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

. (page 92 of 131)
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 92 of 131)
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only an ambassador in this business, was satisfyed, and even formed a closer
acquaintance with the Brethren." This is sufficient to explain Paxnous 1 par-
tiality for the Brethren. Before they departed, his wife was baptized, and
all present, among whom was her husband, were much affected. She
declared, as she returned home, "that she felt as happy as a child new born."
Paxnous also had two sons, who did much for the Brethren.

TADEUSKUND, a noted chief among the Delawares, may be considered
next in importance to those above named. He was known among the
English, previous to 1750, by the name Honest-John. About this time, he
was received into the Moravian community, and after some delay, " owing
to his wavering disposition," was baptized, and received into fellowship. His
baptismal name was Gideon. He adhered to the missionaries just as long as
his condition appeared to be better, but when any thing more favorable offer-
ed, he stood ready to embark in it.

The Christian Indians at Gnadenhuetten were desirous of removing to
Wajomiek, which offered more advantages than that place, and this was a
secret desire of the wild Indians; for they, intending to join the French of
Canada, wished to have them out of the way of their excursions, that they
might with more secrecy fall upon the English frontiers. It was now 1754.

Meanwhile Tadeuskund had had the offer of leading the Delawares in the
war, and hence he had been a chief promoter of a removal to Wajomiek.
The missionaries saw through the plot, and refused to move ; but quite a
company of their followers, to the number of about 70. went thither, agree-
ably to the wishes of Tadeuskund and his party, and some went off to other

Tadeuskund was now in his element, marching to and from the French in
warlike style. When Paxnous, as has been related, summoned the remain-
ing believers at Gnadenhuetten to remove to Wajomiek, Tadeuskund accom-
panied him. As the interest of the French began to decline, Tadeuskund
began to think about making a shift again. Having lived a considerable
part of the year 1758 not far from Bethlehem, with about 100 of his follow-
ers, he gave the Brethren there intimations that he wished again to join
them ; and even requested that some one would preach on his side of the
Lehigh. But the hopes of his reclaim were soon after dissipated. And "he
now even endeavored to destroy the peace and comfort of the Indian con-
gregation." From the discouraging nature of the affairs of the French, ten
Indian nations were induced to send deputies to treat with the English at

* See Hist, Second War. by S. R Brown, Appendix, 105.


Easton, which eventuated in a treaty of peace. Tadeuskund pretended thai
this treaty had been agreed to on condition that government should build a
town on the Susquehannah for the Indians, and cause those living with the
Brethren to remove to it. This his enemies denied. There was some foun-
dation, from their own account, for Tadeuskund's pretending to have received
full commission to conduct all the Indians within certain limits, which
included those of Bethlehem, to Wajomick; and therefore demanded their
compliance with his commands. He was liberal in his promises, provided
they would comply ; saying, they should have fields cleared and ploughed,
houses built, and provisions provided : not only so, but their teachers should
attend them, to live there unmolested, and the believers entirely by them-
selves. But, through the influence of their priests, they would not comply,
\vliich occasioned some threats from Tadeuskund, and he immediately set
off for Philadelphia, considerably irritated.

Tadeuskund went to Philadelphia in consequence of an intended general
congress of the Indians and English, including all those who did not attend
at Easton. When he returned, he demanded a positive answer, and thev
replied that they would not remove unless the governor and all the chiefs so
determined, for that they could not without the greatest inconvenience. This
seemed to satisfy him. and he left them.

The great council or congress of English and Indians at Easton above
referred to, being of much importance in Indian history, as also illustrative
of other eminent characters as well as that of Tadeuskund, we will refer its
details to a separate chapter.

