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[Book V. proves nothing of their origin; for there may have been a time when their ancestors went from this side to the country beyond, and so on. The Mohawks, sometimes called Wabingi, are said to have been the oldest of the confederacy, and that the “ Onayauts” (Oneidas) were the first that joined them by putting themselves under their protection. The Onondagos were the next, then the “ Teuontowanos, or Sinikers,” (Senecas,) then the “Cujuk guos,” (Cayugas.) The Tuscaroras, from Carolina, joined them about 1712, but were not formally admitted into the confederacy until about 10 years after that. The addition of this new tribe gained them the name of the Six Nations, according to most writers, but it will appear that they were called the Six Nations long before the last-named period.*
The Shawanese were not of the confederacy, but were called brothers by them. This nation came from the south, at no very remote period, and the Iroquois assigned them lands on the west branch of the Susquehannah, but looked upon them as inferiors.
The dominions of this “ United People” cannot be particularly described, for they were never stationary; at one time they extended beyond the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi, and at another they were circumscribed between them. Smith, the historian of New York, says, “Our Indians universally concur in the claim of all the lands [in 1756) not sold to the English, from the mouth of Sorel River, on the south side of Lakes Erie and Ontario, on both sides of the Ohio, till it falls into the Mississippi; and on the north side of those lakes, that whole territory between the Outawais River, and the Lake Huron, and even beyond the straits between that and Lake Erie.”
“ When the Dutch began the settlement of New York, all the Indians on Long Island, and the northern shore of the sound, on the banks of Connecticut, Hudson, Delaware, and Susquehannah Rivers, were in subjection to the Five Nations; and within the memory of persons now living, acknowledged it by the payment of an annual tribute.” As a proof of this it is mentioned that
a little tribe, settled at the Sugar-loaf mountain, in Orange county, to this day, (1756,] make a yearly payment of about £20 to the Mohawks.” |
Among the many tribes or nations which they wholly or partially destroyed were the Eries, a powerful tribe on the southern shore of the great lake whose name they bore. In the year 1653 they were entirely extirpated, and no remnant of them has since been heard of in existence.
When the French settled in Canada in 1611, it was upon the lands of the Adirondaks, above Three Rivers. They found them at war with the Iroquois, then mainly seated along the southern side of Lake Ontario. The Adirondaks, by the assistance of the French, were able to defeat their enemies in every battle, who at length were in danger of a total extermination. Meanwhile the Dutch had begun their trade in the Hudson River, which they profitably carried on in arms with the Iroquois. Being now able to meet the Adirondaks on more equal footing, they continued the war, and with such success, that the Adirondaks, in their turn, became almost destroyed.
The Six Nations did not know themselves by such names as the English apply to them, but the name Aquanuschioni,g which signified united people, was used by them.|| This term, as is the case with most Indian words, is defined by a knowledge of its etymology. A knowledge of the Indian lan guages would enable us to know what almost every place in the country has been noted for; whether hill or mountain, brook or river. It is said by Colden,* that New England was called Kinshon, by the Indians, which, he says, means a fish;t and that the New England Indians sent to the Iroquois a “model of a fish, as a token of their adhering to the general covenant." The waters of New England are certainly abundantly stored with fish; hence the name of “the Fishing People.”
In the British Empire, üi. 56, it is said, “The Cowelas also, or Creek Indians, are in the same friendship with them.” + Selected from the well-selected notes to Sears's Poem, entitled Mineral Waters.
Loskiel, Hist. Mis. i. 2. “They say themselves, that they have sprung and grown up in that very place, like the very trees of the wilderness." William's Key. Another name they ufen gave themselves was, Ongue-honue, which signified, a people surpassing all otbers. Hist. Brit. Dominions in N. America. Book iii. 55, (ed. 410. Lond. 1773.)
|| At a great assemblage of chiefs and warriors at Albany, in August, 1746, the chief speakes of the Six Nations informed the English commissioners that they had taken in the Messen sagnes as a seventh nation. Colden, Hist. F. Nations, ii. 175.
