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SOI-E-N-GA-RAH-TA, OR KING HENDRICK.



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^77 £-7- e




NOTES



THE IROQUOIS;



OR CONTRIBUTIONS TO



AMERICAN HISTORY, ANTIQUITIES,



GENERAL ETHNOLOGY.



BY HENRY R. SCHOOLCRAFT,

Hon. Memb. of the Royal Soc. of Northern Antiquaries : Hon. Mem. of the Royal Geog. Soc. of

London: Mem. Ordin. of the Ethnological Soc. of Paris: Vice Pie.iident of the Am. Kthn.

Soc. at New York: Cor. Mem of the New Vorii Lyceum i>f Nat. Hiat : Mem. of

the Am. Philos. Soc, and of the Am. .U-ad. of the Nat. Sciences at Philad.:

of the .Ira. Antiq.. and of the Am. fJeoio?. Societies: Hon Mem.

of the New ITork Hut. Soc: Mem. "of the Hist. Soc. of

Peonsylvania, Georgia, Rhode Island, Connect!

cut and Ohio, &c, &c., &c.



ALBANY:
ERASTUS H. PEASE & CO., 82 STATE STREET.

1847.



Entered according to act of Congres::, in the year, 1847,
BY HENRY R. SCHOOLCRAFT,

In the Clerk's Office of the Northern District of New York.

.17^ "^



J. MUNSELL, PRINTER,
ALBANY.



PREFACE.



The aboriginal nation, whose statistics and
history, past and present, are brought into dis-
cussion in this treatise, stand out prominently
in the foreground of our own history. They
have sustained themselves for more than three
centuries, against the intruding and progressive
races of Europe. During the period of the
planting of the colonies, their sachems stood as
independent embassadors, before the representa-
tives of kings, and the general eloquence, di-
plomacy, and military exploits of the several
cantons composing their confederacy, gave them
a name and reputation coeval with Europe. No
nation of the widely spread red race of America,
has displayed so high and heroic a love of liberty,
united with the true art of government, and
personal energy and stamina of character, as the
Iroquois. The races of the equinoctial latitudes,



IV PREFACE.

who obeyed respectively the sceptre of the Incas,
and of the princes of Anahuac, have indeed
enlisted a wider sympathy and risen to higher
fame in the world's history, but it has been the
fame earned by the labors and arts of subdued
multitudes, and the sympathy consequent on
overwhelming national misfortune ; this is the
difference between the empires of Peru and
Mexico, and the high-toned Iroquois republic ;
but neither letters, Christianity, nor liberty, have
cause to lament the fall of the two former em-
pires. The policy and wisdom by which the
Iroquois met and resisted the inroads of Euro-
pean power, and prevented the overturning of
their institutions, furnishes the highest evidence
of their superiority as an active, thinking race of
men. They watched, as with eagle glance, en-
croachments upon their national rights. They
kept their central council fire at Onondaga bright,
and often met from all the canto'ns, from the
east and west, to deliberate on their affairs; and
when a war was resolved on against a trespass-
ing or impinging foe, of their own race, they
concentrated every effort to carry it on, and flew
to the contest to root up, and tear out their name
and place among men. No leading event, in
fine, in the history of the colonies, has been



PREFACE. V

consummated without the power, in peace or war,
of the Iroquois. They were present under the
British standard, at the siege of Niagara, at the
overthrow of Baron Deiskau, at Lake George,
and at the fall of Montcalm at Quebec. The
colonies of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylva-
nia, felt the strong influence of the policy of their
confederacy. In any political scheme of the
colonies, the course of the Iroquois, in the ques-
tion at issue, was ever one of the deepest moment,
and he must be a careless reader of history, who
does not perceive how vital an element they
became in all the interior transactions, between
A. D. 1600, at the general period of the settle-
ment of the colonies, and the close of the war
of American Independence.

