Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Religion of the Six Nation Tribes

With the exception of the Tuscaroras, each of the Six Nations has one or more council houses, in which the people assemble for business or purely Indian ceremonies, religious or social. There is also a council house or town hall on the Mount Hope road of the Tuscarora reservation, but the pagan party has no footing among this people. The council houses, formerly built of logs, are practically in disuse, and frame buildings, about 40 by 80 feet, with fireplace or simple chimney at each end, which allows separate sittings for the sexes, have taken their place. A new building of this kind on the Tonawanda reservation and 1 at Carrollton, on the Allegany reservation, are indicated on the maps of these reservations. The sides of 3 ancient council houses at Cattaraugus and of 2 at Tonawanda are also indicated. The religious differences of the Indians actually characterize grouped settlements on each reservation. Thus, the majority of the Christian Indians live upon the central road in Onondaga, upon and east of the main road of Tonawanda; between Salamanca and Red House, in Allegany; and upon the main route from Versailles to Irving, in Cattaraugus. As a general role, both internal and external comforts, conveniences, and indications of thrift are alike in contrast. The pagans chiefly occupy the western and southeastern parts of Tonawanda, the Carrollton district, and the country below the Red House, in Allegany, and almost exclusively people the Newtown and Gowanda roads, in Cattaraugus, There are exceptions, but the groupings are everywhere maintained. Onondaga Reservation Onondaga Reservation at Onondaga the council house is central upon what is...

Cornplanter Reservation and Occupants, 1890

This reservation, in Warren County, Pennsylvania, nominally a tract of 640 acres, owned by Cornplanter‘s heirs, lies on both sides of the Allegheny River, and is about 2 miles long and half a mile wide, including Liberty and Donation Islands, which are formed by the forking of the river. The land surface, including the riverbed and some worthless shoals, contains about 760 acres. It was a donation to the celebrated chief Gy-ant-wa-hia, “The Cornplanter“, March 16, 1796, by the state of Pennsylvania, in consideration, states Judge Sherman, “for his many valuable services to the white people, and especially that most important one, in preventing the Six Nations of New York from joining the confederacy of western Indians in 1790-1791″. The war ended in the victory of General Wayne in 1794. In 1871 under act of May 16, partition or allotment of these lands was made to the descendants of Cornplanter and recorded in Warren County by the court having jurisdiction, special commissioners having been appointed by the state June 10, 1871, to effect the distribution. The power to sell the lands thus allotted is limited to the heirs of Cornplanter and other Seneca Indians. These Indians also have an interest in the Allegany and Cattaraugus lands of the Seneca Nation, and draw annuities with them. The record of the orphans’ court of Warren county, Pennsylvania, gives the names of Cornplanter‘s heirs, 23 in number, including grandchildren, and many of these names, appear upon the Allegany reservation map, suggestive of their association with this distinguished Indian character. Among these are the names of Logan, Silverheels, Titus, Blacksnake, Jacobs, Plummer, O’Bail, Abram, Hotbread,...

Reservations of the Six Nations in New York and Pennsylvania, 1723-1890

The accompanying map was prepared in 1771 under the direction of William Tryon, captain general and governor in chief of the province of New York, and is as nearly suggestive of the then recognized boundary of the Six Nations as any that has had official sanction. In 1851 Lewis H. Morgan, assisted by Ely S. Parker, a Seneca chief; and afterward an efficient staff Officer of General Grant, and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, prepared a map for a volume entitled League of the Iroquois, which aimed to define the villages, trails, and boundaries of the Five Nations as they existed in 1.720. Indian names were assigned to all lakes, watercourses, and villages, and the various trails from village to village as far as the Ne-ah-ga (Niagara) River. Unfortunately, the work was not stereotyped, and the book itself is a rare possession. Another map, so ancient as to almost crumble at the touch, represents the territory of Michigan as visited by the Five Nations, and by a footnote relates the visit of 80 Ne-car-ri-a-ges, besides men, women, and children, who came from “Misilmackinac” May 30, 1823, asking to be admitted as a seventh nation into the league, just as the Tuscaroras had been adopted as a sixth. It has some data as to “carrying places” which are not upon the Governor Tryon map. The latter has historic value from its description of “the country of the Six Nations, with part of the adjacent colonies”, recognizing at the time the independent relations which they sustained to Great Britain. The vast tract then controlled by the Seneca Indians is clearly defined,...

Pin It on Pinterest