters many popular misconceptions that the village was in low lying areas that would later be submerged by the damming of the ClearFork River to create Pleasant Hill Lake. Hell Town was located along a "war trail" used by Native Americans in the region, which ran from a point about 30 miles (48 km) south from Sandusky, Ohio, thence north-northeast into the Cuyahoga River valley. This trail was later used by white settlers and is today known as State Route 95. Rerouted in the 1940s, a portion of this old road and war path are buried under Pleasant Hill Lake.[2]

Helltown (actually meaning "town of the clear water") was situated a mile below Newville, on the Clear Fork of the Mohican, in what is known as the Darling settlement. Helltown was abandoned in 1782, after the massacre of the Moravian Indians at Gnadenhutten and a new village (Greentown) was founded on the Black Fork, where a more favorable site for defense was obtained.

From History of Richland County. By A J. Baughman. CHAPTER XVI. Monroe Township: William Norris, who lives on a 500-acre farm in "Possum Valley" also owns a fine tract of land which was a part of the original Darling tract, at the site of the former Indian village of Helltown, where the first bridge below Newville crosses the Clearfork.[3] [However, Baughman's assertions about that location, may have been based upon mere supposition, rather than indisputable fact; the prior historians seem to have been uncertain about its precise location.]

Jerometown

A village of the Delaware tribe, which (sometime prior to the year 1808, and probably after 1790), was located on the south (and western) side of the present-day Jerome Fork of the Mohican River. It was named for Jean Baptiste Jerome, a French-Canadian fur-trader (who never actually lived directly within the native village); however, it should perhaps have been more appropriately named "(Chief, or Captain) Pipe's town," after Captain Pipe, (c. 1725? – c. 1818) also known as Hopocan. According to the local histories, by 1808-09 early European-American settlers to the area of what is now Jeromesville in Ashland County, Ohio, on the Jerome Fork of the Mohican River found Delaware people living about three-fourths of a mile south-by-south-west of the present site of Jeromesville. Near that native village of "Jerometown" was the cabin of "Old Captain Pipe," who, with small remnants of a Delaware tribe, were still living near that village site until 1812. [see "Mohican John's town", below.]

Mohican Johns town

Mohican John's town (or "Johnstown") was said, by 19th-century historians, to have been the same as the native-village of "Jerometown", located just south of Jeromesville, Ohio. However, surveys done in the 1760s (etc), located "Mohican John's town" in the vicinity of present-day Mifflin, Ohio. It is uncertain if the earlier (1760s) "Mohican John's town" Indian village had perhaps been later moved to the alternate location before the 1800s; or if instead, local-historians merely misinterpreted the earlier "John's town" (on the Black Fork of the Mohican) to be the same location as "Jerometown" (on the Jerome Fork of the Mohican). Regardless, the "Mohican John's town" of the 1760s (which was apparently mainly inhabited by members of the "Mingo" tribe), was undoubtedly upon the Black Fork[4] of the Mohican River (and probably near present-day Mifflin, Ohio).

Knapp's History of Ashland County (OH) accurately refers to the native-village near present-day Jeromesville as being named "Jerometown" by 1808. But Knapp's History errs in attributing the original village of "Mohican John's Town" (which was recorded in 1764 to be on the immediate 'east' side of the Black Fork) to be the same native village as Jerometown (which was consistently recorded to be on the near 'western' side of the Jerome Fork). The later historians [5] never noticed Knapp's obvious contradiction, and they simply repeated (and expanded upon) his error.

[Note: some of the early 'histories' implied that "Mohican John" (who was presumably of Native-American heritage) was the same person as John Jerome (a Caucasian of French heritage); but John (or "Jean") Jerome was not yet even born when "Mohican John's Town" was initially recorded to exist. That confusion about the two different men, may have resulted in the error about the actual location of "Mohican John's Town" (or "Johnstown") being the same place as the Native-American-inhabited village of "Jerometown" (near present-day Jeromesville.]

Greentown

Greentown was located west of Perrysville, Ohio. It was burned to the ground by Caucasian pioneer-settlers during the War of 1812 in August 1812, but its Native American inhabitants had already abandoned it for safety. Greentown was said to be named for Thomas Green, a Caucasian, and who was a Tory, who after aiding the Mohawks in the Wyoming massacre of 1778 sought retreat and seclusion with the Indians in the west.[6]

Coshocton

Coshocton was settled in 1778, when Lenape leader, Pipe, and the warlike members of his tribe, departed from the Tuscarawas and relocated on the Walhonding River, about fifteen miles above the present site of Coshocton, Ohio.

Kilbuck

Kilbuck is also known as Bucktown.[7] This village seems to have been named in honor of "Chief Killbuck."

Shamokin

Shamokin was established in central Pennsylvania by Lenape who were displaced from their traditional homeland along the Delaware river by growing colonial communities in the early 18th century. The earliest reference to thec town is in 1711, when the Shawnee chief Opessa Straight Tail is recorded as marrying Polly, the daughter of Sassoonan. The village was the focus of missionary efforts, and then was the staging area for raids on English settlements in Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War. It was burned and abandoned by the Lenape in May, 1756. A few months later, Fort Augusta was constructed on the site of the village.[8]: 193

Kittanning

Kittanning was an 18th-century Lenape village in the Ohio Country, located on the Allegheny River at present-day Kittanning, Pennsylvania. The village was at the western terminus of the Kittanning Path, an Indian trail that provided a route across the Alleghenies between the Ohio and Susquehanna river basins.[9]: 183[10] Kittanning served as a staging area for Delaware and Shawnee raids on English colonial settlements during the French and Indian War, until Pennsylvania militia under the command of Colonel John Armstrong destroyed the village on 8 September 1756.

Notes

  1. ^ a b Case, "Description of Mounds and Earthworks in Ashland County, Ohio," in Miscellaneous Papers Relating to Anthropology, 1883, p. 74.
  2. ^ Cherry, The Portage Path, 1911, p. 64.
  3. ^ History of Richland County. By A J. Baughman. CHAPTER XVI. Monroe Township
  4. ^ Hutchins 1760s surveys, and his resulting published maps
  5. ^ Baughman's History of Ashland County
  6. ^ Semi-Weekly News (Mansfield, Ohio): 02 August 1898, Vol. 14, No. 64
  7. ^ Killbuck, Ohio History Central. July 1, 2005
  8. ^ Charles Augustus Hanna, The Wilderness Trail: Or, The Ventures and Adventures of the Pennsylvania Traders on the Allegheny Path, Volume 2, Putnam's sons, 1911
  9. ^ Charles Augustus Hanna, The Wilderness Trail: Or, The Ventures and Adventures of the Pennsylvania Traders on the Allegheny Path, Volume 1, Putnam's sons, 1911
  10. ^ Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815 Cambridge studies in North American Indian history, Cambridge University Press, 1991.ISBN 1139495682