Samuel Gardner Drake.

The aboriginal races of North America; comprising biographical sketches of eminent individuals, and an historical account of the different tribes, from the first discovery of the continent to the present period ... and a copious analytical index online

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Online LibrarySamuel Gardner DrakeThe aboriginal races of North America; comprising biographical sketches of eminent individuals, and an historical account of the different tribes, from the first discovery of the continent to the present period ... and a copious analytical index → online text (page 89 of 131)
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certain that he had professed it. He probably died about 1730.

We will go a little back in this place, to notice a chief of the Adirondaks,
of whom the most extraordinary stories are told ; even those of Jack-the- giant-
killer are but little more incredible. And even though Father Charlevoix
was familiar with them, yet he deemed them as fiction, it will be imagined,
from his not relating them in his minute history. The name of PEISKARET
was, lor sundry years previous to 1646, terrible to the enemies of the Adiron-
daks. This nation, when Canada was settled by the French, in 1603, resided
about 300 miles to the westward of Three Rivers. How long they had been
at war with the Iroquois at this time, is not mentioned, but it was continued
until the death of Peiskaret in 1646, though with interruption and various
success; but with this chief perished all opposition, and the Adirondaks
figured no more as a nation.

As we have put the reader upon his guard, about receiving the huge stories
about Peiskaret with too much confidence, it will be expected at our hands,
perhaps, that we give a sample of them, as it may be said, " possibly they
are true." We might have done this without thus premising, as others have
done, upon the authority of Colden, (an author of small value, comparatively
speaking.) His relation proceeds :

" An Indian named Piskaret was at this time \ one of the captains of

* Hist. FIVE NATIONS, i. 156.

f Governor Thomas Pownal, Administration of the British Colonies, i. 238, 239.
I lie mentions no particular time, but that of the settlement of Canada, in 1603 ; but some
time during the war of which we have spoken must be understood.

508 PEISKARET. [P,ooK V.

greatest lame among the Adirondacks ; this bold man. with four other cap-
tains, set out lor Trois Ui\ieres in one canoe, each of them being pro-
vided with three muskets, which they loaded with two bullets apiece, joined
with a small chain ten indies long. They met with live canoes in Sorel
Uiver, each having JO men of the Five Nations on board. Pisl.nnt and his
captains, as soon as those of the Five Nations drew near, pretended to inve
themselves up lor lost, and sung their death-song, then suddenly 1in-d upon
the canoes, which they repeated with the arms that lay ready loaded, and
tore those birch vessels betwixt wind and water.* The men of the Five
Nations were so surprised, that they tumbled out of their canoes, and gave
Piskarct and his companions the opportunity of knocking as many of them
on the head as they pleased, and saving the others, to teed their revenge,
which they did by burning them alive with the most cruel torments. This,
however, was so far from glutting Piskarefs revenge, that it seemed rather to
give a keener edge to it ; for he soon after undertook another enterprise, in
which none of his countrymen durst accompany him. lie was well acquainted
with the country of the Five Nations, and set out about the time the snow be-
gun to melt, with the precaution of putting the hinder part of his snow-shoes
Ibrward, that if any should happen upon his footsteps, they might think he was
gone the contrary way ; and for further security, went along the ridges and
high grounds, where the snow was melted, that his track might be olten lost.
When he came near one of the villages of the Five Nations, he hid himself
till night, and then entered a cabin, while every body was last asleep murdered
the whole family, and carried their scalps into his lurking-place. The next day
the people of the village searched for the murderer in vain. The following
night he murdered all he found in another cabin. The inhabitants next day
searched likewise in vain for the murderer : but the third night a watch w r as
kept in every house. Piskartt, in the night, bundled up the scalps he had
taken the two former nights, to carry, as the proof of his victory, and then
stole privately from house to house, till at last he found an Indian nodding,
who was upon the watch in one of the houses : he knocked this man on the
head; but as this alarmed the rest, he was forced immediately to fly. He was,
however, under no great concern from the pursuit, being more swift of foot
than any Indian then living. He let his pursuers come near him from time
to time, and then would dart from them. This he did with design to tire them
out, with the hopes of overtaking him. As it began to grow dark, he hid him-
self, and his pursuers stopped to rest. They not being apprehensive of any
danger from a single man, soon fell asleep ; and the bold Piskartt observing
this, knocked them all on the head, and carried away their scalps with the
rest. Such stories as these," continues Colden, " are told among the Indians,
as extraordinary instances of the courage and conduct of their captains."

