Collection: Indians in the 1890 Census

Condition of the North Carolina Indians in 1890

The statistics and condition of the Indians given in the present bulletin, as provided in the census law of March 1, 1889, show the status of the Eastern Band of Cherokees of North Carolina, with incidental mention of the Eastern Cherokees. These Indians are taxed, have developed into good citizens of the United States, and vote in North Carolina. They are almost entirely self-supporting, receiving only a small allowance from the United States for educational purposes. A few mechanics are found among them, but their chief occupations are farming, lumbering, and day labor. They are a moral, law-abiding, and...

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Soldiers of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

The following are the surviving union soldiers of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina. The names are correct, but the spelling may differ from that on the muster roll. John Going Welch Thomas Otter James Otter John Brown Owkwataga Mason Ratley Steve Johnson John Taylor John Canott John Igotpa David Patridge James Walkingstick Thomas Canott all of Company D, Third regiment North Carolina mounted infantry; R. B. Smith, company and regiment unknown. The following are the surviving widows of union soldiers: Nancy Brown, widow of Benj. Brown; no children. Ah-nu-yo-hi Walker, widow of John Walker; 1 child under 16 years of age; married since death of soldier, but her husband is dead. Web-it-sail, widow of Thomas Oo-lay-i-way; no children. Stacy Taylor, widow of George Kanot; had 3 children by Kanot, all under 16 years of age; remarried since death of soldier. Nancy Mumblehead, widow; no children; is drawing a pension. The following are the surviving confederate soldiers, those marked with a * indicating those who afterward entered the federal service: Company A, Sixty-ninth North Carolina Regiment- Peter Greybeard, Iyo-ha-ne (Swimmer Fox), Swa-tah (Smite Owl), Toy-a-ne-teh, Cho-wa-lookeh Coh-goh (Wesley Crow) Cah-bah (Wild Cat) Chlantees-teh (Pheasant) Ezekiel Greybeard *How-ee-neo-ta (James Walkingstick) Jessan John Lossih *Keen-Ms-Iwo (John Igotpa) *Oo-ste-na-coo (John Taylor) Oo-lassta-eh (Joe Lowin) Oo-teet-geeskih Wallaski *Oolstooih (John Brown) *Otter Now-eyontieh (Tom Otter) *Mason Reckey (Mason Ratley) Jesse Reed...

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Gallery of Six Nation Images

A large collection of images from the manuscript, including maps. These images can also be found on various pages in context with the information on the page. Rush S. Wilson (Ha-ja-ah-gwysh) He Carries the Fire Chief of Cayuga Nation Hiram Tallchief (Dah-eh-Jeh-doh) Burning Hand Cayuga Chief Edwin M. Spring (Ho-dyah-yoh-gweh) Spreading Sky Cayuga Chief Alexander John (Ska-no-eh) Fleeting Arrow Head Chief of the Cayuga Thomas Orphan Asylum Rev. Henry Silverheels and Wife Ex-Chief and president, Seneca Nation Grant Mountpleasant (Ne-no-kar-wa) Warrior Chief, Turtle Tribe Enos Johnson (Ka-re-wah-da-wer) Warming-toned Voice Bear Tribe Aunt Dinah 107 year old, Onondaga Andrew John Jr. (Gar-stea-ode) Standing Rock, Seneca Alexander Solomon (Arch-sis-O-ri-henn) He is to Blame Son of Old Chief Solomon of the Six Nation Thomas Williams (Ta-ker-yer-ter) President of Tuscarora Nation, 1890 Beaver Clan Luther W. Jack (Ta-wer-da-quoit) Two boots Standing Together Sachem Chief of Wolf Tribe, Tuscarora Elias Johnson (To-wer-na-kee) Historian of the Tuscaroras Wolf Tribe Daniel Printup (Da-quar-ter-anh) Sachem of the West Treasurer of the Tuscarora Nation Philip Tarbell (Ta-ra-ke-te) Hat-rim Protects the Neck Wolf Clan of St. Regis Indians Peter Herring (Tier-a-nen-sa-no-ken) Deer House Turtle Clan of St. Regis Indians Joseph Wood (So-se-sals-ne-ke-ken) Snow Crust Heron Clan of St. Regis Indians Charles White (sare-the-ne-wa-na) Two Hide Together Wolf Clan of St. Regis Indians Angus White (En-neas-ne-ka-unta-a) Small Stick of Wood Snipe Clan of St. Regis Indians William Cooper (Her-nohn-gwe-sers) Seek...

