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Lenape and the Swedes in NJ Once the Dutch and the Swedes began to settle in New Jersey life as the Lenape Indians knew it would forever change The article The Lenape and the Swede Indian and White Relations in the Delaware River Region 1638-55 by Frank J Esposito illustrates how once the Swedes began to settle there was a steady deterioration of the Lenape culture When the Swedes first arrived the Lenape were already in a weak state due to warfare for more than a decade with a rival tribe the Minquas over fur trade with the Dutch The fur trade was the Swedes main interest and by the time they arrived the Minquas had already dominated it Since the Lenape were not very useful in the fur trade the Swedes viewed them as poor economic partners and gave them little respect This lack of respect would be an underlying theme in such events as land purchases that would also contribute to the Lenapes deterioration The deals made between the Lenape and the Swedes over land were most likely a series of misunderstandings yet they resulted in conflict The Lenape did not have an understanding of the European views of land ownership likewise the Swedes did not understand the Lenapes views The Lenape thought they were working out a deal to share the land and in return the Swedes would offer them gifts At first this worked but the Swedes did view the land as their own and began to stop offering the gifts The Lenape viewed this as a continuation of the lack of respect that was present since the beginning The Lenape considered going to war with Swedes but they were far too weak from previous battles with the Minquas Several small episodes of violence occurred but seemed to be resolved with an uneasy peace The final blow to the Lenape came in the form of
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