O. D. von (Oscar Diedrich) Engeln.

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by his act, was otherwise forfeited. The chief of
the Onondagas however, bitterly opposed these
reforms, and murdered Hiawatha's daughters during
the progress of the propaganda. Then Hiawatha
exiled himself from the Onondagas, sought and was
also refused help by the Mohawks, and came then,
finally, to the Oneidas and the Cayugas, which
latter had their domain about Cayuga Lake. These
tribes readily assented to his plans, on condition
that the Mohawks also join the confederation, and;
as it proved, after the others had taken the initia-
tive, the Mohawks quickly consented; and then the
three tribes brought their combined influence to
bear on the Onondagas, who, on their part, made it
a condition that the Senecas enter the union. A
portion of the Seneca finally agreed, and then the
Onondaga came in, and thus was formed the con-
federation of the Five Nations.

Their own name for this organization was
" Ongwanonsionni, " 'we are of the extended lodge,'
and its scheme of government was patterned after


In Indian Times

that of the Cayuga tribe.
Wars were carried on, it
is true, by the confeder-
ation, to secure and per-
petuate its political life,
and the tribes practised
a ferocious cruelty on
their prisoners, burning
even their unadopted
women prisoners, but in
their social and political
life they were really a
kind and affectionate
people, full of keen sym-
pathy for kin and friends
in distress, exceedingly
fond of their children,
anxiously striving for
peace among men, and
profoundly endowed with
a just reverence for the
constitution of their
commonwealth and its

Curiously enough,
their kinship was traced
through the blood of the
women only. The sim-
plest union of the con-
federation was what might be termed a brood fami-

&tringa of 3ruquoi0 Ulampum


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ly, composed of the progeny of a woman and her
female descendants, counting through the female
line only. This simple unit surrendered part of
its autonomy to the next higher unit, and so on.
Kinship meant membership in a family, and this,
in turn, constituted citizenship, and conferred cer-
tain social, political, and religious privileges, duties
and rights, which were denied persons of alien blood,
who might, however, be adopted into a family. The
three functions of government were exercised by
one and same class of persons, the chiefs, who
were of three grades and organized into councils;
chiefship, however, was dependent on the suffrages
of the matrons. Iroquois marriages, again, were
arranged by the mothers, without the consent or
knowledge of the couple.

Once organized, the confederation soon made its
power felt. After the coming of the Dutch, from
whom they obtained fire-arms, the Iroquois were
able to extend their conquests over all the neighbor-
ing tribes until their dominion was ' acknowledged
from the Ottawa river to the Tenessee and from the
Kennebec to the Illinois river and Lake Michigan.
The Chippewas checked their westward advance;
the Cherokees and Catawba barred their way in the
south, while in the north the operations of the
French ultimately hindered their further progress.
And yet, when they had reached the height of their
power, in 1677, they numbered only 16,000 souls.
Certainly this was an enterprising nation, when one


In Indian Times

considers the vastness of the territory they ruled,
as compared to the probable number of their warriors.
In fortification their skill was great. Their so-called
castles were solid log structures, with platforms
running along the top, on the inside, from which
stones and other missiles could be hurled down on
the besiegers.

On the outbreak of the American Revolution,
the League of the Iroquois decided not to take part
in the conflict, as a nation, but to allow each tribe
to take action for itself. Yet all the original Five
Nations allied themselves with the English. This
alliance was of far greater import for the coming
struggle than the mere statement implies. For the
Iroquois tribes were sedentary and agricultural,
depending on the chase for only a small part of

^F^wl I'M K*i

^^4P*^S" : ';#

Hark ijmisr of llir Jlrnqitntii

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their subsistence. At the beginning of the war they
had already under cultivation an immense " acreage"
of the great Central New York region, and they
possessed live stock in great numbers. On the
farms were raised the maize or Indian corn, beans,
pumpkins; and orchards of peach, apple and pear
blossomed annually, making bright, in the spring-
time, all the interlake country between Cayuga and
Seneca. Few white men had ever seen this region
of the Iroquois home, before the war, but the
British quickly appreciated its possibilities, for
immediately thousands more acres were cleared and
tilled under their direction, and thus Central New
York became a great storehouse and granary for
the British armies.

