HISTORY OF CAPE HENLOPEN AND BEYOND
A DELAWARE BAY, SICONSES, ALGONQUIAN, LENAPE HENLOPEN PILOT
In 1609 the Half Moon, Henry Hudson as Captain, sailed into the Delaware Bay off
of Cape Henlopen on Delaware, the American Indians on shore were amazed at the size
of his vessel but no totally surprised at it's sighting. This Indian Nation had reports
of Captain John Smith's voyage in the Nanticoke River receiving a gift of a shower of
arrows that slowed Smith's adventures of lower Delaware. But later, these Americans did
welcome the Europeans to the Delaware River and Bay lands, then named them Delaware
These early Delaware's at Cape Henlopen watching the Half Moon and Captain Hudson maneuver into the Capes of Delaware had no idea that one of their descendants would
become a leading chief and become the inspiration for the “'figurehead” for the U. S. Navy's Warship of the Line , The U.S.S. Delaware , 200 years later during the 1812 war.
During the period of the 1812 War and after the U. S. Navy was in a habit of naming it's
ships after states, rivers and Indian Tribes, so, Delaware, scored in all three areas.
When the Delaware was launched in 1820 it carried 74 black powder guns and was one of
the most powerful ships in the U. S. Navy and 'crowned' with the finely carved larger than life “figurehead” of the Delaware's Indians Chief, Tamanend, complete with his quiver of arrows. Tamamend, aka, Tecumseh, was a early 1800's Delaware Bay Indian Chief who
welcomed William Penn to America. He was given the nickname, “Tammany”, and was
popular with the early Americans and had many clubs, meeting houses , like “Tammany Hall
in New York named for him.
At the first of the Civil War the U. S. S. Delaware was stationed and anchored in Norfolk
when it was 'burned' by the Union to keep several ships from going in Confederate hands.
One of the vessels, the Delaware, was damaged, but her figurehead “Tamanend” was saved
and found it's way to the Naval Academy in Annapolis where the midshipmen took a
liking to the old Delaware Chief. Many pennies were thrown into the quiver to pay for a
passing grade of 2.0 and over the years has become the “God of 2.0”.
Tecumseh, American Shawnee warrior and chief, born March 1768, Ohio, to parents
Puckshiwa and Methoataske. He was killed , age 45, during the Battle of the Thames, 5 October , 1813, in Canada.
Abstract: Michael Morgan's, Delaware Diary guest columnist Delaware Coast Press ,
submission of “Tecumsheh's Tale” by Captain William Manthrope, June 2019.