Before this, as we apprehend, though related afterwards by this author,
were the great expeditions of the Iroquois against the Adirondaks. The
French took part with the latter from the beginning, and when Champlain
v isited the country, he joined a party of them, and went against the Iroquois,
and, with the aid of his fire-arms, overcame them in a battle near Lake Cor-
lar, which was henceforth called Lake Champlain. Two hundred Iroquois
were in this fight, and the French kept themselves concealed, until it began,
then rushed forward, and immediately put the Iroquois to flight. This was
the first time they had seen the effects of guns. This affair was in loll.

Finally, the Iroquois, having grown conscious of their strength, felt con-
fident that, if they could prevent the French from assisting them, they could
withstand them. Therefore, they pretended to be well affected towards
then- religion, and requested that missionaries should be sent among them.
This was done without delay. Their real object was soon apparent; for
they treated the Jesuit missionaries only as hostages, and this was the means
of making them stand neutral while they carried on their war with the Adi-
rondaks and Quatoghies or Hurons, whom they soon after defeated "in a
dreadful battle fought within two leagues of Quebeck."

This expedition turned out so much to then- advantage, " the Five Natioui

The author of Indian Tales has copied this closely, but gives no credit. Tales, ii
36, &c.


gave out, that they intended next winter * to visit the governor of Canada
these visits are always made with much show. Under this pretence they
gathered together 1000 or 1200 men. Their outscouts met with Piskaret neai
Nicolet River, and still pretending a friendly visit to the governor of Canada,
as their only design, he told them, that the Adirondacks were divided into
two bodies, one of which hunted on the north side of St. Lawrence River at
Wabmake, three leagues above Trois Rivieres, and the other at Nicolet. As
soon as they had gamed this information, they killed him, and returned
with his head to the army. The Five Nations divided likewise into two
bodies : they surprised the Adirondacks, hi both places, and in both cut them
in pieces."

This account is more circumstantial than that given by Charlevoix, but, as
we have seen, would have been without any value, but for his chronology.
He states that, by their previous conduct, the Mohawks had reason to expect,
that all the neighboring nations would join to oppose them, and that they
sent out parties to observe what was passing among them ; that one of these
scouts met Peiskaret alone, but dared not attack Mm ; being persuaded he
would kill at least half of them, as he had often done before. They there-
fore accosted him as a friend, while some came up behind him, and stabbed
him to the heart.

But for the French, the Iroquois had now been complete masters of
all the northern and western regions ; and some have observed, that had
they known the \veakness of those white neighbors, at the time they over-
came the Algonquius, near Quebec, they might easily have cleared the
country of them also.

We will close this chapter with an account of the visit of five Iroquois
chiefs to England. The English in America had supposed that if they
could convince the Indian nations of the power and greatness of their
mother country, they should be able to detach them forever from the in-
fluence of the French. To accomplish this object, these chiefs were pre-
vailed upon to make the voyage. They visited the court of Queen Anne in
the year 1710. None of the American historians seem to have known the
names of these chiefs, or, if they did, have not thought it proper to transmit
them. Smith, in his history of New York, mentions the fact of their having
visited England, and gives the speech which they made to the queen, and
says it is preserved " in Oldmixon" perhaps in the 2d edition 'of his BRITISH
EMPIRE IN AMERICA,! as nothing of the kind is found in his history of Eng-
land, although he records the circumstance, and ill-naturedly enough too.
We think he would hardly have done even this, but for the purpose of ridi-
culing the friends of the queen. The following is all that he says of them :|
" Three weeks after the battle of Sarragossa was fought by General Stanhope,
whose victory made way for the march to Madrid, the news of the victory
was brought to the queen by Colonel Harrison, the 15 September, O. S., at
which time the High-church rabble were pelting General Stanhope's proxy,
and knocking down his friends at the Westminster election. However, for
the successes in Spain, and for the taking of Doway, Bethune and Aire, by
the duke of Marlborough in Flanders, there was a thanksgiving-day appointed,
which the queen solemnized in St. James's chapel. To have gone as usual
to St. Paul's, and there to have had Te Deum sung on that occasion, would
have shown too much countenance to those brave and victorious English
generals, who were fighting her battles abroad, while High-church was plot-
ting, and railing, and addressing against them at home. The carrying of
four Indian Casaques about in the queen's coaches, was all the triumph of
the Harleian administration; they were called kings, and clothed, by the

* No one can tell when next winter was, that is, what year it was in, by any connection in
Colden's text ; he is so exceedingly loose with regard to dates ; but, according to Charlevoir,
it was in 1()4G.

t The first edition (which I possess) was printed in 1708.

