Esopus people

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First page of the 1665 treaty, prohibiting violence between "Christians" and "Indyans"

The Esopus tribe (pr. es-SOAP-es)[1] was a tribe of Lenape (Delaware) Native Americans who were native to Upstate New York, specifically the region of the Catskill Mountains. Their lands included modern-day Ulster and Sullivan counties.

The tribe fought a series of conflicts against settlers from the New Netherland colony from September 1659 to September 1663, known as the Esopus Wars, in and around Kingston, New York. At the conclusion of the conflict, the tribe sold large tracts of land to French Huguenot refugees in New Paltz and other communities.[2]

Descendants of the Esopus tribe now live on the Stockbridge-Munsee Community reservation in Shawano County, Wisconsin and among the Munsee Delaware of Ontario, Canada. Historians believe surviving Esopus joined with the Ramapough Mountain Indians of New Jersey following the wars, as well as some Wappinger people after Kieft's War in 1643.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ considering the title of "An Agreement made between Richard Nicolls Esq. Governor under his Royal Highness the Duke of Yorke and the Sachems and People called the Sopes Indyans" from 1665, shown at right
  2. ^ Eric Roth, "Relations between the Huguenots of New Paltz, N.Y. and the Esopus Indians", Huguenot Historical Society, (10/8/1998, Revised 3/15/1999)
  3. ^ Kraft, Herbert C. (1986). The Lenape — Archaeology, History, and Ethnography. New Jersey Historical Society. p. 241. ISBN 0-911020-14-4.