Caughnawaga Indian Tribe History
'at the rapids' ).
An Iroquois settlement on the fault St Louis on St
Lawrence River, Quebec. When the hostility of the pagan Iroquois o the
missions established in their territory frustrated the object of the
French o attach the former to their interests, the Jesuits determined
to draw their converts from the confederacy and to establish them in a
new mission village near the French settlements on the St Lawrence, in
accordance with which plan these Indians were finally induced to
settle at La Prairie, near Montreal, in 1668. These converts were
usually called " French Praying Indians" or "French Mohawks" by the
English settlers, in contradistinction to the Iroquois who adhered to
their own customs and to the English interests.
In 1676 they were removed from this place o Sault St
Louis, where Caughnawaga and the Jesuit mission of St Francois du
Sault were founded. The village has been removed several times within
a limited area. The majority of the emigrants came from the Oneida and
Mohawk, and the Mohawk tongue, somewhat modified, became the speech of
the whole body of this village. The Iroquois made several unsuccessful
efforts to induce the converts to return to the confederacy, and
finally renounced them in 1684, from which time Caughnawaga became an
important auxiliary of the French in their wars with the English and
After the peace of Paris, in 1763, many of them left
their village on the Sault St Louis and took up their residence in the
valley of Ohio river, principally about Sandusky and Scioto Rivers,
where they numbered 200 at the outbreak of the American Revolution.
From their contact with the wilder tribes that region many of them
relapsed into paganism, although they still retained their French
allegiance and maintained connection with their brethren on the St
About 1755 a colony from Caughnawaga formed a new settlement at St.
Regis, some distance farther up the St Lawrence. As the fur traders
pushed their way westward from the great lakes they were accompanied
by Caughnawaga hunters. As early as 1820 a considerable number of this
tribe was incorporated with the Salish, while others found their
way about the same period down to the mouth of Columbia River in
Oregon, and north even as far as Peace River in Athabasca. In the west
they are commonly known as Iroquois.
Some of the Indians from St Regis also undertook these
distant wanderings. In 1884 Caughnawaga had a population of 1,485,
while St Regis (in Canada and New York) had about 2,075, and there
were besides a considerable number from the 2 towns who were scattered
throughout the west. In 1902 there were 2,017 on the Caughnawaga res.
and 1,386 at St Regis, besides 1,208 on the St Regis reserve, N. Y.
The books presented are for their
historical value only and are not the
opinions of the Webmasters of the site.
of American Indians, 1906
Index of Tribes or Nations
Index of Tribes or Nations