Tadeuskund w r as burnt to death in his own house at Wajomick in April,

Of an execrable murder at Gnadenhuetten we have not spoken, as we have
not learned the name of the leaders in or instigators of it; however, it will
not be proper to pass it over in detailing the events of our history. It hap-
pened in the time of the French and Indian wars, in 1755. Although it is
generally spoken of as the massacre of Gnadenhuetten, yet it did not happen
in that town, but in a small village on Mahouy Creek, about a half a mile
from it. On the 24 November, a band of Indians, (their numbers unknown,)
who came from the French, fell suddenly upon the place, while the Brethren
were at supper, and killed eleven persons ; namely, seven men, three women,
and one child 15 months old. Only two men, one woman, and a boy,
escaped. The slaughter would have been far greater, if the Christian Indians
had not been away at that time upon a hunting excursion. Had not a dog
given the alarm, as the Indians approached, they would probably have taken
all the whites prisoners ; but the moment the dog gave the alarm, those
within the house sprung to the doors and windows to secure them, which
being open, the Indians fired into them, killing one man and- wounding
several other persons. The poor people succeeded in securing the doors
and windows, and then retreated into the garret of the house. This, as they
must have expected, they found a wretched retreat ! the roof over their
heads was soon in flames, and the only persons that escaped were a man
and his wife, and a boy, which they effected through the burning roof! One
more, a man who had been confined in an out-house by sickness, escaped
from a window. All the buildings in the village, the cattle and other animals
in the barns, were consumed in the flames ! *

The leader of this party, whose name it is as well I cannot give, soon met
with a requital for his murders. By the influence of the Governor of Penn-
sylvania, and Mr. George Croghan, the hostile Indians were prevailed upon
to meet the whites in a council at Easton, the next year, viz. 1756. This
Indian captain set out to attend the council, and in the way, it seems, he lell
in company with Tadeuskund. With this chief he contrived, some how 01
other, to get up a quarrel, in which Tadeuskund killed him.f

SKENANDO, though belonging to a later age, may veiy properly be
noticed here. He was an Oneida chief; contemporary with the missionary
Kirkland, to whom he became a convert, and lived many years of the latter

* Heckewdder's Narrative. 41. t Ibid. 51, 52.


part of his life a believer in Christianity. Mr. Kirkland died at Pnris, N
i'orlv, in I^OH, ;in<l \v;is buried near Oneida. ^ktnamln desired to be buried
near him at his death, which "was granted, lie lived to be 110 years old,
and was often visited by strangers out of curiosity. He said to one who
visited him but a little time before his death, " / am an ageil ha/dork ; the
u-inds of an hundred -winters have wMsttfd through my branches; I am dead at
the top. The generation to which I belonged has run awuy ami left me"

In early life, he was, like nearly all of his race, given to intoxication. In
17?.">, he was at Albany to settle some affairs of his tribe with the govcrn-
ment of New York. One night he became drunk, and in the morning Ibund
himself in the street, nearly naked, every thing of worth stripped from him.
even the sign of his chieftainship. This brought him to a sense of hi.s
duly, and he was never more known to be intoxicated, lie was a powerful
rhietj and the Americans did not fail to engage him on their side in the rev-
olution. This was congenial to his mind, for he always urged the rights of
(he prior occupants of the soil, and once opposed the Americans on the
same principle, for encroachments upon the red men. lie rendered his
adopted Anglo brethren important services.

From the ** Annals of Tryon County,"* we learn that Skenando died on
the 11 March, 1816. He leli an only son. And the same author observes
that " his person was tall, well made, and robust His countenance was
intelligent, and displayed all the peculiar dignity of an Indian chief In his
youth he was a brave and intrepid warrior, and in his riper years, one of
the noblest counsellors among the North American tribes :" and that, in the
r -\ ohitionary war, by his vigilance he preserved the settlement of German
Flats from being destroyed.

We will close the present chapter with some of the land transactions with
the Indians in Pennsylvania.

By his last will, Governor Penn devised to his grandson, William Penn,
and his heirs, 10,000 acres of land to be laid out " in proper and beneficial
places in this province, by his trustees." William Pe?in, the grandson, sold
out this land to a gentleman, Mr. William Allen, a great land-jobber. By a
little management Allen got. this land located, generally, where he desired.
One considerable tract included part of Minisink, and no previous arrange-
ment had been made with those Indians. It would be very charitable to
suppose, that the trustees intended, and that perhaps they did not doubt, but
the same course \vould be pursued in purchasing of the Indians as had been
before, by others ; but no sooner had the new proprietor got the lands sur-
veyed to him, than he began to sell it to those that would go on at once and
settb it.

