Collection: Red Jacket and his People

Witchcraft–Case of Tom. Jemmy

In the spring of 1821, a man belonging to Red Jacket’s tribe, fell into a languishing condition, and after lingering for some time, unable to obtain relief, died. The “medicine men” were unable to divine the cause of his malady; the circumstances of his sickness and death, were thought to be very peculiar, and his friends could discover no better way of explaining the matter, than to suppose he had been bewitched. The Indians believed in sorcery, and at different times in their history had been known to execute summary judgment, on those whom they supposed to be guilty...

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Early History of the Six Nations

Rising up from the obscurity of the past, we find a people, singular in their habits and character, whose history has been strangely, and in some respects sadly interwoven with our own. They were the original occupants of the soil, claiming to have lived here always, and to have grown out of the soil like the trees of the forest. Scattered over this continent were various Indian tribes, resembling each other in their general features and habits, but in some instances exhibiting stronger and more interesting traits of character than the others. Among these were the Iroquois, and if Red Jacket was distinguished among his own people, his own people were not less conspicuous among the North American Indians. He sprang from the Seneca, and was accustomed to speak of his origin with feelings of conscious pride. For the Seneca were the most numerous and powerful of the six nations, of whom they were a part. Such was the title given to that celebrated Indian confederacy which, for a length of time unknown to us, inhabited the territory embraced by the State of New York. Here they lived in a line of settlements extending from one end to the other, through the middle of the State, and their domain as thus occupied, they were accustomed to style their “Long House”. It was a shadowy dome, of generous amplitude, covered...

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