The stirring events of their wars are mingled,
more or less, with the history of each of the colo-
nies, and impart to them much of their interest.
To extract them and set them in order, as a
branch of American history, would constitute a
theme of no ordinary attraction.* But the task
I had taken in hand did not contemplate a his-

* It is to be regretted, that Golden, who viewed the subject
in this light, drops his excellent outlines, (so essential to all
who wish to study the Iroquois history), with the antique date
of the peace of Ryswick, A. D. 1697, a period, when, indeed,
their republic had hardly culminated.



VI PREFACE.

tory. It seemed desirable that before the modem
materials of the Iroquois history could be well
employed, we should accumulate something
tangible and certain of their general polity^wars,
and actual statistics, and also something of the
ancient period of their earlier traditions, and lore,
which might help the inquirer to clear up the
boundaries of historical mystery which shroud
the Indian period, prior to 1492. This forms the
true epoch of American ethnology.

It was a desideratum in American statistics,
that a complete census, of one of the primary
stocks, who had lived in our neighborhood all
this time, and still preserve their nationality,
should betaken. This task New York executed
in 1845. It appeared desirable to the agent ap-
pointed to carry the act of the legislature into
effect, that the opportunity should not be lost of
making some notes of the kind here indicated ;
and it is in this feature indeed, if any thing in
the following notes, that they aspire to the cha-
racter of research, though they be intended only
to shadow forth outlines, to be filled up hereafter.

In reprinting the original notes, in order to
supply a demand of the public for them, which
is still unabated, the occasion has been taken to
revise them, and to add other j)ortions of the



PREFACE. Vll

original materials, which were suppressed in the
publication, together with some further tradi-
tions, and biographical and historical notices and
researches, which it is thought will tend to impart
further interest and value to the work.



ERRATA.
Page 1, 6th line, contents of cliap , for congerity read longevity.
" 14, 13th line from bottom, tor and read than.
" 40, lath line from top, for end read era.
■' 48, 3rd Hue from top. for literary read literally.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

Preliminary observations, ..... l
Obstacles opposed to statistical inquiries among the

North American Indians, - - - - - 5

Progressive state of agriculture, ~ .... 9

Evils of the annuity system, 12

Grain and fruits raised - 14

Ancient and present state of the Iroquois population

compared, 22

General deductions on their longevity and effects of cli-
mate, -.-. - - - 27
Proportion of deaf and dumb and blind, - - - 28
Remnants of the tribes of Algonquin lineage of southern

New York, 31

Abstract of census returns, - - - 32



CHAPTER II.

HISTORICAL AND ETHNOLOGICAL INQUIRIES.

Sketch of the Iroquois group of aboriginal tribes, - 39

Ethnological suggestions, ...... 5Q

Indian cosmogony, - - - - - - - 61

Gleams of their ancient history, .... 64

1*



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER III.

ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF THE IROQUOIS AS A DISTINCT
PEOPLE.

Mohawks, 71

Oneidas and the Oneida Stone, - - . . 75

Onondagas, -. - . - -88

Cayugas, - - -92

Senecas and their origin, - - - 96

Tuscaroras and their flight from North Carolina, - 104
Necariages, - - - - - - - -113

St. Regis colony, - 114

CHAPTER IV.
EPOCH AND PRINCIPLES OF THE IROQUOIS LEAGUE.

Objects of research, ...... 117

Era of the confederacy, 117

Principles of their government and the totemic bond, - 122

Ancient worship and system of astronomy, - - 137

Witchcraft, and its theory and practical evils, - • 139
Wife's right to property ; limited nature of marriage

contract, - - - - 141

Idea of vampyres ; traditions in reference to, - - 142

CHAPTER V.

EARLY WARS AND POLITICAL RELATIONS OF THE IRO-
QUOIS WITH THE OTHER NORTH AMERICAN TRIBES.

