Netawatwees

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Netawatwees
Tribe Lenape chief of the Turtle subtribe
Born c. 1686
Probably Delaware River valley
Died 1776
Successor White Eyes
Native name Netahutquemaled, Netodwehement, or Netautwhalemund
Children Son Bemino (John Killbuck Sr.), grandson Gelelemend (John Killbuck Jr.)

Netawatwees (c. 1686–1776) was a Delaware chief of the Turtle subtribe. His name, meaning "skilled advisor," appears in the colonial records as Netawatwees, Netahutquemaled, Netodwehement, and Netautwhalemund. In English, he was known as the Newcomer.

Biography[edit]

Probably born in the Delaware River Valley around 1686,[1] the young Netawatwees was forced to move west with other members of his tribe due to white pressures. In July 1758, he was living in a Delaware Indian settlement at the mouth of Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Ohio River below Pittsburgh, where records identify him as "ye great man of the Unami nation."

Netawatwees moved to Ohio with other migrant Delaware during the French and Indian War (1754–63). He favored alliances with the English.[1] He established a village near present-day Cuyahoga Falls. From there, he moved to the Tuscarawas, a tributary of the Muskingum, where he became chieftain of the Delaware town called Gekelukpechink, meaning "still water." This town, which became known as Newcomer's Town, was on the north bank of the Tuscarawas on the eastern outskirts of present-day Newcomerstown. The Great Council met here until the Delaware population was consolidated at nearby Coshocton.

Although Netawatwees never converted to Christianity, the Moravian missionaries made a strong impression on him. Infirm in his old age, he was succeeded by White Eyes in 1776. His dying word on October 31, 1776, implored the Delaware to give up their native practices and follow the teachings of the Moravian pastors.

Family[edit]

Netawatwees' son was Bemino (John Killbuck Sr.), a renowned war leader on the French side during the French and Indian War. His grandson was Gelelemend (1737–1811), or John Killbuck Jr., a Delaware chief during the American Revolutionary War.

References[edit]