"For these are the Piccaninny tribe and not to be confused with the softer-hearted Delawares or the Hurons"
Colonel Henry Bouquet Holds a Peace Treaty with Three Tribes, the Senecas, Delawares, and Shawnees at Tuscacawas in Ohio in October 1764
Public DomainColonel Henry Bouquet Holds a Peace Treaty with Three Tribes, the Senecas, Delawares, and Shawnees at Tuscacawas in Ohio in October 1764 - Credit: John Carter Brown

The Piccaninny Tribe exists only in Barrie's imagination. The Delawares and Hurons are genuine tribes in Native American history.

The Delawares dwelt along the banks of the Delaware River. Lenape (len-NAH-pay), their name in the Algonquian language, simply means "The People". They were the first native Americans to come in contact with Europeans, and were known peacemakers. The Delawares signed the first Indian treaty with the newly formed United States Government on September 17, 1778. As a result of persecution, they were forced to migrate, sometimes as far away as Canada.

 

The Huron Tribe, also called the Wyandot, consisted of sub-tribes or clans: the Arendahronon, the Attigneenongnahac, the Attignawantan and the Tahontaenrat. The Wyandot Nation was a force to be reckoned with and boasts a history marked by battles and wars. Known for having a well-defined governmental system, in 1535 the tribe numbered 30,000-45,000, but epidemics and wars hit them hard; by 1640, their population numbered around 10,000. The Huron Tribe was eventually forced onto reservations.

 

A 1655 chart of the Delaware Rive
Public DomainA 1655 chart of the Delaware Rive - Credit: Peter Lindstrom