War with an ancient people called Alleghans, - - 147

Lenno Lenapees, or Delawares, . - - - 148

Mohegans, Munsees, Manhattans, Metoacs, - - 150

Adirondacks, . - .-. - 152

Algonquins, - - - - 153

Ovvegungas, - 154

Shawnees, 154

Eries, 155



CONTENTS.



XI



Susquehannocks, . - . -
Massawomacs, . . - -
Catabas, .....

Cherokees, their history and language,
Quatoghies, or Hurons, ...
Wyandots, .....
Twightwies, or Miamies, ...
Mississagies, - . - - .
Chippewa or Odjibwa group,



155
155
156
157
161
164
165
16S
168



CHAPTER VI.



ARCHEOLOGY.



Vestiges of an ancient French fort in Lenox,
Ancient site of the Onondagas,
Antiquities of Pompey, - - - -
Ancient fortification of Osco, - - -
Ancient elliptical work at Canandaigua, -
Ancient entrenchments on Fort Hill,
Ancient rock citadel of Kienuka,
Ancient battle field on Buffalo creek,



174

177

188
192
196
198
207
213



CHAPTER VII.
ANCIENT STATE OF INDIAN ART IN NORTH AMERICA.

Architectural ruins, - 219

Remains, sculpture and inscriptions, .... 220

Effect of European fabrics, ..... 220

Arrow heads and axes, 221

Pottery, 222

Architecture, - - .... 224

Art of design, 225

Amulets, &c., 226

Clothing, &c., 229



XU CONTENTS.



CHAPTER VIII.



RELICS FOUND IN THE ANTIQUE GRAVES AND TUMULI
OF WESTERN NEW YORK.

Nabikoaguna — medals, - -. - 231

Medaeka — amulets, 235

Attajeguna — implements, &c., - - - 238

Opoaguna — pipes, - -... 239

Minacea — beads, 242

Peaga — wampums, - - - 424

Mudwamina — jingling dress ornaments, - - - 244

Otoaguna — ear jewels, - - - - 246

Ochalisa — nose jewels, ..-. - 247

j^sa — shells, coins, ornaments, - - - - 248



CHAPTER IX.

ORAL TRADITIONS OF THE IROQUOIS, HISTORICAL AND
IMAGINATIVE.

Ancient shipwreck of a vessel on the North American

coast, - - 251

Forays into the country of the Cherokees and Catabas, 252

Exploit of Haideoni, 253

Seneca embassy of peace to the Cherokees, and heroic

exploit of Awl, 258

Grave yard serpent and corn giant, - - - . 259

Tradition of the siege of Fort Stanwix, - - . 261

Tradition of the defeat of the Kah-kwahs, - - - 261

Epoch of the confederacy, - - - 262

Some passages of their wars with monsters and giants, 262

The Iroquois Quetzalcoatl, . - . . - 270



CONTENTS. Xlll
CHAPTER X.

TOPICAL INQUIRIES.

Who were the Eries ? 286

Building of the first vessel on the upper lakes, - - ^89

Who were the AUeghans ? . . - . . 305

"War with the Kah-kwahs, 318

Antique inscribed stone of Manlius, .... 323
Original discovery of the Onondaga country by the

French, 329

Burning of Schenectady, -. - .. 345
Antique currency of the Manhattanese and their neigh-
bors, - - -.-.- 355
Cherokee tradition of the deluge, - . - . 358
Asiatic origin of the Indian race, .... 360
Lost colony of Kasonda, -• - .. 373

CHAPTER XL

LANGUAGE.

Structure of the class of American languages, - - 382
Comparative vocabulary of the Iroquois and its cognate

the Wyandot, 393

CHAPTER XIL

MORAL AND SOCIAL CONDITION AND PROSPECTS.

Mission of Pyrlaus and Romeyn - - - - 401

The Jesuits, 403

Churches among the Mohawks, &c., ... - 406

Kirkland — Conversion of Skenandoah, - - - 408

Evil effects of the war, .-.-.. 409

Duties of civilized society to the Indians, - - 412



XIV



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XIII.

