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MIGRATIONS OF THE DELAWARES AND SHAWANESE 129

among the Conestogas. Chartiers was an Indian trader at Pequea, whose
wife was a Shawanese squaw. Chartiers, whose name appears in the
Maryland Archives as "Martin Shortive/' and often found spelled with-
out the final "s," was the father of Peter Chartiers, the perfidious half-
breed trader once located on the Allegheny and Ohio, whose name has
been commemorated in Chartiers creek and Chartiers townships in
Allegheny and Washington counties, and in a Pittsburgh street. Martin
Chartiers was one of the deserters from La Salle in August, 1680. He
seems to have roamed over the whole region from Quebec and Mackinaw,
through the Illinois country to the far south, before he came to Penn-
sylvania with the Shawanese. These Indians were surely driven here,
and it was some time prior to 1700. Additional mention of Peter Char-
tiers will come in the chapter on the traders (Chapter IX). The attempts
of the French in their efforts to dissuade the Delawares and Shawanese
on the Allegheny, which began as early as 1728, were continuous and
persistent for more than a decade, and these also must be narrated in a
subsequent chapter.

Bancroft notes the arrival and settlement of the few score families
of Shawanese in 1698 who planted themselves on the Susquehanna with
the consent of the governor of Pennsylvania at Conestoga. Sad were the
fruits of the hospitality of the Pennsylvania authorities. The remainder
of the nation followed, so that in 1732, of 700 Indian warriors in the
province, one-half were Shawanese emigrants. Some Delawares had
come to the Ohio about 1724 for better hunting than the Susquehanna
region afforded, and beginning in 1728 the Shawanese gradually followed.
Here about the headwaters of the Ohio the Canadian traders found them,
led by Joncaire, the sly, crafty half-breed, "an adopted citizen'* of the
Seneca Nation, and in commemoration M. Joncaire has had his name
perpetuated in a Pittsburgh thoroughfare. Proud is authority for the
statement that the Indians on the Ohio in those years consisted chiefly
of the hunters of the several nations under the "protection or subjection
of the Six Nations.*' However, with their continuous emigration, the
Delaware and Shawanese villages arose, and some became noted in
Pennsylvania history. Several Delaware villages lay within the territory
of municipal Pittsburgh.^® In the "Critical Notes'* communicated to
the "Register of Pennsylvania" (Vol. V. page 113) this paragraph occurs :

1755— The date of the settlements of the Shawanese does not correspond with their
accounts given by their agents as in the public records at Harrisburg, for the Shawanese
came to Pennsylvania previously to the landing of William Penn, for their chiefs held
a conference with him under the great tree at Lackawaxen, to which they repeatedly
refer in their different talks. They did not remove to Ohio in the year 1728 or 1729,
but many remained at their wigwam on the Beaver Pond near the present location of
Carlisle. (See Notes of Assembly, Vol. IV, p. 528.)



i«"History of United States," George Bancroft; Vol. Ill, pp. 240, 297, 314.
Pitts.— 9



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130 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

The presence of any Shawanese at Shackamaxon is not substantiated.
It is apparently mere claim, for the Indians became proud of any par-
ticipation in historic events. They were on the Conodoguinet, about the
site of Carlisle.

C. C. Royce, in the ''Magazine of Western History" for May, 1885,
has an interesting article regarding this nation, entitled ''An Enquiry
into the Identity and History of the Shawnee Indians/' to which he
appended a footnote stating the paper was offered with the understand-
ing that it purported to be nothing but a brief outline of some unfinished
investigations. He begins this article thus :

The Shawanees were the Bedouins, and I may almost say the Ishmaelites of the
North American tribes. As wanderers they were without rivals among their race, and
as fomenters of discord and war between themselves and th^eir neighbors their genius
was marked. Their original home is not with any great measure of certainty known.
Many theories on the subject have been already advanced, each with a greater or less
degree of plausibility. More, doubtless, wilt from time to time be offered, but after all,
the general public will be restricted to a choice of probabilities, and each must accept
for himself that which to his mind shall seem the most satisfactory and convincing.

Royce uses the term "Chaouanous/' which is sometimes found, and
the "u" in the last syllable arouses suspicion that the French term
"Chaouanons" may have been distorted, or vice versa, though the ter-
minal "ons" is clear enough in most histories.

