m. bef. 1737
Facts and Events
Gelelemend (1737–1811) (Lenape), also known as Killbuck or John Killbuck Jr., was an important Delaware (Lenape) chief during the American Revolutionary War, who supported the rebel Americans. His name signifies "a leader." Born into the senior Turtle clan, which had responsibility to lead the tribe, he became principal chief of the Lenape in November 1778, following the death of White Eyes, a war chief and Speaker of the Delaware Head Council. Gelelemend succeeded his maternal grandfather Netawatwees.
Due to undifferentiated American attacks against the Lenape during the war, chiefs of other clans switched to ally with the British. After being pushed out as principal chief, Gelelemend led an American attack on a major Lenape town, then retreated to Fort Pitt. After the war, he converted to Christianity at a Moravian mission in Salem, Ohio, where he took the Christian name of "William Henry."