Hence we clearly see the road opened for all difficulties. About the same
time proposals were published for a land lottery, and by the conditions of
these proposals, not the least notice was taken, or the least reserve made, of
the rights of the Indians. But on the contrary, such persons as had settled
upon lands that did not belong to them, were, in case they drew prizes, to
remain unmolested upon the lands of the Indians. By this means much of
the land in the Forks of the Delaware, since Easton and vicinity, as well as
other places, became taken up, by this kind of gambling, and the Indians
were thus crowded from it. They for some time complained, and at length
began to threaten, but the event was war and bloodshed.

To still the, clamors of these injured people, recourse was had to as great
abuses as had already been practised : crimes were sought to be clouded
by bold stratagem. The Iroquois were connived with, and they came for-
ward, confirmed the doings of the land-jobbers, and ordered the Delaware^
to leave their country. They were to choose one of two horns of a wretched
rlilemma. The power of the Iroquois could not be withstood, backed as it
was by the English. They ordered the poor Delawares to remove, or they
would destroy them, as in the life of Canasatego will be found related.

A sort of claim was obtained to some of the disputed lands, in a simi-
lar a manner as Georgia got hers of some of the Creek country not man}

* By M'. \\\ Camp/tell.



years since. At one time, a party of a deputation having remained upon
the ground eleven days after the others had gone home, were by kind-
nesses prevailed upon to sign a writing, relinquishing all their right to lands
upon Delaware. These were Indians of the Six Nations, and had deeded
lands on the Susquehannah just before, with those who had gone home.
Why the proprietors did not include the lands on Delaware in their first
deed, when the deputation were all together, is a good deal singular, but
requires no explanation. Yet certain it is, those who remained and gave a
writing quit-claiming lands on Delaware, had no consideration for so doing.
This writing expresses only that they intended in the former deed to in-
clude said lands.

That the Delawares or Chihohockies (which w r as their real name) were,
until some time subsequent to 1736, entirely independent of the Iroquois, is
beyond a doubt true, although, from sinister motives, there were those who
maintained that they were always subject to them. It is true, that, when by
a long intercourse with the whites they had lost much of their energy and
character as a nation, the haughty Six Nations found little difficulty in sedu-
cing some tribes of them to join them, and of forcing others to obey them. A
circumstance which clearly proves this, is, that in the first treaties of sales
of land by the Six Nations to the Pennsylvanians, they did not presume to
convey any lands to the east of the sources of the streams that were trib-
utary to the Susquehannah ; the assertions of some of the sj>eech-makers
among the Six Nations, to the contrary, however.*

The celebrated chief Tadeuskund, of whom we have already spoken in
detail, gave the following very pointed account of the manner in which the
whites had conducted in getting his people's lands fraudulently. It was at the
conference in Easton, in November, 1756. Tadeuskund was present as the
representative of " four nations," viz. the Chihohockies, the Wanamies, the
Munseys and Wapingers. Governor Denny requested the Indians to state
the reasons for their late hostile movements. Tadeuskund : " I have not far to
go for an instance. This very ground that is under me (striking it with his
loot) was my land and inheritance, and it is taken from me by fraud. [This was
in the Forks of the Delaware.] When I say this ground, I mean all the land
lying between Tohiccon Creek and Wyoming, on the River Susquehannah.
I have not only been served so in this government, but the same thing has
been done to me, as to several tracts in New Jersey, over the river." On
the governor's asking him what he meant by fraud, he answered : " When
one man had formerly liberty to purchase lands, and he took the deed from
the Indians for it, and then dies ; after his death his children forge a deed
like the true one, with the same Indian names to it, and thereby take lands
from the Indians which they never sold ; this is fraud. Also when one king
has land beyond the river, and another king has land on this side, both
bounded by rivers, mountains and springs which cannot be moved , and the
proprietaries, greedy to purchase lands, buy of one king what belongs to
another ; this likewise is fraud"

Then the governor asked Tadeuskund whether he had been served so ?
He said, " Yes. I have been served so in this province ; all the land extend-
ing from Tohiccon, over the great mountain, to Wyoming, has been taken
from me by fraud ; for when I had agreed to sell land to the old proprietary,
by the course of the river, the young proprietaries came and got it run by a
straight course, by the compass, and by that means took in double the quantity
intended to be sold." f