MISCELLANEOUS TRAITS, ETC.

Soiengarahta, or King Hendriclc, - . - . 413

Infijnt Atotarho of the Onondagas, .... 421

Red Jacket and the Wyandot claim to supremacy, - 423

Pocahontas, . - -.... 425

Anecdote of Brant, 427

Universal suffrage, the Iroquois considered, - - 427

County clerk and the wolf scalp, - . - . 429

Family of the Thunderers, 429



ORIGINAL NOTES.

Letter from Secretary of State,
Indian reservations in New York,
Memoranda, - - - - -
Sketches of an Indian council, -
Indian fort at Pompey, ...
Mr. Cusick's letter on the Tuscaroras,
David Cusick's book, ...
Ancient work on Fort Hill, Auburn, -
Account of Fort Hill, Le Roy,
Moral and religious state of Tuscaroras,
Tuscarora vocabulary, ...
Senecas of Cattaraugus, - . .
Senecas of Alleghany, ...
Mohawk and Cayuga vocabularies,
Statistics of the Oneidas,
Iroquois laws of descent, ...
King Hendrick, ....



435
437
438
461
468
473
475
479
480
485
487
489
492
493
493
495
497



ILLUSTRATIONS.



Portrait of Soiengarahta, . . -


Frontispiece.


Oneida stone, - - - • .





77


79,80


Atotarho, -








91


Site of ancient fort in Lenox, - - -








175


Ancient site of the Onondagas, -








178


Ancient fortification of Osco, - - -








193


Ancient elliptical work at Canandaigua,








197


Ancient entrenchments on Fort Hill,








199


Antique rock citadel of Kienuka,








210


Ancient battle field on Buffalo creek,








215


Nabikoaguna antique.








233


do Iroquois, ...








234


do cameo, ...








235


do mnemonic, ...








235


Medaeka Missouric, ...








236


do dental, . - . -








237


do okun, . . . -








238


Attajeguna Deoseowa, - . - .








239


Opoaguna Algonquin,








240


do Aztec, . . . .








241


do Iberic, ....








241


do Etruscan, . . . .








242


Minacea Alleghanic,








243


Peaga lowan, .....








244


Mudwamina Miskwabic,








245


do Ossinic, - . - -








245


do Wassaabic, ...








245


Otoaguna statuesque, ....








246


do pyramydal, - - -








246


do bifurcate, ....








247


do quadralateral, ...








247


Ochalisa Odaa,








248


^sa mariginella, . - - .








248


Manlius stone,








324


Portrait of Pocahontas, to face, -








425



HISTORY OF THE IROQUOIS.



CHAPTEH I.



VITAL AND AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS.



Preliminary Observations — Obstacles opposed to Statis-
tical Inquiries among the North American Indians —
Progressive State of Agriculture — Evils of the An-
nuity System — Grains and Fruits Raised — Ancient
AND Present State of the Iroquois Population compared n , J

— General Deductions on their GowG«ft*T¥, and Effects / c-'vt^ LV ^
OF Climate — Proportion of Deaf and Dumb Persons, v

Idiots and Blind — Remnants of the Tribes of Algonquin
Lineage of* Southern New York — Abstract of the
Census Returns of the Oneidas, Onondagas, Senegas-
Cayugas and Tuscaroras.

It is by the numbers of the several tribes of
our North American stocks of red mpn, com-
pared with their means of subsistence, and their
capacity of producing the supply, that we are
to judge of their advance or declension in the
scale of civilization. The facts of their former
history, their achievements in arms, or their at-
tachment to peculiar modes of life and policy, re-
tain an interest, irrespective of their present con-



2 HISTORY OF THE IROQUOIS.

dition. But when we perceive a capacity to main-
tain themselves in the face of a European popu-
lation, and to adopt the arts and agriculture of a
higher civilization, the period of their bygone
supremacy is invested with new interest. We
seek with the more avidity to know by what
means they have emerged from their past state,
the rate of their increase, if there be any, and
the general capacities they manifest for entering
into the career of civilized life. Such is the con-
dition of progress and change, under which we
are led to inquire into the vital and agricultural
statistics of the Iroquois.