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Annuities of the Six Nations Reservations

The Six Nations, with the exception of the St, Regis Indians, who receive no annuities from the United States, draw from the United States and from the state of New York annuities on the basis of past treaties, which secured this fixed income on account of lands sold from time to time, and rights surrendered. This payment is: The annuities themselves bring small returns in visible benefits. The payments by the United States, which are theoretically paid in the early autumn, for the census year, were not completed until February 1891, through delay of the appropriation by Congress. The various payments during the census year were so similar that reference to one of each, viz, of money at Cattaraugus and goods at Onondaga, will indicate the methods and incidents of all similar payments. After due notice, the importunate inquiry, extending over months, “When is our annuity money coming”? had its solution. The courthouse of the Seneca Nation was crowded with men, women, and children of all ages and conditions. Robert Silverheels, a veteran of the war of 1812, past 90 years of age, and entirely dependent upon the charity of his people, emerged from his little cabin to receive his welcome share. Solomon O’Bail, grandson of the great Cornplanter, and rapidly reaching his fourscore years, was there. Blind John Joe, already in his ninth decade, and John Jacket, the...

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General Remarks About the Six Nations in 1890

The state and federal courts, as the former have recognized in several instances, should recognize the 64 “Indian common law title” of occupants of reservation lands, where such lands have been improved. They should assure such titles, as well as sales, devises, and descent, through courts of surrogate or other competent tribunals, wherever local Indian officials refuse just recognition of such titles or delay a just administration when conflicts arise. All statutes which offer the Indian a premium for dishonest dealing should be repealed, and the Indian should be held to his contracts to the extent of his personal holdings. All state laws which regulate marriage, punish adultery and kindred offenses should be available for the Indian complainant, and none of the Indian estates, once legally recognized as held in practical severalty, should hereafter be cambered by the claims of illegitimate offspring. The liquor laws should not only be maintained but enforced, with the deliberate purpose on the part of the American people to strengthen the Indian for his own sake and for the sake of the commonwealth into which he must, in due time, be fully adopted. The Titles To Indian Lands Independent of the pre-emption lien of the Ogden Land Company upon the lands of the Seneca Nation, and absolutely as respects the Onondaga, Tonawanda, and Tuscarora Senecas, the Indians already hold their lands substantially in severalty....

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The Shinnecock, Poosepatuck, And Montauk Indians, In New York

The report of the special committee appointed by the assembly of New York in 1888 to investigate the Indian problem of that state, made February 1, 1889, contained the following in relation to the Shinnecock, Poosepatuck, and Montauk Indians: The Shinnecock Reservation The Shinnecock Reservation is located on a neck of land running into Shinnecock Bay, near Southampton, on Long island. When the whites discovered the island 13 Indian tribes occupied the land, one of which was the Shinnecock, claiming the territory from Canoe Place to Easthampton, including Sag Harbor and the whole south shore of Peconic Bay. All the Long Island Indians were subject to the Mohawks and paid tribute to them. They were much more peaceful and less aggressive than the Iroquois, and never formed any general conspiracy against their white neighbors. They are supposed to be descendants of the Mohegans and spoke the language of the Delawares. They formerly held a lease of their lands, about 3,600 acres, for 1,000 years, from trustees of the common land of Southampton, but under an act of the legislature of 1859 they acquired the fee to about 400 acres, giving up the remainder. They also have a claim to and are in possession of 50 acres of woodland in the same town, purchased by the tribe many years ago, which their trustees assumed to sell to one Benjamin Carpenter,...