[: Hist. England, ii. 452. (Fol. London, 1735.)

He says five, a few lines onward, in his usual random mode of expression, supposing 1 it all
ihe same, doubtless, as he was only considering Indians ! It will be seen that five was the rea.
aumber. .,

4o *


play-house tailor, like other kings of the theatre ; they were conducted tc
audience by Sir Charles Cotterel ; there was a speech made for them, and
nothing omitted to do honor to these five monarchs, whose presence did so
much honor to the new ministry ; which the latter seemed to lie extremely
loud of, and defrayed all their expenses during their stay here. They were
the captains of the four nations, [Five Nations,] in league with the English
at \e\v York and New England, and eanie in person to treat of matters
concerning trade with the lords commissioners of plantations ; as also of an
enterprise against the French, and their confederate Indians in those parts."

Sir Richard Stccle mentions these chiefs in his Tatler of May J-'J, 1710.
and Mdison makes them the subject of a number of the Spectator the
next year, at a suggestion of Dean Swift.* Neither of these papers, how-
ever, contain many facts respecting them. In the former it is mentioned
that one of them was taken sickf at the house where they were accommo-
dated during their stay in London, and they all received great kindness and
attention from their host, which, on their departure, was the cause of their
honoring him with a name of distinction ; which was Cadaroque, and sig-
nified " the strongest fort in their country." In speaking of their residence,
Mr. Steele says, " They were placed in a handsome apartment at an uphol-
ster's in King-street, Covent-garden." There were fine portraits of each of
them painted at the time, and are still to be seen in the British Museum. J

The best and most methodical account of these chiefs was published in
the great annual history by Mr. Boyer, and from which we extract as follows :
" On the 19 April Te "Yee .Veen Ho Ga Prow, and Sa Ga Yean Qua Prah
Ton, of the Maquas ; Elow Ok Koam, and Oh .Yee Yeath Ton JVb Prow, \\ of
the river sachern,1f and the Ganajoh-hore sachem,** four kings, or chiefs of the
Six Nations ff in the West Indies, Jf which lie between New England, and
New France, or Canada : who lately came over with the West India fleet,
and were cloathed and entertained at the queen's expense, had a public
audience of her majesty at the palace of St. James, being conducted thither
in two of her majesty's coaches, by Sir Charles Cotterel, master of the cere-
monies, and introduced by the duke of Shrewsbury, lord chamberlain. They
made a speech by then* intrepreter, which Major Pidgeon, who was one of
the officers that came with them, read in English to her majesty, being as
follows :

" Great Queen We have undertaken a long and tedious voyage, which
none of our predecessors could be prevailed upon to undertake. The
motive that induced us was, that \ve might see our great queen, and relate
to her those things we thought absolutely necessary, for the good of her, and
us, her allies, on the other side the great water. We doubt not but our great

* " I intended to have written a book on that subject. I believe he [Addison] has spent it
nil in one paper, and all the under hinls there are mine too." Swift's Letter to Mrs. Johnson,
iaied London, 28 April, 1711.

t This was probably the one that died, of whom Kalm, in his travels in America, i. 210,
makes mention ; though I do not find a record of it in any periodical of that day.

; Notes to the Spectator, ed. in 8 vols. 8vo. London, 1789.

\ " The Annals of Queen Anne's Reign, Year the IX. for 1710," 189191. This is a
work containing a most valuable fund of information, and is, with its continuation, a lasting
monument to us learned publisher ; his being dragged into the Dunciad in one of Pope's
freaks notwithstanding.

|| We have these names in the Tatler, spelt Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row, Sa Ga Yeath Rua
Geth Ton, E Tow Oh Koam, and Ho Nee Yeth Taw No Row.

11 It is difficult to conceive what is meant by River Indians from many of our authors. In
the Appendix to Jefferson's Notes, 308, they are called River Indians, or Mohickanders,
" who had their dwellings between the west branch of Delaware and Hudson's river, from the
Kittatiiiny ridge down to the Rariton." The " Mohiccons " were another tribe about the
islands and mouth of the Hudson.