We will here present a specimen of the language of the Six Nations, in the Lord's Prayer, all of whom, except the Tuscaroras, “ speak a language radically the same.” So-ung-wau-ne-ha cau-ro-unk-yaw-ga, teh-see-ta-ro-an, sauh-son-e-you-sta, esa, saw-an-e-you, o-ket-tauh-se-la, eh-ne-au-wong, na, cauronunk-yawga, naugh-wou-shaugă, ne-at-te-weh-ne-sa-lauga, taug-wau-nau-toro-no-an-tough-sick, to-an-taug-we-lee-whe-you-staung, che-nee-yeut, cha-quatau-ta-leh-whe-you-staun-na, tough-sau, taugh-waus-sa-re-neh, ta-waut-ot-ten-augal-ough-toung-ga, nas-aw-ne, sa-che-au-taug-was, co-an-teh-sal-oh-aun-zaick-aw, esa, saw-au-ne-you, esa, sash-autz-ta, esa, soung-wa-soung, chen-neauh-a-aug-wa, au wen.I
Perhaps we cannot present the reader with a greater orator than GARANGULA, or, as he was called by the French, GRAND'GUEULE; though Lahontan, who knew him, wrote it Grangula. He was by nation an Onondaga, and is brought to our notice by the manly and magnanimous speech which he made to a French general, who marched into the country of the Iroquois to subdue them.
In the year 1684, Mr. de la Barre, governor-general of Canada, complained to the English, at Albany, that the Senecas were infringing upon their rights of trade with some of the other more remote nations. Governor Dongan acquainted the Senecas with the charge made by the French governor. They admitted the fact, but justified their course, alleging that the French supplied their enemies with arms and ammunition, with whom they were then at war. About the same time, the French governor raised an army of 1700 men, and made other "mighty preparations” for the final destruction of the Five Nations. But before he had progressed far in his great undertaking, a mortal sickness broke out in his army, which finally caused him to give over the expedition. In the mean time, the governor of New York was ordered to lay no obstacles in the way of the French expedition. Instead of regarding this order, which was from bis master, the Duke of York, he sent interpreters to the Five Nations to encourage them, with offers to assist them.
De la Barre, in hopes to effect something by this expensive undertaking, crossed Lake Ontario, and held a talk with such of the Five Nations as would meet him. To keep up the appearance of power, he made a high-toned speech to Grangula, in which he observed, that the nations had often infringed upon the peace ; that he wished now for peace; but on the condition that they should make full satisfaction for all the injuries they had done the French, and for the future never to disturb them. That they, the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagos, Oneidas, and Mohawks, had abused and robbed all their traders, and unless they gave satisfaction, he should declare war. That they had conducted the English into their country to get away their trade heretofore, but the past he would overlook, if they would offend no more; yet, if ever the like should happen again, he had express orders from the king, his master, to declare war.
* Hist. Five Nations, i. 109.
Smith's Hist. N. York, 40. (ed. 410.) The above differs somewhat from a copy in Proud's Pa. ï. 301.
As it will gratify most of our readers, we believe, to hear the general in his own words, we will preseni them with a paragraph of his speech to Grungula in his own language
“ Le roi mon maitre informé que les cing Nations, Iroquoises contrevenoient depuis longlems à la paix, m'aordonné de me transporter ici avec une escorte, et d'envoier Akouessan au village des Onnatagues, pour inviter les principaux chefs à me venir voir. L'intention de ce grand monarque est que nous fumions toi et moi ensemble dans le grand calumet de paix, pourvu que tu me promettes au nom des Tsonontotans, Goyogoans, Onnotagues, Onoyouts et Agnies, de donner une entiere satisfaction et dédommagement à ses sujets, et de ne rien faire à l'avenir, qui puisse causer une facheuse rupture.” &c. Lahontan, 1. 58. 59
Grangula listened to these words, and many more in the like strain, with that contempt which a real knowledge of the situation of the French army, and the rectitude of his own course, were calculated to inspire; and after walking several times round the circle, formed ly his people and the French, addressing himself to the governor, seated in his elbow chair, he began as follows:
“ Yonnondio;t I honor you, and the warriors that are with me likewise honor you. Your interpreter has finished your speech. I now begin mine. My words make haste to reach your ears. Harken to them.
“ Yonnondio; You must have believed, when you left Quebeck, that the sun had burnt up all the forests, which render our country inaccessible to the French, or that the lakes had so far overflown the banks, that they had surrounded our castles, and that it was impossible for us to get out of them Yes, surely, you must have dreamt so, and the curiosity of seeing so great a wonder has brought you so far. Now you are undeceived, since that I, and the warriors here present, are come to assure you, that the Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas and Mohawks are yet alive. I thank you, in their name, for bringing back into their country the calumet, which your predecessor received from their hands. It was happy for you, that you left under ground that murdering hatchet that has been so often dyed in the blood of the French.
“ Hear, Yonnondio ; I do not sleep; I have my eyes open; and the sun, which enlightens me, discovers to me a great captain at the head of a company of soldiers, who speaks as if he were dreaming. He says, that he only came to the lake to smoke on the great calumet with the Onondagas. But Grangula says, that he sees the contrary; that it was to knock them on the head, if sickness had not weakened the arms of the French. I see Yonnondio raving in a camp of sick men, whose lives the Great Spirit has saved, by inflicting this sickness on them.