The meaning of Tadeuskund will be fully explained in what we are about
to lay before the reader. The lands above the Kittatinny Mountains were
not intended to be sold by the Delawares, but the whites found means to en-
croach upon them, and by the aid of the Iroquois, as before noted, were able
not only to maintain but to extend their encroachments. It will be well to
he;tr in mind that the lands conveyed to William Penn in 1685, included the
country from Duck Creek, or Quingquingus to the Kittatinny Hills ; and to
iear in mind, also, how purchases were made, so as to admit of contention 5

See Proud's Pa., ii. 334. f Ibid. ii. 333,


sometimes, doubtless, Ibr the secret intention of taking advantage, and al
others from inability to till certain blanks in the deeds at the time they were
i:i\en. As Ibr example, when a tract of land was to extend in a certain
iiirection upon a straight line, or by a river, "as liir as a man can walk in a
da\, v the point to be arrived at must necessarily be lell blank, until at some
future time it should be walked. This manner of giving and receiving deeds,
it is easy to sec, threw into the hands of sordid purchasers, e\er\ advantage
over the Indians. In one instance they complain that the " walker" run ; in
another, that "he -walked after it was night," and so on.

The Indians had deeded lands in this way to William Penn, and no advan-
tage was taken on his part; but when lie was dead, and others became pro-
prietors, the difficulties arose, of which Tadcuskund reminded the whites at
Easton ; and this will illustrate what has just been given from his speech to
(jJovernor Denny at that time.

The deed to William Penn, to which we in particular refer, was given in
1685, and ran thus:

" THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH, THAT, We, Packenah, Jnrckhan, Sikals, Part-
ijuesott, Jervis Essepenauk, Felktroy, Hekellappan, Econus, Machloha, MetthcongQ,
If issa Powey, Indian Kings, Sachemakers, right owners of all lands, from
Quingquingus, called Duck Creek, unto Upland called Chester Creek, all
along by the west side of Delaware river, and so between the said creeks
backwards as far as a man can ride in two days ivith a horse, for and in con-
sideration of these following goods to us in hand paid, and secured to be
paid, by William Penn, proprietary and governor of the province of Penn-
sylvania and territories thereof, viz. 20 guns, 20 fathoms rnatch-coat, 20
fathoms Stroudwater, 20 blankets, 20 kettles, 20 pounds powder, 100 bars of
lead, 40 tomahawks, 100 knives, 40 pairs of stockings, 1 barrel of beer,
20 pounds red lead, 100 fathoms wampum, 30 glass bottles, 30 pewter spoons,
100 awl-blades, 300 tobacco pipes, 100 hands of tobacco, 20 tobacco tongs,
20 steels, 300 flints, 30 pair of scissors, 30 combs, 60 looking-glasses, 200
needles, one skipple of salt, 30 pounds sugar, 5 gallons molasses, 20 tobacco
boxes, 100 jews-harps, 20 hoes, 30 gimblets, 30 wooden screw boxes, 100
string of beads. Do hereby acknowledge, &c. given under our hands, &c.
at New Castle, second day of the eighth month, 1685."

We will now proceed to take further notice of Tadeuskund's charges at
the Easton conference, before spoken of. The manner of William Allen's
becoming proprietor has been stated. In 1736, deputies from the Six
Nations sold the proprietor all the " lands lying between the mouth of Sus-
quehannah and Kittatinny Hills, extending eastward as far as the heads of
the branches or springs which run into the said Susquehannah." Hence
this grant did not interfere at all with the lands of the Delawarcs, and may
be urged as an evidence, that the Six Nations had no right to them ; for, if
they had, why were they not urged to sell them before the breaking up of
the conference ? and not, as we have before mentioned, waited eleven days,
until all the head men had gone, and then to have got a release from the few
that remained ! It is therefore verv evident that this could not be done when


all were present, or the latter course would not have been resorted to. Not
withstanding the proprietor had grasped at the lands on Delaware, by a
partial transaction with a few of a deputation, he, nevertheless, soon man-
ifested that he considered his right as not beyond question, by his assembling
the Delaware chiefs the next year, 1737, to treat further upon it. The names
of these chiefs were Monokykickan, Lappawinzoe, Tishekunk and Nutimus.*
At this conference a release was obtained from them, the preamble of which
set forth,

"That Tishekunk and Nutimus had, about three years before, begun a
treaty at Durham with John and Thomas Penn ; that from thence another