The question of the original generic name, by
which these tribes were denoted, the relation
they bear to the other aboriginal stocks of Ameri-
ca, and the probable era of their arrival, and
location within the present boundaries of this
state, is one, which was naturally suggested by
the statistical inquiries before me. Difficult and
uncertain as any thing brought forward on these
subjects must necessarily te, it was yet desira-
ble, in giving a view of the present and former
condition of the people, that the matter should
be glanced at. For, although nothing very satis-
factory might be stated, it Avas still conceived
to be well to give some answer to the intelligent
inquirer, to the end, that it might at least be
perceiA^ed the subject had not escaped notice.

A tropical climate, ample means of subsist-
ence, and llieir consetjuonce, a concentrated
and (ixed i)()pulati<>n, niised the ancient inhabit-



VITAL AND AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS. 3

ants of Mexico, and some other leading nations
on the continent, to a state of ease and semi-civil-
ization, which have commanded the surprise
and admiration of historians. But it may be said,
in truth, that, in their fine physical t}^e, and
in their energy of character, and love of inde-
pendence, no people, among the aboriginal race,
have ever exceeded, if any has ever equalled,
the Iroquois.

Discoveries made in the settlement of New
York, west of the De-o-wain-sta, or Stanwix
Summit, have led to the belief, that there has
been an ancient period of occupation of that fertile
and expanded portion of the state, which terminat-
ed prior to the arrival of the Iroquois. Evidences
have not been wanting to denote, that a higher
degree of civilization than any of these tribes
possessed, had, at a remote period, begun to de-
velope itself in that quarter. But, hitherto, the
notices and examinations of the antiquities re-
ferred to, although highly creditable to the ob-
servers, and abounding in interest, have served
rather to entangle, than reveal, the archaeologi-
cal mystery which envelopes them. Some of
these antiquarian traits, not appearing to the first
settlers to be invested with the importance as
industrial or military vestiges, now attached to
them, have been nearly or quite obliterated
by the plough. The spade of the builder and
excavator has overturned others ; and at the rate
of increase, which has marked our numbers and
industry, since the close of the revolutionary



4 HISTORY OF THE IROQUOIS.

war, little or nothing- of this kind will remain,
in a perfect state, very long.

To gratify the moral interest belonging to the
subject, by full and elaborate plans and descrip-
tions, would require time and means, very dif-
ferent from any at my command at that time ;
but the topic was one which admitted of inci-
dental attention, while awaiting decisions and
obviating objections, which some of the tribes
urged to the general principles and policy of the
census. And while the subject of full archseo-
logical and ethnological survey of the state is
left as the appropriate theme of future research,
facts and traditions, bearing on these subjects,
were obtained and minuted down, at various
points.

In availing myself of the liberty extended to
me in this particular, by the instructions of the
legislature, I have, in fact, improved every pos-
sible means of information. Notes and sketch-
es were taken down from the lips of both white
and red men, wherever the matter itself and the
trust- worthiness of the individual appeared to jus-
tify them. Many of the ancient forts, barrows
and general places of ancient sepulchre were visit-
ed, and of some of them, accurate plans, diagrams
or sketches made on the spot, or obtained from
other hands. A general interest was manifested
in the subject by the citizens of western New
York, wherever it was introduced, and a most
ready and obliging disposition evinced, on all
hands to promote the inquiry.



VITAL AND AGRICULTUEAL STATISTICS. O

The present being the first time* tliat a for-
mal and full census of a nation or tribe of In-
dians has been called for, with their industrial
efforts, by any American or European govern-
ment exercising authority on this continent, the
principles and policy of the measure presented
a novel question to the Iroquois, and led to ex-
tended discussions. As these discussions, in
which the speakers evinced no little aptitude,
bring out some characteristic traits of the peo-
ple, it may be pertinent, and not out of place
here, briefly to advert to them.

