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St. Regis River, St. Regis parish, at the junction of the river with the St. Lawrence River, St. Regis Island, directly opposite, and St. Regis reservation, in New York, alike perpetuate the memory of Jean. Francois Regis, a French ecclesiastic of good family, who consecrated his life from early youth to the welfare of the laboring classes. He sought an appointment as missionary to the Iroquois Indians of Canada, but was unable to leave home, and died in 1640.
The French Jesuits as early as 1675 established a mission among the Caughnawaga, 9 miles above Montreal, and gathered many of the Net York Mohawks under their care. The Oswegatchie settlement had also been established near the present site of Ogdensburg, mainly, according to Abbe Paquet, “to get the Indians away from the corrupting influences of rum and the train of vices to which they were exposed from their vicinity to Montreal”.
About the year 1708 an Indian expedition into New England cost many lives, including those of 2 young men, whose parents permitted them to go only on the condition that if they failed to return their places should be made good by captives. This pledge was redeemed by a secret expedition to Groton, Massachusetts, and the capture of 2 brothers of the name of Tarbell, who were adopted in the place of the 2 who fell in the original expedition. They grew to manhood with strongly developed characters and, respectively, married the daughters of Chiefs Sa-kon-en-tsi-ask and At-a-wen-ta. Jealousies arose between them and the Caughnawaga, which the missionaries could not settle, and in 1760 they formed a part of a migrating band in search of a new home and independence. Father Anthony Gordon, their attending spiritual adviser, located them at the mouth of the river Ak-wis-sas-ne, “where the partridge drums “. The worthy ambition of Regis to give his life to the welfare of this people was remembered and his name was adopted for the new settlement. Lineal descendants of the Tarbells still survive.
The St. Regis Indians have very little in common with the other nations of the old Iroquois confederacy. Only 2 Oneidas are found among them, and no Onondagas, Cayugas, or Senecas.
Reservations And Locations In New York 1723, 1771, And 1890
Ho-de-no-sau-nee-ga “Territory of the people of the long house.”
The old map of the province of New York, dated 1723, was copied from the original map now in possession of Mrs. Caroline Mountpleasant, who writes:
This curious map, so quaint in topography and so generally in harmony with the geographical knowledge of the period of its date, was found among the old papers of the late John Mountpleasant, my husband, one of the most progressive and distinguished of the chiefs of the Tuscaroras. I can give no clue to its early history, except that my brother, General Ely S. Parker, valued it when he assisted Morgan in the preparation of his history of the Six Nations in 1851, 40 years ago.
This map gives the locations, of the Six Nations in 1723.