* His name signified, a striker offish with a spear. Heckewelder. He was generally
calleu Pontius Nutaniaeus an excellent man, who never drank liquor. He was horn on the
spot where Philadelphia now stands, removed to Ohio about 1745, died on the Muskinffum in
1780, aged about 100 years. He had a brother who was called Isaac Nutimus, and like hiic
was a very amiable man, and died about the same time. Ib.


meeting was appointed to be at Pennsbury the next spring, to which they
repaired with Lappawinzoe, and several others of the Delaware Indians ;
that, at this meeting, several deeds were shown to them for several tracts of
land which their forefathers had more than 50 years ago sold to William, Penn ;
and, in particular, one deed, from Maykeenkkisho, Sayhoppey and Taugh-
haughsey, the chiefs or kings of the Northern Indians on Delaware, who for a
certain quantity of goods, had granted to William Penn a tract of land, begin-
ning on a line drawn from a certain spruce-tree on the River Delaware, by
a west-north-west course to Neshameny Creek, from thence back into the
woods as far as a man could go in a day and a half, and bounded on the west
by Neshameny, or the most westerly branch thereof, so far as the said branch
doth extend, and from thence by a line [blank] to the utmost extent of the
day and half's walk, and from thence [blank] to the aforesaid River Delaware,
and so down the courses of the river to the first mentioned spruce tree ; and
that this appeared to be true by William Biles and Joseph Wood, who, upon
cheir affirmation, did declare, that they well remembered the treaty held by
the agents of William Penn and those Indians ;" " that they were now come to
Philadelphia with their chief Monokyhickan, and several other old men, and
upon a former treaty held upon the same subject, acknowledge themselves
satisfied that the above described tract was granted by the persons above
mentioned, for which reason, they the said Monokyhickan, Lappawinzoe, Ti-
shekunk and Nutimus, agree to release to the proprietors all right to that tract,
and desire that it may be walked, travelled, or gone over by persons ap-
pointed for that purpose."

Now it must be borne in mind, that by former treaties the Lechay Hills,
which I take to mean the Lehigh Mountains, were to be the boundaries, in
all time to come, on the north : meanwhile we will proceed to describe the
manner the land was walked out, of which we have been speaking.

' The relation which Thomes Furniss, sadler, gives concerning the day and
a h alf's walk, made between the proprietors of Pennsylvania and the Delaware
Indians, by James Yeates and Edward Marshall"

" At the time of the walk I was a dweller at Newton, and a near neighbor
to James Yeates. My situation gave him an easy opportunity of acquainting
me with the time of setting out, as it did me of hearing the different senti-
ments of the neighborhood concerning the walk ; some alleging it was to be
made by the river, others that it was to be gone upon a straight line from
somewhere in Wright's-town, opposite to a spruce-tree upon the river's bank,
said to be a boundary to a former purchase. When the walkers started I
w r as a little behind, but was informed they proceeded from a chestnut-tree
near the turning out of the road from Durham road to John Chapman's, and
being on horseback, overtook them before they reached Buckingham, and kept
company for some distance beyond the Blue Mountains, though not quite to
the end of the journey. Two Indians attended, whom I considered as depu-
ties appointed by the Delaware nation, to see the walk honestly performed.
One of them repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction therewith. The first
day of the walk, before we reached Durham creek, where we dined in the
meadows of one Wilson, an Indian trader, the Indian said the walk was to
have been made up the river, and complaining of the unfitness of his shoe-
packs for travelling said he expected Thomas Penn would have made him a
1 'resent of some shoes. After this some of us that had horses, walked, and
I :t the Indians ride by turns ; yet in the afternoon of the same day, and some.
hours before sunset, the Indians left us, having often called to Marshall that
aiternoon and forbid him to run. At parting they appeared dissatisfied, and
said they would go no farther with us; for as they saw the walkers would
pass all the good land, they did not care how far or where we went to. It
was said we traveled 12 hours the first day, and it being in the latter end of
September, or beginning of October, to complete the time, were obliged
to walk, in the twilight. Timothy Smith, then sheriff of Bucks, held his
watch for some minutes before we stopped, and the walkers having a piece
of rising ground to ascend, he called oat to them, telling the minutes behind,
and bid them pull up, which they did so briskly, that, immediately upon hi

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 92 of 131)