Benjamin P. Fletcher

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20082009 Forum on Change

Benjamin P. Fletcher


College '09

Increasing Awareness for the Indigenous in the 21st Century

This study is part of a larger project entitled “Ben Franklin and the Lenape Indians,” underway at the Smithsonian Library of Congress maps section, whose purpose is to locate colonial maps of Pennsylvania that depict Lenape villages and place names. Historically, the Lenape are one of the most important tribes of the Eastern US, yet neither the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania nor the federal government recognizes them. Through the use of digital technology—videos of the Lenape’s current Chief Bob Redhawk Ruth, tribal archival records and oral history, as well as historical documents and maps—I hope to clearly identify the Lenape as an integral part of Pennsylvania’s cultural history.