Adams, Richard C. A Delaware Indian Legend and the story of their troubles. First Edition. Washington, DC: Self published, 1899.

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Adams, Richard C. A Delaware Indian Legend and the story of their troubles. First Edition. Washington, DC: Self published, 1899.

Binding: Hardcover (Original Cloth). Book Condition: Very Good- Condition. Size: 8"-9" - Octavo (8vo). 72 pages. Item Type: Book.

First printing of a collection of poems and essays on legends of the Delaware tribe and the "troubles" over their land claims. This is an usual mix, which has caught the attention of some recent compilations of American Indian literature (Martinez, 2011; Parker, 2011).

In her 2014 review in the journal "Early American Literature," Angela Calcaterra refers to Adams' book as "a fascinating compilation of poetry, history, and legal discourses on Delaware land rights" (p. 512).

The book includes poems entitled "To the American People," "A Delaware Indian Legend" (with explanatory endnotes), and an "Addenda" at the end. Essays and documentary materials include "The Legend of the 'Yah Qua Whee' or Mastadon," "The Treaty of the Linni Lenape ... with William Penn ... in 1682," "The Story of Their Troubles," transcriptions of "Letters and Agreements" regarding land rights, the text of the "Delaware-Cherokee Agreement" made in 1867 and an excerpt from a "Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs" in 1869. There are also several full-page photos of tribal representatives and frame houses that were homes of chiefs at the time.

Adams was a Delaware (Lenape) author who published works on tribal culture and history and represented the tribe in negotiations over its land rights starting in 1897. In the biography of him at the "Strangers to Us All" website, Adams is called "the first tribal historian." He was the founder of the short-lived Brotherhood of North American Indians (1911-1913), that lobbied for legal rights in land claims for the tribes and for preference in hiring Native Americans by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (see Steven Crum, "Almost Invisible," Wicazo Sa Review, Spring 2006).

The text block is tight. The coated stock used throughout is a bit tanned from age. Hardbound in red cloth over boards with bright gilt title on front cover and spine. The cloth remains a deep red where it was protected on a shelf (by a book end on the rear and another book on the front), but faded where exposed to sunlight. There is a 5/16" hole and a small round hole in the cloth where the spine connects to the rear cover. A library number is written in white on the left side of the front cover. The corners are slightly turned with some wear at the tips (but not through to the boards). Wear at the head and foot of the spine and surface wear to the cloth in the indentations between the spine and boards. No foxing in this copy. The page edges are slightly browned.

Ex-Lib. In addition to the shelf number on the front cover there is a mostly-erased number a printed line towards the bottom of the title page, a different shelf number on the copyright page and a library stamp at the lower right corner of p. 27 (affecting four lines of text). There is a pocket for a library card pasted to the inside front cover and a Date Due slip (with only one date stamped on it) tipped onto the front free end paper.


Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: 0 lbs 13 oz. Category: Indigenous Cultures; Delaware Indians; United States; 19th century; History. ISBN: No ISBN. Inventory No: 1297.