The Nanticokes were known as People of the Tide Water. They were called Wenekto by the Delaware Indians. The Nanticokes and their descendants were not of ancient descent in the region they were found, Chesapeake, by John Smith in 1608. Smith was the first white man to find the Nanticoke. The traditions of the Nanticoke claim we had moved there much earlier from the plains region of what is now the United States. By 1748 the encroachment of the white man most of the Nanticoke had moved up the Susquehanna to the Iroquois, with whom some became affiliated. Still others affiliated with the Delawares. Others continued north into what is now Canada. The Nanticokes who stayed in the Maryland and Delaware region assimilated into the main stream, mixing the blood. Taken from the Maryland State archives.

Taken from Nanticoke Watershed Alliance Page

Around 1608, Captain John Smith, found (Their words,not mine as the River was not lost) the River known today as The Nanticoke River. Captain John Smith gave the River several names, but the Tribe he encountered there, he called Nantaquak and also the Kuskarawaok, the name of the Tribal Chief's home village. The life style of this prosporous Indian Tribe corresponded to the land they inhabited. Since primitive farming was difficult on the marshy ground, they thrived on hunting and fishing. The Nanticoke were accomplished canoeist and it was there close ties to the water which inspired their name,translated, "Those who ply the tidal stream, " Sea Shore Settlers " or " Tidewater People ". The Nanticoke did not lead an isolated life. Smith called them the " Best merchants " of all Tribes in the region. Important trading commodities were animal pelts and roanoke beads, made from Oyster and Clam shells.

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