“ Hear, Yonnondio; our women had taken their clubs, our children and old men had carried their bows and arrows into the heart of your camp, if our warriors had not disarmed them, and kept them back, when your messenger Akouessant came to our castles. It is done, and I have said it.
“ Hear, Yonnondio; we plundered none of the French, but those that carried guns, powder and balls to the Twightwies § and Chictaghicks, because those arms might have cost us our lives. Herein we follow the example of the Jesuits, who break all the kegs of rum brought to our castles, lest the drunken Indians should knock them on the head. Our warriors have not beaver enough to pay for all those arms that they have taken, and our old men are not afraid of the war. This belt preserves my words.
“We carried the English into our lakes, to trade there with the Utawawas and Quatoghies, || as the Adirondaks brought the French to our castles, to carry on a trade, which the English say is theirs. We are born free. We neither depend on Yonnondio nor Corlear. [ We may go where we please, and carry with us whom we please, and buy and sell what we please. If your allies be your slaves, use them as such, command them to receive no other but your people. This belt preserves my words.
“We knock the Twightwies and Chictaghicks on the head, because they had cut down the trees of peace, which were the limits of our country. They have hunted beaver on our lands. They have acted contrary to the customs of all Indians, for they left none of the beavers alive, they killed both male and female. They brought the Satanas into their country, to take part with them, after they had concerted ill designs against us. We have done
* " Grangula, qui pendant tout le descours avoit eu les yeux fixament artachez sur le bout de sa pipe, se leve, et soit par une civilité bisarre, ou pour se donner sans façon le tems de méditer sa réponse il fait cinq ou six tours dans notre cercle composé de sauvages et de François. Revenu en sa place il resta debout devant le général assis dans un bon fauteuil. et le regarant il lui dit.” Lahontan, (i. 61, 62.) who was one of those present. + The name they gave the governors of Canada. Spelt in Lahontan, Onnontio.
The name they gave Mr. Le Maine, which signified a partridge.
||| Chictaghicks, Coden. * The name they gave the governors of New York.
less than either the English or French, that have usurped the lands of so many Indian nations, and chased them from their own country. This belt preserves my words.
“ Hear, Yonnondio; what I say is the voice of all the Five Nations. Hear what they answer. Open your ears w what they speak. The Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas and Mcíawks say, that when they buried the hatchet at Cadarackui, in the presence of your predecessor, in the middle of the fort, they planted the tree of peace in the same place; to be there carefully preserved: that, in the place of a retreat for soldiers, that fort might be a rendezvous for merchants : that, is place of arms and ammunition of war, beavers and merchandise should op y enter there.
“ Hear, Yonnondio; take care for the future, that so great a number of soldiers as appear there do not choke the tree of peace planted in so small a fort. It will be a great loss, if, after it had so easily taken root, you should stop its growth, and prevent its covering your country and ours with its branches. I assure you, in the name of the Five Nations, that our warriors shall dance to the calumet of peace under its leaves; and shall remain quiet on their mats, and shall never dig up the hatchet, till their brother Yonnondio or Corlear shall, either jointly or separately, endeavor to attack the country wbich the Great Spirit has given to our ancestors. This belt preserves my words, and this other, the authority which the Five Nations have given me.'
Then, addressing himself to the interpreter, he said, “Take courage, you have spirit, speak, explain my words, forget nothing, tell all that your brethren and friends say to Yonnondio, your governor, by the mouth of Grangula, who loves you, and desires you to accept of this present of beaver, and take part with me in my®feast, to which I invite you. This present of beaver is sent to Yonnondio, on the part of the Five Nations."
De la Barre was struck with surprise at the wisdom of this chief, and equal chagrin at the plain refutation of his own. He immediately returned to Montreal, and thus finished this inglorious expedition of the French against the Five Nations.
