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By Craig A. Doherty, Katherine M. Doherty

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National Park Service) 12 Delaware abundant fish in the rivers, lakes, and bays of the Lenni Lenape territory. The Lenni Lenape also gathered shellfish. Near the fishing camps around Delaware Bay and along the New Jersey coast, large mounds of shells accumulated. There are still remnants of these mounds at several locations in New Jersey, including near Barnegat and Tuckerton. Like many Eastern Woodland Indians, the Lenni Lenape used a variety of clamshells to create wampum for jewelry and trade.

However, the Lenni Lenape suffered from exposure to European diseases that were previously unknown in North America, and to which they had no immunity. Diseases such as chicken pox, measles, and smallpox killed many more Lenni Lenape than ever died in direct conflict with the colonists. As more and more colonists flooded into the Lenni Lenape territory, armed conflicts arose with the Dutch in the eastern areas. Eventually, those Lenni Lenape who survived the fighting and European diseases migrated westward.

When the Dutch ships lined up to begin shelling Fort Casimir, which the Swedes called Fort Trinity, an argument broke out between two of the Swedish leaders in the fort. They had only 75 men and a few cannons. The commander, Sven Skute, wanted to surrender. Peter Lindeström and a few of his followers were ready to fight to the death to defend New Sweden from the Dutch. As they argued about whether to fight or surrender, what would turn out to be the only casualty took place. One of the Swedish soldiers tried to go over the wall of the fort to get away from the impending battle.

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