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Six Nations Names, Traditions, And Reminiscences

Indian nomenclature almost invariably has a distinct and suggestive meaning, especially in geographical locations, relations, and peculiarities. Only a few of those, which relate to the accompanying maps are supplied. The location of Bill Hill’s cabin, near the foot of the Onondaga reservation, was called Nan-ta-sa-sis, “going partly round a hill”. Tonawanda creek is named from Ta-na-wun-da, meaning “swift water”. Oil spring, on the Allegany map, was Te-car-nohs, “dropping oil”. The Allegany River was O-hee-yo, “the beautiful river”, and the Geneseo was Gen-nis-he-yo, “beautiful valley”. Buffalo was Do-sho-weh, “splitting the fork”, because near Black Rock (a rocky shore) the waters divided, uniting and dividing again at Date-car-sko-sase, “the highest falls”, on the Ne-ah-ga River. The modern Canajoharie was Ga-na-jo-hi-e, “washing the basin”; Chittenango creek, Chu-de-naang, “where the sun shines out”; Oriskany creek, Ole-hisk, “nettles”; Onondaga, O-nun-da-ga-o-no-ga “on the hills”; Cayuga Lake, Gwe-u-gweth, “the lake at the mucky land”; Canandaigua, Ga-nun-da-gwa, “place chosen for a settlement”. The Indian meaning for other names finds expression in recognized English substitutes. Thus, “the place of salt” becomes Salina, and “Constant dawn” becomes Aurora. Personal names were given from peculiarities or sudden fancies, and upon elevation to chieftainship a new name was given. The eloquent Red Jacket, O-te-ti-an-i, “always ready”, became Sa-go-ye-wat-ha, “keeper awake”. So special uses and qualities are supposed resemblances entered into their nomenclature. “It sheds its blush” describes the watermelon. The...

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Six Nations Health and Race Admixture

An examination of the annual reports of the United States agents for many years indicates the classes of diseases heretofore most common among the Six Nations. The reluctance of the Indians to employ physicians springs from want of means, want of easy access to physicians, and, in some measure, to the fact that from time immemorial they have relied much upon the use of medicinal roots and herbs in ordinary ailments. The women are practical nurses. This lack of professional treatment and the ignorance of the names of diseases have almost, entirely prevented an accurate specification of the causes of death during the census year. The chief diseases reported, other than consumption and kindred lung troubles, of which there are many, have been scrofula and syphilitic ailments in some form. Their relations to the white people have open credited with these to a large extent but it can not be correctly claimed that pure white and pure Indian blood involves an enfeebled race. Catarrhal troubles and diseases of the eye are common with the Tuscaroras, due, they think, to exposure to the lake winds, while at Cattaraugus many attribute their coughs to the harsh winds that sweep up the valley from Lake Erie. William Bone, of Allegany, claims that he is the only Seneca. It is not certain that any are purely such. The presence of the mustache and...

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Education, Schools and Language on the Six Nations Reservations

The pagan element, as a general rule, is opposed to education. Exceptions are sometimes found. Families with small means, unwilling to make any effort to change their condition, claim that they need their children for homework. Even when they enter them at the beginning of the term, they do not enforce their attendance. The children, to a large extent, inherit careless, sluggish, indolent natures, and a lazy spirit. In some respects their capacities are above the average standard of the white people. They are more uniformly good penmen, good musicians, and excel in drawing, but the statements of the...

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Industry and Home Life on the Reservations

Farming is the chief employment of the Six Nations Indians, and the products are typical of the varying soils of the different reservations. While more land is under cultivation than heretofore, the barns are mainly old and in had condition. This is largely true of similar buildings upon the adjoining farms of the white people, as farming has not of late netted an amount sufficient for repairs. The Indians, with no cash capital us a rule, have been compelled to lease their lands to the white people for cash rent or work them on shares. The death of influential men left large estates under pecuniary burdens without ready money to develop the land. The general failure to maintain fencing has been partly due to crop failures and scant returns, but in a large degree to the improvidence of the farmers themselves. Men who work their lands and seldom rent them; and who maintain buildings and fences and take fair care of their implements, keep steadily on the advance. In nearly all directions valuable agricultural implements are exposed to the weather, and no economy attends farm work generally. With the exception of Tuscarora, old orchards are on the decline, and more than one-half of the 4,823 apple trees of Cattaraugus are, not in condition, through age and neglect, to bear large crops. A few new orchards have been started, but...