Craig has something to say of the Shawanoes or Shawanese and other
tribes and things about Pittsburgh :

The Shawanese are described as a restless people who constantly engaged in war
with some of their neighbors. They were originally from the South; the French say
from the Cumberland river.

Mr. Heckewelder was told by other Indians that they were from Florida and Mr.
Johnson,io United States agent at Piqua, Ohio, states that they came from the Suwanee
river, Florida, and that it derived its name from them. He sdso states, that they, only,
of all the Indian tribes, have a tradition that their ancestors crossed the sea. Also that
they kept a yearly sacrifice for their safe arrival

About 1698 they first appeared in Pennsylvania, as Mr. Heckewelder states, at
Montour's Island (now Neville Island, six miles below Pittsburgh). Some of them
went to Conestoga and others settled at the headwaters of the Susquehanna and
Delaware.

In 1728 they were again in motion to the West, and located near the Allegheny and
Ohio. In 1732 of 700 warriors in the State, 350 were Shawanese.

They had several villages within the limits of the present counties of Allegheny
and Beaver. Post passed through three Shawanese villages between Fort Duquesne
and Saucunk, which, we believe, was near the mouth of the Beaver river about where
the town of Beaver now stands. Their principal residence was afterwards on the
Scioto.

Of the Six Nations the Senecas were the most western. Their homes extended
from the headwaters of the Allegheny river some distance down the Ohio, and to this
natu>n belonged Tanacharison, also Guyasutha and Complanter.

These various nations strangely mixed together and yet preserving their distinc-



i^Col. John Johnston, see "Historical Collections of Ohio,'' Henry Howe, pp. 363-
365; Schoolcraft 'Indian Nations," Vol I, p. 19; 'The Wilderness Trail," Hanna, Vol
II, p. 128.



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MIGRATIONS OF THE DELAWARES AND SHAWANESE 131

tivc and separate organizations were dwelling here in peace when the white man
appeared among them. The Englishman claiming title under a charter from a distant
king, strengthened by a treaty with the Iroquois. The Frenchman resting upon the
first discovery. (That of LaSalle.)

It is useless now to inquire which had the better or worse title. Certainly it was
easy enough for either claimant to find sufficient flaws in his adversary's title to excuse
his resistance to it ; especially in a case where only a plausible pretext was needed.

France then held extensive possessions in North America, Canada and Louisiana,
belonging to her, and she was anxious to strengthen herself and circumscribe her
adversary, by establishing a line of posts from her northern to her southern colony.
The point at the junction of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers, at once became a
commanding position in this great scheme.20

In 1749 Captain Celoron came, deposited his leaden plates, only not
claiming the country, but taking renewed possession of the River Ohio,
''and of all those which fall into it and of all the territories on both sides
as far as the source of said rivers as the preceding kings of France have
possessed or should possess them." The story could not be better told.
From this act of Celoron's began the stirring history of all the region
about the Forks of the Ohio, and to quote a writer of our own times,
the Rev. Dr. George P. Donehoo of Coudersport, now secretary of the
Historical Commission of Pennsylvania:

Historic development works out along strange lines. Had there been no migration
of the Delawares and Shawanese to the Ohio, there would have been no rivalry between
the French and the English traders — ^no French and Indian war. Had there been no
French and Indian war, there would have been no tax on tea. Had there been no tax
on tea there would have been no American revolution and no United States.

Consequently, when the first hardy pioneers commenced to build their cabins on the
banks of the Conodoguinet Creek (at Carlisle) they were commencing the erection of
the greatest empire the world has yet known.

There are no trivial events in history. The migration of a red, feather-crested
warrior with his squaw and pappoose from the waters of the Susquehanna was a trivial
event in itself. But it meant the closing of one period of human history, and the
dawning of a new era for a great continent.

It meant the final destruction of the forest and the wild, free life of the mountains
and valleys, and the begiiming of the Empire of Cities, threaded by its network of steel
highways.

The long silence of centuries which had brooded over the sweeping forest was to
be broken by the sound of the woodsman's ax, as he cut down the trees to build his
home, and later on the Indian trail was to become a trail of steel over which a nation
would send its wealth to the uttermost parts of the earth.

The rhetoric here is both beautiful and appealing. We admit its
truth.