As a general fact, the policy of a censns, and
its beneficial bearings on society, were not un-
derstood or admitted. f It seemed to these an-
cient cantons to be an infringement on that
independence of condition which they still
claim and ardently cherish. In truth, of all sub-
jects upon which these people have been called
on to think and act, during our proximity to them
of two or three centuries, that of political econo-
my is decidedly the most foreign and least
known to them, or appreciated by them, and
the census movement was, consequently, the

* It forms no contradiction to the precise terms of this re-
mark, that the Legislature of Virginia directed the number-
ing of the Powhattanic tribes, within its boundaries, in 1788.
Vide JeffersoTi's Notes on Virginia.

t To this remark, the Tuscaroras, who met the subject at
once, in a frank and confidential manner, and the Onondagas,
who appeared to be governed therein by the counsels of a
single educated chief, form exceptions.



6 HISTORY OF THE IROQUOIS.

theme of no small number of suspicions and ca-
vils and objections. Without any certain or
generally fixed grounds of objection, it was yet
the object of a fixed but changing opposition.
If I might judge, from the scope of remarks
made both in and out of council, they regarded
it as the introduction of a Saxon feature into their
institutions, which, like a lever, by some pro-
cess not apparent to them, was designed, in its
ultimate effects, to uplift and overturn them.
And no small degree of pith and irony was put
forth against it by the eloquent respondents who
stood in the official attitude of their ancient ora-
tors. Everywhere, the tribes exalted the ques-
tion into one of nationtil moment. Grave and
dignified sachems assembled in formal councils,
and indulged in long and fluent harangues to
their people, as if the very foundations of their
ancient confederacy were about to be over-
turned by an innovating spirit of political arith-
metic and utilitarianism. When their true views
were made known, however, after many days
and adjourned councils, I found there was less
objection to the mere numbering of their tribes
and- families, than the (to them) scrutinizing de-
mand, which the act called for, into their agri-
cultural products, and the results of their indus-
try. Pride also had some weight in the matter.
"We have but little," said one of the chiefs, in
a speech in council, " to exhibit. Those who
have yielded their assent, have their barns well
stored, and need not blush when you call."



VITAL AND AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS. 7

Another topic mixed itself with the consider-
ation of the census, and made some of the chiefs
distrustful of it. I allude to the long disturbed
state of their land question, and the treaty of
compromise which has recently been made with
the Ogden Company, by which the reversionary
right to the fee simple of two of their reserva-
tions has been modified. In this compromise,
the Tonewandas, a considerable sub-tribe or de-
partmental band of Senecas, did not unite ; yet
the reservation which they occupy is one of the
tracts to be given up. They opposed the cen-
sus, from the mere fear of committing them-
selves on this prior question, in some way, not
very well understood by them, and certainly not
well made out by their speakers. It is known
that for many years, the general question of ce-
ding their reservations, under the provisions of
an early treaty of the state with the Six Na-
tions, had divided the Senecas into two parties.
A discussion, which has extended through near-
ly half a century, in which Red Jacket had ex-
hibited all his eloquence, had sharpened the na-
tional acumen in negotiation, and produced a
peculiar sensitiveness and suspicion of motive,
whenever, in latter times, the slightest question
of interest or policy has been introduced into
their councils. This spirit evinced itself in the
very outset of my visit, on announcing to cer-
tain bands the requirements.of the census act.
Some of them were, moreover, strongly disposed
to view it as the preliminary step, on the part



8 HISTORY OF THE IROQUOIS.

of the legislature, to taxation. To be taxed, is
an idea which the Iroquois regard with horror.
They had themselves, in ancient days, put na-
tions under tribute, and understood very well
the import of a state tax upon their property.

"Why," said the Tonewanda chief, Deone-



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