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violence is done to themselves, also, in consequence of domestic broils, and by women when forsaken by their husbands. The means of destruction are the root of the hemlock.
The Iroquois were anciently very hospitable to strangers. The house of the principal man of each village was distinguished by a long pole set up at the door. To this house all strangers resorted as a matter of right, and were entertained as long as they chose to stay. If they were numerous, the inbabitants of the village brought in provisions for their support: if not, they were furnished by the family. When the strangers withdrew, they never thanked their host for his kindness, the hospitality being considered by both parties as their due.
The women were peculiarly kind to strangers, and in their treatment of them discovered a great degree of cordiality and good-will.
Family government consisted almost wholly in advice and persuasion. Some parents took much pains in advising their children, and inculcated on them useful lessons of morality.
They have had no other worship, within the knowledge of Mr. Deane, except the annual sacrifice of a dog to Tauhimself by an interpreter : “ I am an aged hemlock: the winds of an hundred winters have whistled through my branches ; I am dead at the top. The generation, to which I belonged, have run away and left me; why I live the great Good Spirit only knows. Pray to my Jesus that I may have patience to wait for my appointed time to die.'
“ Honoured chief! His prayer was answered; he was cheerful and resigned to the last. For several years he kept his dress for the grave prepared. Once, and again, and again, he came to Clinton to die, longing that his soul might be with Christ, and his body in the narrow house, near his beloved Christian teacher.
" While the ambitious, but vulgar great, look principally to sculptured monuments, and to riches in the temple of earthly fame, Skenando, in the spirit of the only real nobility, stood with his loins girded, waiting the coming of the Lord. His Lord has come; and the day approaches, when the green hillock that covers his dust will be more respected than the pyramids, the mausolea, and the pantheons of the proud and imperious. His simple turf and stone will be viewed with veneration, when their tawdry omaments shall awaken only pity and disgust.
Indulge, my native land, indulge the tear
And sorrows fall upon an Indian's tomb.' : “ Clinton, March 14th, 1816."
longhyauwaugoon, the “ Supporter of the Heavens.” At this sacrifice they eat the dog.
The dog is their most precious property.
Their mythology is regularly communicated by the old sachems to the young.
There is no trace among the Iroquois, within the knowledge of Mr. Deane, of any tradition of their advent from the western regions. When asked concerning their origin, they regularly answer, that they came up out of the ground in the regions where they now live.
Such is the account which was given me of this extraor. dinary people by Mr. Deane.
I am, Sir, &c.
Origin of the Iroquois. Their warlike Character. Their
Faithfulness in keeping Treaties. Their Eloquence and Language. Mischiefs produced by Ardent Spirits. The Effects of General Sullivan's March through their Country. Feast, or Thanksgiving of the Senecas.
The Iroquois, in my apprehension, were, like all the other aborigines found by the Europeans in this part of North-America, of Tartar origin; and, at some period of time, unknown to themselves as well as to us, came to this continent across the Straits of Behring. By their language, which was radically different from those of most, if not of all other tribes, they were completely separated from the other Indians of this continent, and firmly united together. Their union must have been strengthened by the smallness of their numbers; for, if we should admit with Salmon, that at the arrival of the European colonists they were able to raise ten thousand fighting men, a number not improbably double to the real one, they were still a mere handful compared with the Moheka
In all probability they fought their way to the place of their final settlement. This was the tradition of the Mobekaneews; and, as Dr. Edwards many years since informed me, was anciently declared by some of the Iroquois themselves. That it was true, cannot I think be rationally doubted by any one who considers their local position, and looks for a moment into their own history,
But whatever was their origin, they certainly were a very extraordinary people. So far as their history is distinctly known to us, they have, like the Romans and Arabians, done little beside extending their conquests over the nations within their reach. It is perhaps a singular phenomenon, that this
handful of people should have been able to extend their dominion over a territory comprising little less than a million of square miles.