** Probably the chief of Canajohara.

ft Query. If, according to Golden and others, the Tuscaroras did not join the Iroquois
until 1712, and until that time these were called the Five Nations, how comes it that they were
known in England by the name of Six Nations in 1710 1

\.\ No one can be misled by this error, any more than an Englishman would be by being
toid that London is situated at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

None of the Six Nations, must be understood.


queen has been acquainted with our long and tedious war, in conjunction
with her children, against her enemies the French : and that we have been
as a strong wall for their security, even to the loss of our best men. The
truth of which our brother Querfer, Colonel [Peter] Schuyler, and Jlnada-gar-
jaux, Colonel Nicholson, can testify ; they having all our proposals in writing.
We were mightily rejoiced when we heard by Jlnadagarjaux, that our great
queen had resolved to send an army to reduce Canada ; from whose mouth
we readily embraced our great queen's instructions : and in token of our
friendship, we hung up the kettle, and took up the hatchet ; and with one
consent joined our brother Queder, and Jlnadagarjaux, in making prepara-
tions on this side the lake, by building forts, store-houses, canoes and bat-
teaux ; whilst Jlundiasia, Colonel Vetch, at the same time, raised an army at
Boston, of which we were informed by our ambassadors, whom we sent
thither for that purpose. We waited long in expectation of the fleet from
England, to join Jlnadiasia, to go against Quebec by sea, whilst Jlnadagar-
jaux, Qwec/er, and we, went to Port Royal by land ; but at last w r e were told,
that our great queen, by some important affair, was prevented in her design
for that season. This made us extreme sorrowful, lest the French, who
hitherto had dreaded us, should now think us unable to make war against
them. The reduction of Canada is of such weight, that after the effecting
thereof, we should have free hunting, and a great trade with our great
queen's children ; and as a token of the sincerity of the Six Nations, we do
here, in the name of all, present our great queen with the belts of wampum.
We need not urge to our great queen, more than the necessity we really labor
under obliges us, that in case our great queen should not be mindful of us,
we must, with our families, forsake our country, and seek other habitations,
or stand neuter ; either of which will be much against our inclinations.
Since we have been in alliance with our great queen's children, we have had
some knowledge of the Savior of the world ; and have often been impor-
tuned by the French, both by the insinuations of their priests, and by
presents, to come over to their interest, but have always esteemed them men
of falsehood ; but if our great queen will be pleased to send over some
persons to instruct us, they shall find a most hearty welcome. We now
close, with hopes of our great queen's favor, and leave it to her most gracious

We cannot but respond amen to Mr. Oldmixori's opinion of this speech,
namely, that it was made for instead of by the chiefs; still we thought it
proper to print it, and that by so doing we should give satisfaction to more
than by withholding it. Our account next proceeds : " On Friday, the 21
April, the four Indian princes went to see Dr. Flamstead's house, and mathe-
matical instruments, in Greenwich Park ; after which they were nobly
treated by some of the lords commissioners of the admiralty, in one of her
majesty's yachts. They staid about a fortnight longer in London, where they
were entertained by several persons of distinction, particularly by the duke
of Onnond, who regaled them likewise with a review * of the four troops of
life-guards ; and having seen all the curiosities in and about this metropolis,
they went down to Portsmouth, through Hampton Court and Windsor, and
embarked on board the Dragon, one of her majesty's ships, Captain Martin.
commodore, together with Colonel Francis Nicholson, commander-in-chief
of the forces designed for an expedition in America. On the 8 May,
the Dragon and Falmouth sailed from Spithead, having under convoy about
18 sail, consisting of merchantmen, a bomb-ship and tender, and several
transports, with British officers, a regiment of marines, provisions and stores
of war ; and on the 15 July arrived at Boston in New England."

