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Wyandot Tribe: Meaning perhaps “islanders,” or “dwellers on a peninsula.” Occasionally spelled Guyandot. At an earlier date usually known as Huron, a name given by the French from huré, “rough,” and the depreciating suffix -on. Also called:
Wyandot Location. The earliest known location of the Huron proper was the St. Lawrence Valley and the territory of the present province of Ontario from Lake Ontario across to Georgian Bay. The Tionontati were just west of them on Lake Huron. (See also Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.)
There are said to have been four confederated Huron tribes in the time of Champlain. Cartier, who first met these people, gives the following town names:
The following towns, some under their native names and others under the names of the missions established by the French Jesuits, existed in Ontario between Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay in the first half of the seventeenth century
After the Huron had been broken up by the Iroquois there was for a time a Huron mission on Mackinac Island, called St. Ignace, which was soon moved to
Point Ignace on the shore to the northward. A part of the tribe settled successively in villages called Ancienne Lorette and Jeune Lorette, 8 miles northwest of Quebec.
The following names of Huron or Wyandot towns are recorded in Ohio after the part of the tribe which moved west and south had collected there:
The St. Lawrence territories seem to have been occupied by two of the four Huron tribes when Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River in 1534-43; at any rate Hurons were in occupancy. When Champlain came into the country in 1603, they were all living south of Georgian Bay. The French soon entered into amicable relations with them and, beginning in 1615, missionaries undertook to convert them to Christianity. These efforts were crowned with considerable success, but were brought to an end when the tribe was attacked and disrupted by the Iroquois in 1648-49. Part of the Huron were then adopted by their conquerors, while part placed themselves under the protection of the French at Quebec, their descendants being known today as the Hurons of Lorette, and others fled to the Neutrals, the Erie, the Tionontati, and other tribes. In 1649, however, the Tionontati were attacked in their turn and forced along with their Huron guests to take refuge on Christian Island in Lake Huron. Then followed a long course of wandering; to Michilimackinac; Manitoulin Island; Green Bay; the Potawatomi; the Illinois; the neighborhood of the Ottawa on Chequamigon Bay, on the south shore of Lake Superior; and again to Michilimackinac. In the latter part of the seventeenth century some moved to Sandusky, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich. In 1745 a considerable party of Huron under the leadership of the war chief Orontony or Nicholas went from Detroit to the marshlands of Sandusky Bay, but in 1748, on the failure of a conspiracy Orontony had attempted against the French, he abandoned his villages and removed to White River, Indiana. After his death the Hurons seem to have returned to Detroit and Sandusky and gradually extended their claims over Ohio, so that it was by their permission that the Shawnee from the south and the Delaware from the east settled north of Ohio River. The Wyandot allied themselves with the British in the war of 1812. At its close a large tract of land in Ohio and Michigan was confirmed to them, but they sold much of it in 1819, under treaty provisions, reserving a small portion near Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and a smaller area on Huron River, near Detroit, until 1842, when these tracts also were sold, and the tribe removed to Wyandotte County, Kans. In 1867 they were placed upon a small reservation in the northeastern part of the Indian Territory and are now citizens of the State of Oklahoma.
Wyandot Population. Mooney (1928) estimates that in 1600 there were 10,000 Huron and 8,000 Tionontati. French estimates of the first half of the seventeenth century range from 20,000 to 30,000, the former figure being one that Hewitt (in Hodge, 1907) is inclined to accept. After the dispersal, the Hurons of Lorette were estimated at 300 in 1736 but placed officially at 455 in 1904. The following figures are given for the other Huron: 1,000 in 1736; 500 and 850 in 1748; 1,250 in 1765; 1,500 in 1794-95; 1,000 and 1,250 in 1812. In 1885 the Huron in Oklahoma numbered 251; in 1905, 378; and by the census of 1910, 353. In 1923 there were 502 in Oklahoma and in 1924, 399 at Lorette, Canada: total 901. The census of 1530 returned exactly the same number in the United States as had the census of 1910. In 1937, 783 were reported in Oklahoma.
Connection in which they have become noted. The Wyandot tribe is famous:
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