This brings us to the consideration of other phases of the subject.
History is not built up on hypotheses. The red feathered-crested war-
riors did come, and prone as we are to speculate, history must in its very
definition — a record of past events — ^human events — ^pass by the fanciful
and the might have been. Too often has the fate of nations hung upon
a thread and oftentimes the thread has broken.



20*<History of Pittsburgh," Neville B. Craig; new edition with an Introduction and
Notes by George T. Fleming; 1917 1 PP- 3-6.



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CHAPTER VII.

Indians in Petticoats.

"Disgraced Indians," our chapter head could have read. It will
already have beeen noted how much the word petticoat has been used
in Pennsylvania Indian history as a term of disgrace and as an emblem
of subserviency. Whenever the Iroquois spoke of the Delawares they
mentioned the bondage of that nation and invariably the taunt, "we con-
quered you," followed. The metamorphosis story is altogether a Delaware
myth. While the petticoat as apparel was not actually worn — it might
as well have been. The term is used only figuratively, but frequently.
Hanna heads one chapter in his voluminous work, "The Petticoat Indians
of Petticoat Land." Alliterative and fanciful, this does very well to call
attention to the vassalage of the Pennsylvania Indians which province
we may take as the Petticoat Land. The fact that the ascendancy of the
Iroquois was acknowledged by the Pennsylvania authorities can be
found in the early archives of the province. Thus that veteran soldier
and octogenarian, Governor Patrick Gordon, in his instructions to Henry
Smith and John Petty, September i, 1728, wrote:

Tell Shakallamy particularly he is set over the Shawannah Indians. I hope he
can give a good account of them. They came to us only as strangers about thirty years
ago, they desired leave of this government to settle among^st us as strangers, and the
Conestoga Indians became security for their good behaviour. They are also under the
protection of the Five Nations, who have set Shakallamy over them. He is a good man
and I hope will give a good account of them.^

Shikellimy was a white man, born of French parents in Montreal, but
having been captured by the Iroquois in early childhood, was adopted
by the Oneidas and grew up and could not be told from an Indian. He
was a man of fine abilities and justly celebrated in the Indian history of
Pennsylvania. There is evidence that Shikellimy was set over the Dela-
wares also as vice-regent, overlord or deputy of the Six Nations. On this
sachem's monument at Sunbury, Pennsylvania, his name is carved "Shi-
kellamy." He was the father of Logan, of speech fame.

The story of the Lenape having been conquered by strategem rather
than arms, as told by the Lenape themselves, finds a ready belief in
Heckewelder and is accepted in good faith by Bishop Loskiel, also a
Moravian historian. But these men were missionaries among the Dela-
wares, and Heckewelder, for many years among them, as already re-
marked, looks at everything through Delaware eyes. Parkman
("Conspiracy of Pontiac," Chap. I) dismisses the story as absurd, that
"a people so acute and suspicious, could be the dupes of so palpable a



I'Tenna. Archives ;" First Series, Vol. I, p. 228, quoted by Chas. A. Hanna. •Wil-
derness Trail," Vol. I, p. 149-



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INDIANS IN PETTICOATS 133

trick, and it is equally incredible that a high-spirited tribe could be
induced by the most persuasive rhetoric to assume the name of women,
which in Indian eyes is the last confession of abject abasement/'

Truly so— for the woman was the Indian worker, never a warrior,
though oft a mediator. In the words of Schoolcraft :

There was a reserved power in the Iroquois councils which deserves to be men-
tioned. I allude to the power of the matrons. This was an acknowledged power of a
conservative character which might at all times be brought into requisition, whenever
policy required it, and it exists today (1846), as incontestibly as it did centuries ago.
They were entrusted with the power to propose a cessation of arms. They were liter-
ally peacemakers. A proposition from the matrons to drop the war-club could be made
without compromising the character of the tribe for bravery, and accordingly, we find
in the ancient organization there was a male functionary, an acknowledged speaker,
who was called the representative, or messenger, of the matrons. These matrons sat in
council, but it must needs have been seldom that a female possessed the kind of eloquence
suited to public assemblies, and beyond this there was a sentiment of respect due the
female class which led the tribes, at their general elections, to create this office.^

The Delaware's version is best presented, with comments by Zeis-
berger*s biographer, Bishop De Schweinitz, who says :