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Religion of the Six Nation Tribes

With the exception of the Tuscaroras, each of the Six Nations has one or more council houses, in which the people assemble for business or purely Indian ceremonies, religious or social. There is also a council house or town hall on the Mount Hope road of the Tuscarora reservation, but the pagan party has no footing among this people. The council houses, formerly built of logs, are practically in disuse, and frame buildings, about 40 by 80 feet, with fireplace or simple chimney at each end, which allows separate sittings for the sexes, have taken their place. A new building of this kind on the Tonawanda reservation and 1 at Carrollton, on the Allegany reservation, are indicated on the maps of these reservations. The sides of 3 ancient council houses at Cattaraugus and of 2 at Tonawanda are also indicated. The religious differences of the Indians actually characterize grouped settlements on each reservation. Thus, the majority of the Christian Indians live upon the central road in Onondaga, upon and east of the main road of Tonawanda; between Salamanca and Red House, in Allegany; and upon the main route from Versailles to Irving, in Cattaraugus. As a general role, both internal and external comforts, conveniences, and indications of thrift are alike in contrast. The pagans chiefly occupy the western and southeastern parts of Tonawanda, the Carrollton district, and the country...

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Wampum Belts

The Iroquois League had its democratic and republican elements, but the separate national governments were essentially oligarchic. The only semblance of written law was the wampum. It was the duty of the “keeper of the wampums” to store all necessary facts in his memory and associate them with the successive lines and arrangements of the beads so that they could readily be called to mind. At general councils the wampums were produced and solemnly expounded. “Reading the wampums” became therefore a means by which to perpetuate treaties, and the exchange of wampums was an impressive occasion. Both the Canadian...

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Tonawanda Reservation Map and Occupants, 1890

The Tonawanda Reservation, in the counties of Erie, Genesee, and Niagara, New York, as originally surveyed in 1799, and as reserved by the treaty at Big Tree, covered 71 square miles. Coincident with a treaty between the United States and this band of Seneca Indians, March 31, 1859, promulgated November 5, 1859, the claim of the Ogden Land Company was extinguished, and the present reservation limits embrace 7,549.73 acres, lying partly in each of the counties of Erie, Genesee, and Niagara. One heavy dirt road, almost impassable in the spring or an ordinarily wet season, runs out from the center of Akron, sending a fork into the reservation at a distance of more than 3 miles. A second road, running northeasterly from Akron, enters the reservation at a distance of about 25 miles, at the point where the West Shore railroad enters the reservation, as indicated on the map. Up to this point the road is very well maintained. Half a mile from this point lies a triangular piece of land, which is occupied by the Indian Baptist Church, the Indian Methodist Church, an old council house, schoolhouse No. 2, and the new house of Eliza, with of David Moses, a chief of the Wolf tribe, and a prominent member of the christian party. From this central triangle 3 roads take their departure. The first runs northwest, leaving the...

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St. Regis Reservation Map and Occupants, 1890

The St. Regis Indians are the successors of the ancient Mohawks, and reside on their reservation in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties, New York, which is 7.3 miles long upon the south line and about 3 miles wide, except where purchases made by the state of New York in 1824 and.1825, as indicated on the map, modify the shape. The original tract was estimated as the equivalent of 6 miles square, or 23,040 acres, and the present acreage, computed by official reports without survey, is given as 14,640 acres. Four main roads diverge from the village of Hogansburg, and...

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Tuscarora Reservation Map and Occupants, 1890

The Tuscarora Reservation, in Niagara County, New York, is formed from 3 adjoining tracts successively acquired, as indicated on the map. Their early antecedents as kinsmen of the Iroquois, their wanderings westward to the Mississippi, and their final lodgment at the head waters of the rivers Neuse and Tar, in North Carolina, are too much enveloped in tradition to be formulated as history, but courageous, self supporting, and-independent, after long residence upon lands owned by them in that colony, they first came into collision with white people, then with other tribes of that section, until finally, overpowered by numbers,...

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