On May 18, 1998 New Jersey lost one of its most informed, dedicated and outspoken Native Americans. James “Lone Bear” Revey was a full blooded (3 parts Delaware, 1 part Cherokee) Indian and member of the Sand Hill Delaware band, formerly located in Monmouth County. He was the appointed New Jersey representative of, and spokesperson for, the Federally recognized Delaware Tribe of Indians, and was devoted to the preservation of his people’s heritage. To this end he spent most of his adult life as genealogical consultant, researcher, author and lecturer on the Lenape or Delaware people. Mr. Revey served on the New Jersey Indian Commission and was consultant to several museums including the State Museum of Pennsylvania, the Indian Village at Waterloo and the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Museum. He headed the “New Jersey Indian Office” and was proprietor of “Lone Bear Indian Crafts” in Orange, New Jersey, which made artifacts and articles of ceremonial attire for Museums, the Broadway Stage (e.g., “Singing in the Rain”), for Indian ceremonial performances and other events. Mr. Revey was a popular and much sought after speaker in elementary schools throughout the State, while also giving scholarly presentations for historical societies and universities. His written articles were published by Seton Hall University Museum, and the Moravian Historical Society. Mr. Revey was 74 years old. *”Lone Bear” was buried on June 30th at Hillside Cemetery in South Plainfield in a simple, traditional Lenape Indian ceremony. David Oestreicher and Herb Kraft participated and represented the Archaeological Society of New Jersey. On Saturday, September 19th a memorial service was held at the Senior Citizens Center in the Municipal complex in Old Bridge (Middlesex County). Here he was eulogized by colleagues, relatives and friends who cherished their association with this distinguished individual. It is unlikely that anyone will take Jim Revey’s place.
He had an extensive knowledge of Delaware and Cherokee genealogy and willingly took the time to help people discover their heritage. He had a passion for Native American history but rarely had the time to put his thoughts in writing. He endeavored to protect his Delaware Indian heritage and was offended by and opposed many of the so-called “wannabees” who claimed Lenape/Delaware ancestry on tenuous evidence, and who promulgated misinformation, and enacted dances and rituals that were inaccurate. Who will assume these responsibilities now? Rest in peace, Jim. It was an honor & a privilege to have known you.