Before Colonization


Humans began to establish permanent settlements in the vicinity of Philadelphia approximately 2,800 years ago, centuries before Europeans claimed the lands along the Delaware River for the colonies of New Sweden, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. By the time Europeans arrived in the seventeenth century, the Lenape people inhabited a region along the Mid-Atlantic coast between the Delaware Bay and New York Bay, including the future location of Philadelphia.

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Related Reading

Grumet, Robert S. The Lenapes. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1989.

Newman, Andrew. On Records: Delaware Indians, Colonists, and the Media of History and Memory. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 2012.

Richter, Daniel K. Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003.

—–. Native Americans’ Pennsylvania. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania Historical Association, 2005.

Weslager, C.A. The Delaware Indians: A History. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1972.

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Connecting the Past with the Present, Building Community, Creating a Legacy