That their enemies should thus easily gain
subsistence from the land while they themselves
often suffered need was, of course, a sore thorn in
the sides of the Continentals. Therefore, in 1779,
Washington commissioned General Sullivan, with an
army of five thousand men, practically one-third
the whole Continental army, to advance from three
directions into the Iroquois country, and ravage it
utterly, so that it could not, for a long time, be a
base of supplies. And this commission was carried
out to the letter, the Indian towns, with their great,
long, bark houses, plunder-filled, were burned, the
maize in the fields destroyed, and the live stock
scattered and killed. Among the towns which suf-
fered this fate were two on Cayuga lake, Ganoga,


In Indian Times

the site of the modern Canoga, and Coreorgonel, a
village in the Inlet valley, just south of the present
Ithaca. A detailed record of this march into the
wilderness, of the trials and the struggles endured
in the dragging of cannon through the swamps and
marshes of the flat-topped divides, is contained in
the diaries of the army officers, and to these, of
which the University Library possesses copies, the
interested reader is referred.

It seems a great pity that there was no photo-
graphy in those days to preserve for us the condi-
tions and the intimacies of this Indian life. As it is,
we can do little more than conjecture its circum-
stances. Where words suffice, a few details have
come down to us. Money is today a word to conjure
with, and even now its Indian equivalent, wampum,
still has clinging to it enough of its old association
to make it a sort of fetish, demanding introduc-
tion into the Indian poetry of our authors. Yet
one may question whether many readers know of
what a string of wampum consisted. It is, therefore,
interesting to know that this wampum, which existed
as currency, even among the white people in the
early Colonial period, and in New York as late as
1693, was simply strings of white and black beads,
carved from the valves of the quahog and other
molluskan shells. The darker ones had a greater
value than the white; according to Holm, "a
white bead is of the value of a piece of copper money,
but a brown is worth a piece of silver." This wam-


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pum could be carried much more conveniently than
skins for trading purposes, and it was readily
measured out in payment, by the length of the
thumb, "from the end of the nail to the first joint
makes six beads."

Of the Iroquois mythical and legendary lore,
more is preserved. David Cusick, one of their
number who received an English education, wrote
out a number of these myths in his ' History of the
Iroquois.' The myths are all concerned with the
creatures of their religious beliefs; to whose activi-
ties they ascribe the origin of the many striking
natural phenomena of the region. The Taughan-
nock Falls story is perhaps the most interesting of
these, and runs substantially as follows:

In the long-ago days, when the stone-clothed
giants roamed the earth, the spirit of the waters
and the spirit of the rocks had a disagreement. It
seems that the spirit of the rocks was a lazy fellow,
who, as are lazy characters among men today, was
marked most definitely as such, by the fact that he
hated to see industry in others. The water-spirit
particularly vexed him because of his constant,
every hour, activity; and the evidence of his acti-
vity, which one encountered everywhere. There
were the chafing waves of the lake, the driving
rains and the riving frosts, and all the streams,
little and big, flowing over the land. Moreover,
between these two there was a rivalry of strength,
and, as is generally the case with lazy beings, the


In Indian Times

rock-spirit was a boastful fellow, and inclined to
sudden spurts of tremendous energy, alternating
with much longer periods of idle lolling. At length,
one day, unable to contain his spleen at the water-
spirit's activity longer, he taunted this gentler deity
with its constant laborious toil in so many different
forms, and recited the large proportions of the works
he accomplished almost in an instant, how he sent
great rock slides crashing down the slopes, sprung
loose the cliffs into the lake and so creating great
waves; and yes, making the whole earth tremble in
earthquakes when he stirred his underground forces.
Moreover, he insinuated that the water-spirit needed
the co-operation of the wind-spirit and others in
his accomplishments, while he worked independently.

Aroused by these insults, uttered in the presence
cf the thunder-spirit, the lightning, the wind and
the tree-spirits, and many others, the gentler water-
spirit proposed a trial by combat, to determine their
relative standing, and to settle the aggravation as
to dominance, once and for all time.