Grangula was at this time a very old man, and from this valuable speech we became acquainted with him; a very Neslor of his nation, whose powers of mind would not suffer in comparison with those of a Roman, or a more modern senator. He treated the French with great civility, and feasted them with the best his country would afford, on their departure. We next proceed to notice
BLACK-KETTLE, whom the French called LA CHAUDIERE NOIRE. A war with France, in 1690, brought this chief upon the records of history. In the summer of that year, Major Schuyler, of Albany, with a company of Mohawks, fell upon the French settlements at the north end of Lake Champlain. De Callieres, governor of Montreal, hastily collected about 800 men, and opposed them, but, notwithstanding his force was vastly superior, yet they were repulsed with great loss. About 300 of the enemy were killed in this expedition. The French now took every measure in their power to retaliate. They sent presents to many tribes of Indians, to engage them in their cause, and in the following winter a party of about 300 men, under an accomplished young gentleman, marched to attack the confederate Indian nations at Niag, ara. Their march was long, and rendered almost insupportable; being obliged to carry their provisions on their backs through deep snow. Blackketlle met them with about 80 men, and maintained an unequal fight until his men were nearly all cut off; but it was more fatal to the French, who, fai from home, had no means of recruiting. Black-kettle, in his turn, carried the war into Canada during the whole summer following, with immense loss and damage to the French inhabitants. The governor was so enraged at his successes, that he caused a prisoner, which had been taken from the Five Nations, to be burnt alive. This captive withstood the tortures with as much firmness as his enemies showed cruelty. He sung his achievements while they broiled his feet, burnt his hands with red hot irons, cut and wrung off his joints, and pulled out the sinews. To close the horrid scene, his scalp was torn off, and red hot sand poured upon his head.
But this was a day in which that people were able to contend successfully 504 BLACK-KETTLE.-HIS WARS WITH THE FRENCH. [Bouk V. against even European enemies. They had, in 1691, laid a plan to prevent the French from extending their settlements westward, for surprising those already formed, and for intercepting the western Indians as they brought down their peltries to them.
Two armies, of 350 men each, were to march out on this business about November; the first were to attack the fort at the Falls of St. Louis, and the other to proceed by way of Lake Champlain against the settlements. Before they set out, two Indian women, who had been captives among them, made their escape, and gave notice of their object. This, in a great measure, defeated the enterprise. Governor De Callieres raised troops, and strengthened every place he was able. The first party was discovered as they approached St. Louis, who, after skirmishing some time with the parties detached against them, retired without gaining any material advantage. The second did little more, and retired, after destroying some houses, and carrying with them some prisoners.
About the end of November, 34 Mohawks surprised some of the French Indians of St. Louis, who were carelessly hunting about Mount Chambly, killing 4 and capturing 8 others. Some escaped, and informed their friends of what had happened, and a company immediately went in pursuit. They overtook them near Lake Champlain, and a hard fight followed. The Catholic Indians rushed upon them with great fury, tomahawk in band, and although the Mohawks had taken post behind rocks, they were routed, 6 being killed, and five taken. They also liberated all their friends taken at Mount Chambly.
In the beginning of February, 1692, De Callieres ordered M. De Orvillieres to march, with 300 men, into the peninsula, which terminates at the confluence of the Ottoway and St. Lawrence Rivers, to surprise a company of Iroquois he had been informed was there. It was their hunting-ground during the winter, and the pretext for attacking them was, that they were now there to surprise the settlements, and intercept such as passed up and down said rivers. While on his march, De Orvilliers met with an accident which obliged him to return to Montreal, and the command devolved upon Captain De Beaucourt. This officer marched to Isle Tonihata, not far from Catarocouy or Katarokkui, where he surprised 50 Senecas in their cahins, killed 24, and took 6 of them prisoners.
Enough had passed before this to arouse the spirit of vengeance in the great chief of Onondaga, Black-kettle ; but this last act could not be passed without, at least, an attempt at retaliation. About 100 Senecas were near the Sault de la Chaudiere, on Ottoway River, at this time, and Black-kettle soon after joined them with a band of his Onondagos; and they immediately put themselves into an attitude for intercepting their enemies.
Governor De Callieres had supposed that by the affair at Tonihata, the Iroquois were sufficiently humbled for the present, and that they were not to be regarded as capable of any considerable undertaking; but he soon discovered the error of his judgment; for 60 friendly Indians, having arrived at Montreal to trade, reported that the way was clear, but requested a guard when they returned. This was granted them. S. Michel volunteered upon this service, and put under the command of Lieutenant De la Gemeraye, 30 men. He had for his two ensigns, M. Le Fresniere, oldest son of the Sieur Hertel, and his brother. Having arrived at a place called the Long Falls, on Ottoway River, some marched upon the side of the river, while others endeavored to effect the passage of the falls in the boats. They had no sooner entered upon this business, when the warriors of Black-kettle, from an ambush, fired upon them, put the 60 Indians to flight, killing and wounding many of the French. They then rushed upon them with such fury that little time was allowed for resistance, and they fled to their boats for safety; but in their hurry they overturned them, and many were made prisoners. Among these were S. Michel and the two Hertels. La Gemeraye and a few soldiers only escaped.* Blackkettle's force on this occasion was computed at 140 men.
Some time now passed without hearing from Black-kettle, but on 15 July 1692, he fell upon the Island of Montreal, as has already been recorded
* Colden says, (i. 134,) that but four escaped in all.