Little is to be gathered from Smith's history of New York relative to
those sachems. He gives a speech which they made to the queen, but
it is a meagre abridgment of less than half of the one above, and the

* And the chiefs made a speech in return, but our author makes this note upon it
" N. B. The speech which was said to have been made by them, on that occasion, to tSu
duke of Ormona, is spurious. '

512 TAM \.NV. [BooK V

rest is omitted "The arrival of the live sachems in England
made a great bruit throughout the whole kingdom. The mob followed
\vheiwrr they went, and small cuts of them \\ere sold among the people."*

The main object of their visit to England was not, nor, m the nature of
things. could it be effected. I mean the introduction of Christianity among
them. Even these very sachems, who, according to the stories of that day,
requested to have missionaries settled with them, were among the first to
neglect them when settled among them.f "It might ha\e been imagined,"
SINS the author just cited, " the sachems, those petty kings, who were in
England in the late Queen's time, should have been so strongly alfected with
seeing the grandeur, pleasure, and plenty of this nation, that when they came
to their own countries, they would have tried to reduce their people to a
polite life; would have employed their whole power to expel that rude bar-
barism, and introduce arts, manners, and religion: but the contrary happen-
ed; they sunk themselves into their old brutal life, and though they had
seen this great city, [London,] when they came to their own woods, they
were all savages again."

There cannot be a wider difference than the two nations, English and
French, make in their accounts of the original condition, manners and cus-
toms of the Iroquois. While the writers of the former described them as
the most barbarous, cruel, and bloody, those of the latter portray them in
enviable colors. This difference seems to have entirely arisen from the
different relation of the two nations to them. That they were cruel and
barbarous to their enemies is agreed by both, and it unfortunately happened
that the English were generally their enemies, until the reduction of Canada,
in 1700.


TAMA.VY, a famous ancient Delaioare His history SHIKELLIMUS Favors the Moravi-
an Brethren His reception of Count Zinzendorf His death CANASSATEGO Visits
Philadelphia His speech to the Delawares Anecdotes of him GLIKHIKAN His
speech to Half-king His attachment to the Christian Indians Meets with much
trouble from Captain Pipe Conduct of Half-king Of Pipe Glikhikan perishes
in the massacre at Gnadenhuetten PAKANKE His history NETAVVATWEES
Becomes a Christian His speech to Pakanke His death PAXNOUS TADEUSKUND
His history and death WHITE-EVES His transactions with the missionaries
SKENANDO His celebrated speech Curious anecdote of him His death.

TAMANY was a name much in print, fifty years since, but of what nation
or country, or whether applied to an imaginary or real personage, by any ac-
count accompanying it, no one could determine. The truth respecting this
has at length come to light.

He was a Delaware chief, of similar renown to the Basheba of Kennebeck,
and Nanepashemet of Massachusetts ; and we infer from Gabriel Thonias.i
that possibly he might have been alive as late as 1680 or 1690. He wrote
the name Ttmemj.

Mr. Heckewelder, in his Historical ACCOUNT OF THE INDIAN NATIONS, de-
votes a chapter to this chief and Tadeuskund. He spells the name Tamaned.
The difficulty of gaining information of deceased individuals among the
Indians is well known to those conversant with their history. Mr. Hecke-
icdder says, "No white man who regards their feelings, will introduce such
subjects in conversation with them." This reluctance to speak of the de-

* Hist. New York, 122. ed. 4to. London, 1757. Beautiful full-length portraits of four of
these chiefs were done in mezzotinto at the time they were in England, but they were long
since of very rare occurrence. I possess the best set of them which I have ever seen. They
are usually found in black frames, and are about 20 inches in height by 12 in breadth. The
portrait of the one that died was not probably taken, which accounts for our having but four.

t HUMPHREY'S Historical Account Soc. for Prop. Gospel, 309, 310.

\ '' Who resided there [in Pennsylvania] about 15 years,' 7 and who published " An Historic
al and Geographical Account of Pa. and \V. Jersey/' 12mo. London, 1693.


parted he attributes to "the misfortunes which have befallen some of the
most beloved and esteemed personages among them, since the Europeans
came among them." It is believed, however, that it had a more remote ori-
gin. The same author continues, "All we know of Tamened is, that he was
an ancient Delaware chief, who never had his equal." *

It is said that when, about 1776, Colonel George Morgan, of Princeton, New
Jersey, visited the western Indians by direction of congress, the Delawares con-
ferred on him the name of Tamany, " in honor and remembrance of their
ancient chief, and as the greatest mark of respect which they could show to
that gentleman, who they said had the same address, affability and meekness
as their honored chief." f

Online LibrarySamuel Gardner DrakeThe aboriginal races of North America; comprising biographical sketches of eminent individuals, and an historical account of the different tribes, from the first discovery of the continent to the present period ... and a copious analytical index → online text (page 89 of 131)