After the Dutch had settled New York and the French Canada, the Iroquois
became the friends of the former and the enemies of the latter. Against these they
often warred. The Iroquois finding the contest with the Lenape too great for them
because they had to cope on the one hand with European arms and on the other with
native prowess, excogitated a master stroke of intrigue. They sent an embassy to the
Lenape with a message in substance as follows : That it is not well for the Indians to
be fighting among themselves at a time when the whites in ever larger numbers were
pressing into their country, that the original possessors of the soil must be preserved
from total extirpation; that the only way to effect this was a voluntary assuming on
the part of some magnanimous nation the position of "women" or umpire ; that a weak
people in such a position would have no influence, but a powerful one like the Lenape,
celebrated for its bravery, and above all suspicion of pusillanimity, might properly take
the step; that, therefore, the Iroquois (Aquanoschioni) besought them to lay aside their
arms, devote themselves to pacific employments and act as mediators among the tribes,
thus putting a stop forever to the fratricidal wars of the Indians. To this proposition
the Lenape cheerfully and trustfully assented, for they believed it to be dictated by
exalted patriotism and to constitute the language of gentiine sincerity. They were,
moreover, themsdves very anxious to preserve the Indian race. At a great feast pre-
pared for the representatives of the two nations, and amid many ceremonies, they were
accordingly made women and a broad belt of peace was entrusted to their keeping.

The Dutch, the tradition continues, were present and had instigated the plot. That
it was a plot to break the strength of the Delawares soon became evident They woke
up from their magnanimous dream to find themselves in the power of the Iroquois.
From that time they were ''cousins" of the Iroquois and these their *'vmd€B."

This tradition is as ingenious and unique as it is fabulous and absurd. It was
devised by the Delawares to conceal the fact that they had been conquered, and yet
history recognizes and will ever know them as the vassals of the Iroquois, who exer-
cised authority over them, stationed an agent in their country and would not permit
their lands to be alienated without the consent of the Confederate Council. The story
of the Delawares contradicts itself. Suspicious as Indians are to this day, this nation
could not have been so completely duped; and brave as it was, it would never have
submitted to such a degradation. The whole character of the Aborigines renders the



sLouis H. Morgan (Skenandoah) can be quoted to the same effect See '^Notet
on the Iroquois;" H. R. Schoolcraft, p. 84.



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134 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

thing impossible. In the figurative language of the natives, the Delawares unquestion*
ably were "women," but they had been reduced to this state by force of arms.

At a council held near Philadelphia in May, 1712, by Governor
Gookin of Pennsylvania, the chief speaker of the Delawares declared
that many years before they had been made tributaries to the Mingoes,
or Five Nations.'

Nevertheless, Charles A. Hanna thinks the date of the submission
of the Delawares about March 13, 1677, so that Craig's date may be a
typographical error or one in transcribing. Mpst historians agree that
It was prior to the coming of William Penn, but not so early as Craig's
date, 1617. Craig has practically the same story in brief both in his
"History of Pittsburgh" and in the "Olden Time."* He is clearly in
error, for this date cannot be. substantiated.

The most plausible date fixed for the complete subjugation of the
Delawares is 1727, when Shikellimy took charge at Shamokin. There
can be no doubt that Cannassatego knew his ground in 1742, and that
as late as 1755 the Delawares acknowledged Iroquois supremacy, for
in December of that year the Delawares at Tioga, the few left in that
region, answered a message from Sir William Johnson stating they
did not know the cause of some recent hostilities against Pennsylvania
settlers. In plain words they said: "It is true. Brother, as you say;
we are not at our own command, but under the direction of the Six
Nations. We are women; Our Uncle must say what we must do; he
has the hatchet, and we must do as he says; we are poor women and
have got out of temper." Johnson, who was His Majesty's superin-
tendent of Indian affairs in North America, sympathized with the Dela-
wares, and it will be shown how he took away from them the invidious
name of women.

The date 1727 is to be given credence only from records made of
the Indian affairs in Pennsylvania. In 1732 some Shawanese chiefs on
the Allegheny sent a message to Governor Gordon in which they stated
that some five years before, the Six Nations had told the Delawares
and themselves, that, "Since you have not hearkened to us nor regarded
what we have said, now we will put petticoats on you and look upon
you as women in the future, and not as men. Thence you Shawanese
look back towards the Ohioh, the place from whence you came, and
return thitherward, etc."**

The Iroquois always maintained that they had conquered the Dela-
wat-es and Shawanese. In the Lancaster Conference of 1757 this was
forcibly enunciated, and at the conferences at Easton about the same



•"Colonial Records;" Vol. II, p. 546.

