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Ramapough Mountain

Ramapough Lenape History:
The Lenni-Lenape were divided into three groups; the southern most being Unalichtigo. Their homeland was what is called Delaware and Maryland today. In the middle, which is the southern half of New Jersey, was the Unami. The northern branch consisted of, Southeastern New York, Northern New Jersey, and Northeastern Pennsylvania, were the Minsi, or Minisink, which meant, people of the "Stony Land". After the European contact the pronunciation changed to Munsee. There were many bands and villages of the Munsee living throughout the area, and they were known by different names, according to their location. There were the Hackensackee, the Tappan, the Esopus, the Canarsie, the Wappingers, and the Ramapoughs, plus many, many more. Numerous names are still used throughout the Northeast, even though there are so few Natives left.

Between 1630 and 1710, deeds were obtained from the Natives, that took all of the land between Sandy Hook and Bear Mountain. Except for a small number, the Munsee, either migrated west or north to stay away from the ever growing number of whites. Some fled west to Ohio, Kansas, Wisonsin, and Oklahoma. Others went north, and lived among Tribes of the Six Nations, and Massachusetts, and further into Canada. Others, knowing they would never see their people that were fleeing, moved into the Ramapo Mountains, in isolation, to try to hold on to a small portion of the land they called home for centuries. There were no roads or trails into the mountains, except the ones made by animals, so the settlers paid little attention to the Indians living there. They had no use for the land, because it was too rocky for farming. The Natives made due with what they had and made their own gardens, and hunted and fished for their food. They would only venture out of the mountains to trade or sell their wares. Even living away from the rest of the people, as they did, they always came out to defend their country when the need arose. They have participated in every conflict this country has had, from the Revolution to Desert Storm. As early as 1760, an Indian by the name of John DeFries was listed on the New York State Muster. He was a direct decendant of the Indians that took refuge in the Ramapo Mountains so many years ago. They are now known as the Ramapough Mountain Indians, of the original Lenni-Lenape. There was also an Indian that lived at the foot of the Ramapo Mountains, beside the River, named Mannes. It has been recorded by Geneologist, Roger Joslyn, that the present day Mann family from the Ramapough's are desended from him and his family. To learn more about this tribe, visit the Ramapough Nation.


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