Delaware Indians of Texas

The Texas Delaware Indians

A branch of the Delaware diaspora reached Texas in the 1820s and settled in and amongst the Cherokee with whom they always maintained an affinity. Although small in number, the Texas Delawares played an importance role out of proportion to their numbers, as the following communication reveals:

Gent. I regret to find that difficulties are likely to arise between the Delawares and Comanches. We must exert our best effort to avert the catastrophe. The Delaware are, as it were, the connecting link between us and the Comanches, and it is important at this juncture that the best understanding should exist between them…Where is Jim Shaw?

(Thomas G. Western, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Republic of Texas, to Messrs. Sloat and Williams, Indian Agents, then  at the Torrey Trading House at Tehuacana Creek, April 9, 1845)

Despite their important role as emissaries, mediators, and translators–the connecting link, to use Western’s phrase—precious little scholarly work has been done about the Texas Delawares.   This book will examine their role and will introduce new material gleaned from the heretofore-untranslated Texas novels of the German writer Friedrich Armand Strubberg, who, under the name Dr. Schubbert, served as  colonial director of the German town of Fredericksburg in 1846/47 and was a signatory of the storied Meusebach/German Indian treaty of 1847. Strubberg’s ten Texas novels contain a wealth of fresh ethnographic detail about the Delawares with whom he was intimately acquainted.