The rock-spirit readily enough, and even mock-
ingly, agreed to the conditions the water-spirit
proposed, and a time was set when all the spirits
and the stone-clothed giants were to come and
witness the contest. The water-spirit had chosen
to fight with the Taughannock stream, which then
flowed quietly down an even slope into the lake;
while the rock-spirit was to inhabit an immense
rock, great as a pine tree in height and many times


.At Cornell

as wide and long, which lay in the course of the
same stream. The terms of the battle were that
neither was to give up until one or the other had
been utterly vanquished.

At the agreed time, all the witnesses assembled,
and the combat began. The rock-spirit made a
tremendous fuss pushing back the waters and lash-
ing them into foam, but, even when it seemed that
the water-spirit had been all but subdued, it would
recover fresh energy from its unceasing upstream
supply, and so burst the barrier of the rock-spirit,
and the battle would then begin anew.

While to the spirits all this contest seemed
short, in reality it occupied years. And in their
struggles, the combatants tore a great hole in the
earth, a half mile long and a third as wide, and
three hundred feet deep. Finally the water-spirit,
by its persistence and ever renewed small-strength,
so battered into fragments, what had erst been a
great rock, that the rock-spirit could no longer find
lodging place sufficient to fight from, and was forced
to abandon the conflict, and the water-spirit, fresh
as ever, was unanimously approved the victor.

Then the water-spirit took its beautiful white
cloud form, thanked the stream which had served
it so faithfully, and ordained that it flow for seven
ages, with a great roar, into the abyss that had been
wrought during the struggle, and thus serve as a
warning to any who presume to think that bluster
must intimidate those who are quietly doing. And


In Indian Times

so we have the record of the water-spirit's victory,
preserved even until now, in the form of the Taughan-
nock Falls.

Today the descendents of the Cayugas are
scattered far and wide. After the Revolution,
some had already moved to Ohio and Canada. In
the former place, they joined other Iroquois and
became known as the Seneca of Sandusky. These
are now in Indian Territory; others are with the
Oneida in Wisconsin; one hundred and seventy-five
are with the Iroquois in New York, on the Indian
reservation, while the majority of the surviving
descendants of the Cayugas, some seven or eight
hundred, are on the Grand river reservation in



HERE are several routes which one may follow
in going from Ithaca to Taughannock, and of
these the railway trip is the most direct, and
is, at the same time, very interesting as it overlooks
Cayuga lake, from the cliffs of its western shore.
Alighting at the Taughannock Falls station, one
finds a pleasant roadway leading down to the Falls
hotel, which has a most romantic setting among tall
pines, some of the few of these conifers yet remain-
ing of what were once whole forests, and of which
the gnarled roots, in the shape of field fences, now
constitute the only remaining evidence of their
former existence.

But at Taughannock great pines still border
the edge of the gorge; and, starting from the hotel
veranda, we follow a precipitous path, overhung by
their boughs, to the various prospects of the falls,
which the path affords. And these are, perhaps,
the most picturesque views that can he had, for
from these points one sees the water plunging from
the smooth platform of its upper channel, over the
brink, and straight down in one leap, to the green-


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shadowed pool below. We are over three hundred
feet above, and a greater distance removed from
where the concussion of the waters occurs, and the
noise of their meeting reaches us but faintly. But
the glamour of the scene is enticing. One instinc-
tively speculates on the possibility of staying, for a
time, at this quiet retreat where the pulse of the
working world beats but feebly. Here, with a book
and a pipe, on the veranda, looking out across the
deep gash in the hills, on the swaying trees of the
opposite rim, and with a peep, perhaps, in the cool
of each morning and evening, from the prospect
point near by, at the mystery of the water in its
endless cyclic course, to kindle in the brain the
dream fire of world thoughts remote from our petty
daily routine here we feel we could pass time, aye
for a fortnight, in simple, big contentment. Twould
be as Shakespeare has King Henry yearn:

" Oh God! methinks it were a happy life,
To be no better than a homely swain:
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes, how they run.

Ah, what a life were this! how sweet! how lovely!"

