Monument to Kaniatario, Handsome Lake, at Onondago Reservation

In 1735 at the Seneca Indian Town of Conawagus on the Genesee River there was born an Indian boy who was later to become one of the greatest Indian Prophets and teachers of recent historical date. This Seneca was later given the office of a chief of the Turtle Clan with the title of Kaniatario or Handsome Lake. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now As a young man Handsome Lake was everything but a religious teacher. He was a habitual drinker of the white man’s fire water and more than once returned from the towns of the invader under the influence of the white man’s curse. At this time, in spite of the promises of the United States Government to keep the fur traders from bringing rum into Indian towns and in spite of the warnings of the Confederate Chiefs to these same traders, rum was circulated freely among the Iroquois. The Senecas, who had lost most of their country and who were becoming more and...

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