It may be said, that the Romans were originally few, and yet subdued a much larger territory. It will be remembered, however, that the Romans themselves became speedily numerous, and at an early period employed the surrounding, and ultimately distant nations in their armies; whereas the numbers of the Iroquois were probably never materially greater than when the Europeans landed in this country; nor can it be said, that they possessed any important incidental advantages over those whom they subdued. All their advantages seem to have been personal. It was because they were, or made themselves, superior to their neighbours in wisdom and courage, that they ultimately so far excelled them as a warlike nation. It was in this manner that they became so great a terror to all the Mohekaneew tribes. It does not appear from their language, that any other nations are of the Iroquois stock, except the Tuscaroras and the Hurons, both of them few in number; whereas the Mohekaneews filled a great part of the continent.
According to the accounts of the French writers, the Five Nations, appropriately called Iroquois, lived originally in the northern parts of the state of New York, and in the neighbouring parts of the province of Canada. Possibly this story may be correct. To me it seems more probable, however, that they occasionally wandered thither; and that their principal settlements were where they now are, and where they say they came up out of the ground. The Mohekaneews of NewEngland believed, that they fought their way to this region from the west; and that, having driven out the original inhabitants, they planted themselves in their stead*. However this may be, they are said by the French writers to have made the planting of corn their business. The Algonquins or Adirondacks, a hunting and warlike nation in the northern parts of Canada, who despised the Iroquois, quarrelled with them, and drove them from all their settlements between the St. Lawrence and Lake Champlain.
This event roused both the fears and the vengeance of the Iroquois. With new spirit they betook themselves to the use
• Dr. Edwards.
of arms, and, after a series of adventures, drove the Algonquins out of their country.
From this period they became terrible, not only to the Algonquins, whom they chiefly destroyed, but to all the nations by whom they were encircled. Some of these they exterminated; some they drove into distant regions; some they made their tributaries; and to the rest, they were a source of continual terror*. The Indian women on the eastern coast of New-England used, it is said, to hush their crying children by telling them " the Mohawks are coming."
At subsequent periods they were a severe and dreadful scourge to the French in the province of Canada, and at times brought them to the borders of extermination. A large body of them, led by Sir William Johnson to co-operate with
* “When the Dutch began the settlement of this country, all the Indians on Long-Island, and the northern shore of the Sound, on the banks of Connecticut, Hudson, Delaware, and Susquehannah rivers, were in subjection to the Five Nations; and, within the memory of persons now living, acknowledged it by the payment of an annual tribute.”-Smith, p. 134.
The Connecticut legislature, in their answer to “ Heads of Enquiry," give a different account of this subject. They say “the original title to the lands, on which the colony (of Connecticut) was first settled, was, at the time the English came hither, in the Pequod nation of Indians, who were numerous and warlike. Their country extended from Narrhaganset to Hudson's river, and over all Long-Island. Sassacus, their great sagamore, had under him twenty-six sacheins, and exercised despotic dominion over his subjects."
At this time it is impossible to determine with precision which of these accounts is correct; or whether they are not both equally true. In the deed by which Momauquin, sachem of Quinipiac, and his people, conveyed the lands bordering upon that river to the first colonists of NewHaven, they mention the heavy taxes levied upon them by the Pequods and Mohawks as a principal inducement to this transaction. From this fact it is evident, that these formidable nations extended their ravages, and at times their dominjon, to this spot. It is not improbable, that the Pequods claimed the whole territory, mentioned by the legislature, and, occasionally at least, kept the inhabitants in a species of subjection by the terror of their arms; while there is sufficient evidence that the Iroquois intruded upon them in various instances.
It does not appear that the Pequods acknowledged themselves inferior, in any respect, to the Iroquois, or to any other people. On the contrary, they seem evidently to have thought themselves also “ Ongue-Honwe," and to have had all the pride of the Iroquois, and perhaps even more insolence.