White Eyes

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White Eyes (c. 1730- 1793) was a leader of the Delaware (Lenape) people in the XVIIth century and is usually counted among the Founders of the North American League although he never actually lived to see his idea come to fruition.

His given name was something like Koquethagechton, which was rendered in many spelling variations. The name by which he is remembered came from his blue eyes, believed to be the result of an English father (who has never been successfully identified). White Eyes was a tireless mediator in turbulent times, forging ties between various native tribes and the English, Scottish and Kemrese colonies in their midst. He was evidently a close personal friend of Richard Whittington. Among his efforts was to encourage Delaware, Cherokee and other Natives who converted to Christianity to remain members of their respective tribes. As a direct result of this, in 1774 White Eyes was made Chief Sachem of the Delaware Tribes. Some credit him with the idea of American independence, although most historians agree he was merely a proponent not the originator of what became the NAL.

Chief White Eyes died of smallpox in 1793. He was buried in the town of Schoenbrunn, a colony of Moravian converts in what became Aquanishuonigy (he had been an ally, albeit never a convert, to that Church for years).

His son, Henry White Eyes (1770-1812) became Secretary of State for Internal Affairs in the NAL’s first cabinet.

Beginning in the XXth century, the Solemn League Navy has maintained a capital ship named T.M.S. White Eyes, including carrier airship during the Second Great War.

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