♦"History Pittsburgh f Orig. Editiofi, p. 16 ; Edition 1917, edited hf Geo. T. Fleming, p.
a; O. T., Vol. I, p. 2. He got it from Heckewelder; see the latter's '^arrathre of Mis-
sions,*' p. 139.

5"Pcnna. Archives;" First Series, Vol. I, p. 329.



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INDIANS IN PETTICOATS 135

time, to which subsequent reference will be had. All historians of the
Indians tell of the conquest of the Delawares and Shawanese, rightly
judging the facts from their submissive condition. The metamorphosis
story is surely curious and can now awaken only a broad smile. It is
unbelievable.

To quote further authority : "In the rise of the Iroquois power," says
Schoolcraft, "the Delawares lost their independence and appear to have
been placed under a ban. We have no date for these mutations. They
were most kindly treated by William Penn in 1682." We hear of no
Iroquois protests to their selling their land at that era. In mentioning
the celebrated speech of Cannasatego in 1742, Schoolcraft says that
orator upbraided them, speaking in a strain of mixed irony and arro-
gance, and told them not to reply to his words, but to leave the council
in silence. "Whatever may have been the state of submission in which
the Delawares felt themselves to be to the confederate power of the
Iroquois, it does not appear that the right to control them had been
publicly exercised prior to this time. It was, however, with this proud
nation, but a word and a blow. They accordingly quitted forever, the
banks of their native Delaware, the scene of many memories and the
resting place of the bones of their ancestors, and turned their faces
toward the west."

The Iroquois coil was drawn tight around the Delawares at times.
An example is furnished in the minutes of the treaty at Lancaster,
Pennsylvania, in June and July, 1744. The list of the attending chiefs
and warriors was made out by Conrad Weiser, whose notes read in
part: "The Delawares were forbid to come by the chiefs of the Six
Nations ; Shawanos, a chief and eight more of his countrymen ; Nanti-
cokes, ten; Conoys, eight; Saponys, late of Virginia, now settled at
Shamokin, nine men;" and again this note: "All Six Nations' repre-
sentatives and Conestogas that speaks the Onaytits language."*

This conference is celebrated for the treaty of Lancaster, and was
attended by Governor Thomas of Pennsylvania, and deputies from Mary-
land and Virginia and from the Six Nations. Its proceedings are reported
in full in the Colonial Records (Vol. IV, p. 698 et seq.), but Weiser's
roster is not included there. Cannasatego was present and chief
spokesman.

Schoolcraft attests that the Iroquois policy favored the English.
Speaking of the ravishment of the borders after Braddock's defeat, he
says, ("Indian Nations," Vol. VI, p. 219) :

Foremost on these forays were the Delawares under Shingiss, whose ire appeared
to have received an additional stimulus from the recent triumph of the Gallic-Indian
forces. The Delawares had long felt the wrong which they had suffered in being driven
from the banks of the Delaware and the Susquehanna, although it was primarily owing



•"Penna. Archives;" First Series* Vol. I, p. 657.



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136 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

to their enemies and conquerors, the Iroquois, whose policy had ever been a word and a
blow.

Heckewelder is the chief apologist for the Delawares, and fertile
aiid lengthy in explanations. He said :

The Delawares complained that the countenance given the Iroquois by the Eng-
lish accounted for the great preponderance which the Iroquois at last attained. The
Delawares said the English had always supported that enemy against them; that the
English sanctioned the insolence of the Iroquois, telling them to make use of their
authority as men and to bring the women Lenape to their senses ; that the English per-
mitted the Iroquois to degrade and insult the Lenape at certain treaties, notably that of
July, 1742, in Philadelphia, when the Iroquois were called on to compel the Delawares
to give up the land taken from them by the long day's walk. But for these repeated
outrages they would not have taken part with the French in the memorable war of 1755.
Nor perhaps, would they have done so had they not been seduced into the measure by
the perfidious Iroquois. At the commencement of that war they (the Iroquois) brought
the war belt, with a piece of tobacco, to the Delawares and told them : "Remember that
the English have unjustly deprived you of much of your land, which they took from



Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 18 of 81)