3 Apr 2006

Chief Hopocan

Religious ceremonies were centered around a dedicated "big house." Dreams were considered very significant, so Lenape priests were divided into two classes: those who interpreted dreams and divined the future; and those dedicated to healing. The dead were buried in shallow graves, but method varied considerably: flexed, extended, individually, and sometimes groups. The Lenape believed in a afterlife, but without the Christian concept of heaven and hell - a source of considerable frustration for Moravian missionaries. Lenape were reluctant to tell their real name, and the use of
nicknames was very common. The real name of Captain Pipe, the head of the Delaware Wolf clan in 1775 was Konieschquanoheel "maker of daylight." His nickname, however, was Hopocan meaning "tobacco pipe"

- hence his historical name of Captain Pipe.

Hopocan (Tobacco Pipe) / Captain Pipe / Konieschguanokee / Komeschguanokee (Maker of Day) / Tahunquecoppi [fl. 1764 onwards; died 1794], Munsee/Delaware war chief, Wolf clan; "a sober, sensible Indian"; he attended a conference at the camp at Tuskerawas, October 13 to December 16, 1764; listed in the war losses of the trader Franks on August 19, 1766; succeeded Munsee/Delaware Chief Custaloga [Pakanke] in 1773; moved away from Delaware chief Netawatwees to the south shore of Lake Erie at Cayhoga in 1776; he was the leader of the pro-British Delaware faction, but signed the US Fort Pitt Treaty, September 17, 1778; he lived on the Upper Sandusky River in 1780, and gained control of the Delaware Council at Coshocton in the fall of that year; lived at the headwaters of the Mad River, spring 1781; Captain Pipe, Delaware chief, agreed to bring the Moravians to Detroit under his protection on October 21, 1781; he attended and spoke at councils with the Moravians and the British at Detroit, November 9 and December 8, 1781; with Buckongehelas he defeated the US Militia under the command of Captains Crawford and Williamson on the Sandusky River in June 1782, after the Gnadenhütten massacre; he signed the US Treaty of Fort McIntosh, January 21, 1785; he lived on the south shore of Lake Erie near the Maumee River in 1786; he signed US Treaty of Fort Harmar, January 9, 1789; he informed the Moravians in February, 1791 that they should leave the Huron River because it was unsafe; he attended a council at Niagara to discuss the US Indians, April 14, 1791; he met the
Five Nations in council at the Miami Rapids, August 17, 1792; Captain Pipe / Tahunquecoppi, Delaware Nation, signed the US Peace Treaty at the Miamis Rapids, September 29, 1817 (US 1837; Goddard 1978a: 223; Gray: 54, 56, 62; Kjellberg: 26, 29-30; Tanner 81, 83-84, 89-90; DCB vol. VI: 302; MPHSC vol. X: 527, 538-540, 543, 545, vol. XIII: 42-46, vol. XIX: 276, 374, 690, vol. XX: 66-67, 134, 680, vol. XXIV: 24, 179, 208, 468, 486, 492, vol. XXV: 690; PSWJ vol. V: 355, vol. XI: 435, 724, vol. XII: 1047-1048). 'While you, father are setting me on your enemy, much in the same manner as a hunter sets his dog on the game...I may, perchance, happen to look back to the place from whence you started me, and what shall I see? Perhaps I may see my father shaking hands with the long knives; yes, with these very people he now calls his enemies. I may then see him laugh at my folly for having obeyed his orders; and yet I am now risking my life at his command!' —Detroit, November 9, 1781.
Famous Chiefs

Native Name
Hopocan (Tobacco Pipe) or Konieschquanokee (Maker of Day)

White Name
Captain Pipe


Some say Hopocan or Captain Pipe was born about 1725; others put his birth at 1740. A member of the Munsee or Wolf Clan of the Delaware people, he became Chief of that clan. He was probably born near the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. Most of the Pennsylvania Delaware had moved to Ohio by 1758. He is first mentioned historically in 1759 at Ft. Pitt. When Fredrick Christian Post was given permission by the Delaware to build a cabin on the Tuscarawas River at present Bolivar, Ohio, Pipe was given the job of marking out the land he was to receive. As one of the three clan chiefs of the Delaware Nation, Pipe had a lot of responsibilities. One of them was to work with the other chiefs to keep the people safe. He had to be a warrior, a negotiator and a good listener to his people. Captain Pipe fought in the French and Indian War and in Pontiac's War where in 1764 Pipe was captured and held prisoner at Ft. Pitt. Col. Henry Bouquet dictated peace terms to the Delaware instead of negotiating with them. Pipe found this very distasteful and it set his opinion of the Shawanock, or Long Knives, for the rest of his life.

In 1778 General Edward Hand of the American Colonial forces killed Captain Pipe's mother, brother and some of his children. Even so he was with Captain White Eyes and Killbuck in 1778 when they signed the first-ever treaty with the Continental Congress and Native people. The Ohio country was to be the Fourteenth State and only for Native people. The Delaware people became divided over which side of the American Revolution they should support. Captain Pipe became the leader of those who supported the British and moved his people to the Sandusky River.

In 1782 Captain Pipe and his people captured Col. Crawford who was held responsible for the murders of Chief Logan's family. Col. Crawford and his men were executed in the same fashion as Logan's family. He participated in many battles and led his people in what he believed was right. Some believe he died in 1794, but proof exists that he was at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, but not at the Greenville Treaty signing. In 1795 a French trader named Jerome built a cabin at what is present Jeromesville in Ashland County, Ohio, on the Jerome Fork of the Mohican River. In 1808-09 early white settlers to the area found Delaware people living at the old Mohican village of Johnstown across the river from Jerome near which was located the home of Old Captain Pipe. Many stories of the settlers and the remaining Delaware talk of Old Captain Pipe living there until 1812. In the spring of 1812 Old Captain Pipe and his people quietly disappear and were never again seen near Jeromesville.

Captain Pipe had a son also named Captain Pipe who signed many treaties and moved with the Delaware people to Kansas. He had no children.


Captain Pipe http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/ohc/history/h_indian/people/captpipe.shtml

Captain Pipe, 1725-1794 (H for Hopacan) http://www.alexanderstreet2.com/EENALive/bios/A6949BIO.html

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