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Early Exploration and Native Americans

De Soto and his band gave to the Choctaws at Moma Binah and the Chickasaws at Chikasahha their first lesson in the white man’s modus operandi to civilize and Christianize North American Indians; so has the same lesson been continued to be given to that unfortunate people by his white successors from that day to this, all over this continent, but which to them, was as the tones of an alarm-bell at midnight. And one hundred and twenty-three years have passed since our forefathers declared all men of every nationality to be free and equal on the soil of the North American continent then under their jurisdiction, except the Africans whom they held in slavery, and the Native Americans against whom they decreed absolute extermination because they could not also enslave them; to prove which, they at once began to hold out flattering-inducements to the so-called oppressed people of all climes under the sun, to come to free America and assist them to oppress and kill off the Native Americans and in partnership take their lands and country, as this was more in accordance with their lust of wealth and speedy self-aggrandizement than the imagined slow process of educating, civilizing and Christianizing them, a work too con descending, too humiliating; and to demonstrate that it has been a grand and glorious success, we now point with vaunting pride and haughty satisfaction to our broad and far extended landed possessions as indisputable evidence of our just claims to the resolution passed by our pilgrim ancestors, “We are the children of the Lord”; and to the little remnant of hapless, helpless and...

The French and Indian War from 1754 to 1759 – Beaver Wars

After the peace, concluded between France and England in 1748, the French, excluded from the Atlantic coast of North America, designed to take possession of the country further west, and for this purpose, commenced to build a chain of forts to connect the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi rivers. The English, to prevent this scheme from being carried into action, formed an Ohio company, to whom a considerable extent of country was granted by the English government. Upon hearing of this, the governor of Canada notified the governors of New York and Pennsylvania, that if the English traders came upon the western territory, they would be seized or killed. This menace did not divert the Ohio company from prosecuting its design of surveying the country as far as the falls in the Ohio river. While Mr. Gist was making that survey for the company, some French parties, with their Indians, seized three British traders, and carried them to Presque Isle, on Lake Erie, where a strong fort was then erecting. The British, alarmed at this capture, retired to the Indian towns for shelter; and the Twightwees, resenting the violence done to their allies, assembled, to the number of five hundred or six hundred, scoured the woods, and, finding three French traders, sent them to Pennsylvania. The French determined to persist; built a strong fort, about fifteen miles south of the former, on one of the branches of the Ohio; and another still, at the confluence of the Ohio and Wabache; and thus completed their long projected communication between the mouth of the Mississippi and the river St. Lawrence. Thus...

Fort Niagara

The main building of old Fort Niagara, “The Castle,” is probably the oldest piece of masonry in the State of New York, having been constructed by the French in 1726. The stonework of the barracks, a structure 134 by 24 feet with walls only eight feet in height, goes back to 1757, and in this year was, also, built the magazine. The bake-house, replacing a former one on the same site, was put up by the British in 1762 and the two stone blockhouses by them in 1771 and 1773. In the two hundred and eighty-eight and a half acres of the government reservation here one is in touch visibly with the Past. And what deeds of the Past these old stone buildings might tell if they were given power of speech I The name Niagara is of Iroquois origin, as are so many names of New York State, and is of ancient application to the river and the falls, which bear them. The falls of the Niagara are indicated on Champlain’s map of 1632 and in 1648 are spoken of by the Jesuit Rugueneau as “a cataract of frightful height.” It is certain that the indefatigable emissaries of the order of which he was a member had penetrated to the region of the great falls before this. In 1678 the falls were visited by the Friar Louis Hennepin, who drew a curious picture of them, still preserved, and gave a more curious and exaggerated description. In the year that the good Friar Hennepin was paying his respects to Nature’s great wonder, Robert Cavelier Sieur de la Salle was...

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