The inn is in large part responsible for this
atmosphere; one feels that in it one has made a
discovery. Here is one of those fabled hostelries,
where everything is idyllic, possessing the charm of
being known and appreciated only by the elect.



Perchance painted deceit lurks beneath the mask,
but had one the time it were well worth while to
make the try.

Following downstream, there are other points
where overhanging ledges offer a prospect into the
deeps below; down on the swaying crowns of the
tall trees which root in the valley bottom, and over
at the buttressed rocks of the opposite wall, all
weatherworn and crumbly in the hollows, but often
with bold, sharp fronts and sides, where a newly
exposed joint plane cleavage reveals the unaltered
strata. Through a little doorway in a log shelter,
a little farther on, one comes to the pathway which
affords a precarious descent into the gorge itself.

University excursions often visit this locality,
and very amusing are the unexpected traits of human
character which often crop out when such a party,
which pure chance has brought together for an
experience, attempts the descent into the gorge.
Those held most timid, often prove least nervous;
on the other hand, the traditionally stoical Oriental
(for the classes are often of the most cosmopolitan
composition), very frequently crawls up a treacher-
ous slope on hands and knees. The path which we
are now essaying is not without its thrills for those
who have had no experience in climbing, and its
turns and crooks have a charm even for the

No one has "improved" Taughannock gorge
with sordid wooden walks and 'hand rails, so that


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we see it in its pristine charm. For which the Gods
be praised! What matters a wet foot, or a soiled
skirt, occasioned by a slip from a stepping stone,
or an uncautious step along a moist green ledge,
compared to the joy of pushing into the wild, unregu-
lated by the hand of man! A faint trail of former
explorers, gives the confidence of human precursors,
and that is all the encouragement we need.

But let us note what interests are about us.
In the lower end of the gorge the rock bed of the
stream's course is the Tully limestone, and from a
mixture of this with the Hamilton shales, which lie
directly below its twelve feet of thickness, is made
the cement which is calcined and ground at Portland
Point, on the east shore of the lake near Ithaca.
The rocks above the Tully are the crumbly Genesee
shales, and all over their surface one sees white
deposits of alum and lime carbonate, where the
water is leaching the cements from the fissile layers.
From this point upward it is an easy ramble along
ledges and through woods to the Falls; and along
the way one is even more impressed than by the
view from above, with the height and the vertically
of the beetling cliffs through which the water has

The falls themselves, which come suddenly into
view as one rounds the last bend, seem to belie
their reputed height. This is due to the distance
yet intervening between us and their base; to the
fact that the cliffs on each side are much higher




than the falls themselves, and most to the fact that
our sense of scale seems to have deserted us. How-
ever, a nearer approach to where the spray keeps

Saugljatttuirk Jffalla befart tl?* GHfatig* ttt tfc 3Forut of tlfp QJr*Ht


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the black-brown, jointed cliffs constantly moist, and
then craning the neck to gaze upward, we are enabled
to regain the lost sense of proportion, and the true
magnitude of the plunge the waters make bursts
upon us, and the falls become indeed impressive.
And they deserve the tribute which we then uncon-
sciously bestow, for their two hundred and fifteen
feet of fall is greater than that of Niagara by fifty-
five feet; moreover, Taughannock is said to be the
highest waterfall east of the Rocky mountains.

In former years there was no break in the falls,
at the brink; the water plunged straight down
from a projecting ledge, whereas the lip of the falls
is now a reentrant angle. This change in form is a
clue to the origin of the cataract, for it points out
the influence of the many joints, intersecting at
right angles, which here cut the rocks in rectangular
blocks. Taughannock creek, like the other streams
with gorge valleys, about Ithaca, is probably the
result of post-glacial erosion by the stream. In
former years, geologically speaking, the gorge was
probably similar in character to the other gorges of
the region and consisted, as these latter have con-
tinued since, of a series of cascades and sloping
reaches. But in Taughannock it happened eventu-
ally that the edge of a hard layer, a little above the
present height of the falls, having been worn back
upstream to a point where the joint planes were very
closely spaced, the water was enabled to work faster
than it had in the less broken strata, with the result


