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The Cayuga Indians

The history of this canton does not stand out prominently among the Iroquois while it will be found that as one of the inclusive tribes who carried their name and fame so high among the aborigines, they have performed their due part, and produced warriors, sages and speakers of eminence. Were every thing else, indeed, blotted out of their history, the fact of their having produced a Logan1 would be sufficient to rescue their memory from oblivion. In their early search after a place to hunt, fish and plant corn, as an independent tribe, they, on the assumption of their own traditions, passed up the Seneca River, into the sylvan and beautiful lake, which bears their name. In visiting this lake the present year, in search of their ancient sites, it was not without a melancholy interest, that I surveyed, within the boundaries of Aurora, the remains of one of those apple orchards, which were ruthlessly cut down by a detachment of the army of Gen. Sullivan, in his severe but necessary expedition in 1778. Many vestiges of their ancient residence still remain in Cayuga County, nor has local memory, in its intelligent and hospitable inhabitants, dropped from its scroll the names of several of its distinguished chiefs, and their places of abode. They point to a spot at Springport, now trenched on by the road, where lie the remains of Karistagea, better known by his English appellative of Steeltrap, one of their noted chiefs and wise men, who extended the hospitalities of his lodge to the first settlers on the “Military Tract.” The nation itself, although they had...

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