Til m tr nit tl k 0">nnir


that it swept out the underlying softer- shales very
rapidly, and probably developed a vertical fall of
considerable magnitude, limited in height only by
the horizon of the next hard layer. At the down-
stream edge of this lower resistant layer, a fall was
also working, and presently it too had reached the
jointed area; and then coming almost immediately
within the influence of the greater fall above, it
increased its height and thus probably doubled the
effectiveness of the latter. In time all the minor
hard layers were worn back, and the falls they had
developed were combined with the big fall, and we
.had approximately the present Taughannock falls,
with its height of two hundred and fifteen feet.
This is, however, about the limit in height, for the
stream is cutting down its bed in the small gorge
above, while below its excavating power is prac-
tically limited by the presence of the durable Tully
limestone, ten to fifteen feet in thickness, only a
few feet below the present base of the falls.

This explanation of the falls may seem plausible
enough to the observer who stands at the cataract's
foot, but there remains the puzzle of accounting for
the semi-circular amphitheatre at which he gazes;
and which is far too wide to have ever been directly
under the influence of the falling water. Yet one
has only to note how constantly the walls are wet
with spray, and consider how the freezing of this
in the crevices, and the consequent expansion, as
the water solidifies into ice, would pry off the blocks


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on both sides of and behind the fall, with the same
resistless force which it employs on our water pipes
in winter. In summer this spray, which trickles
from the cliffs in little runlets of silver, simulating,
in the most fascinating manner, the presence of
living springs in the rock; does a lesser work of
destruction by its power of solution, and by acting
as a promoter of oxidation, and the consequent
disintegration of the rock.

Projecting from these spray-moist rocks, are
scattered rounded masses about the size of a man's
head, and in form resembling most an exaggerated
red peppermint drop. These are what geologists
call concretions, and owe their origin to the accumu-
lation of a greater amount of cement around a central
foreign substance, as, say, a small pebble, while the
rocks w r ere being solidified. They project out from
the rest of the wall in which they are imbedded, in
part because they are more resistant to the weather-
ing agents, and in part because the joint planes do
not ordinarily cut through them. Of like geological
interest are the "dikes" which cut vertically through
the rock, and can best be seen on the left hand
wall, as one faces the falls, and near the end of the
circular arc of rock which curves out on each side
from behind the falls, and about half way up the
cliff. They look like yellow-brown tree roots, pene-
trating the strata, except that they are tabular in
form. An examination of a fragment, of which
many will be found in the talus heap below the


3tt Ettfoli


cliff, shows them to be of igneous character, with
flakes of mica crystals in the central core, and on
each side an iron-stained oxidized shell. This proves
that at some period in its history, and after the
formation of the sedimentary layers, volcanic activ-
ity was present in this region, manifesting itself
by the forcing of hot, molten rock magma far upward
toward the earth's surface from the interior, so that
it penetrated the solid rock, and on cooling, formed
these dikes.

Turning our eyes again to the falls themselves,
we may spend these last moments before quitting
the spot most pleasurably in watching the fall of
the water. As we look upward we appreciate the
true height of the plunge it makes, and note how
the at first unbroken sheet, before many feet of its
descent have been accomplished, breaks, and then
descends as a myriad of meteors, each with its solid
shooting head, and a glowing trail of white foam
flecks behind. And, indeed, the comparison is apt,
for in both cases it is the friction of the atmosphere
which causes this phenomenon. "Taghkanick," the
Iroquois called the falls, signifying ' there-is-water-
enough,' and in this we will agree; wishing at the
same time, that all these poetic Indian names had
been retained, as here, where it is truly in keeping,
for the white man has, at Taughannock, for once,
appreciated enough, or so little, as to leave the
gorge in its primitive beauty.


fflatktus (Bint

Matktna (&li>n

fATKINS GLEN is located on the western side
of the Seneca lake valley, at the southern end
of the lake, and cuts up through the steep
hillside which hems in the town of Watkins. The
glen may properly enough be considered an adjunct
of the Cornell country, for a majority, perhaps, of

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