Collection: Monuments To Six Nation Indians

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. 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 more surrounded by the whites, sought to forget their troubles by drinking rum. Under such conditions Handsome Lake lived. Finally, after years of drinking, Handsome Lake became very ill, so ill that for four years he lay an invalid, not able to rise from his bed. At the end of the fourth year he walked from his cabin and fell to the earth, seemingly dead. His daughter immediately told...

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Monuments To Six Nation Indians

One early dawn of the Moon of New Grass a group of young Awkesasne warriors started on a tour through the eastern country, their destination, every known marker or important monument erected to Six Nation Indians. The young Mohawks did not travel on foot as did their ancient forefathers. They traveled by car upon hard paved highways, that traced the well worn paths of the old Iroquois.

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Mohawk Monument, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Near Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, stands a monument erected in memory of a group of Mohawks who, in 1712 were enlisted by the English and taken to Annapolis Royal to secure the peace of the country. A company of Mohawks had served under Major Livingston at the capture of Annapolis and had done good service on the occasion. The English colony was in danger because of the French inhabitants who were stirring up trouble between the Mic-Mac Indians and the English and were threatening to take over the colony. The Mohawks upon arrival in Annapolis built a fort in the most proper place for defense. The very presence of the Mohawks was sufficient to keep the Nova Scotia French and Mia-Macs quiet. Vetch, the English commander, wrote of these Mohawks, “They are of wonderful use, and better than three times the number of white men.” Again he wrote, ” They are better than four times the number of British troops.” The marker of the Mohawk fort is located near the old Glebe House, now owned and occupied by Mr. Arnold Corp and family. One wonders, after knowing of the numerous occasions that the warriors of the Six Nations aided and protected the English colonies when they were as babies in a strange land, how England could possibly “save Face” when during the years 1923-1924 she turned her head, allowing...

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Monument To Canesque, A Seneca Chief, Naples, New York

At the end of beautiful Canandaigua Lake, one of the Finger Lakes of New York State, in the region of Bare Hill, sacred mountain of the Senecas, rest the bones of an old Seneca Chief. Over his remains stands a stone upon which is the following inscription: “Canesque, Chief of the Senecas at Nundawee Village, who came from the Genesee Reservation in 1794 to die and be buried in his beloved Kiandaga Valley.” As the Mohawks looked at this place they realized that this land, the place from whence the Senecas sprung from Mother Earth, was sacred ground. Heading...

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Logan Monument, Auburn, New York

From Syracuse, and the Monument to Onondaga Indians, the Mohawks once more headed down the Great Central Trail of the Iroquois to the City of Auburn. There, in the Fort Hill Cemetery, Fort Street, Auburn, the warriors saw the remains of a huge Indian mound in the center of which was a gigantic stone shaft monument erected to a great Cayuga Chief named Logan. Chief Logan, Tah-gah-jute christened Logan, 1725-1780, renowned Cayuga sachem, statesman, orator and warrior. He was born in the Indian village Wasco near here. His memory remains enshrined in the Finger Lakes Country as the friend...

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Mohawk Church, Brantford, Ontario, Canada

When a young man Thayendanegea or Joseph Brant, a Mohawk Pine Tree Chief, perceived the importance of education and religion as aids in carrying forward the moral and social improvement of his nation. One of his first stipulations, on securing Grand River Territory for his people, was the building of a church, a school house and flour mill. The Mohawk Church still stands. On five different occasions different members of the Akwesasne Mohawk Counselor Organization have visited the grave of Joseph Brant and the church which he built for his Mohawks from funds collected in England by himself in...

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Kateri Tekakwitha, Mohawk Women, Auriesville, New York

This Indian girl has been called, the Indian saint. She was born in 1656 at Candaouga, a Mohawk Village located on the south bank of the Mohawk River near where Auriesville now stands. Later she moved with her parents to Caughnawaga, a village of the Turtle Clan, located on the north side of the Mohawk River. Through the influence of three Jesuit priests, who visited her father, she learned of the Christian religion. On Easter Sunday, 1675, she was Baptized by Father LamberviIle. As a young woman she was skilled in doing work as Indian girls were accustomed to...

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Logan Elm And Monument, Circleville, Ohio

Logan, Chief of the Mingoes, was a Cayuga Indian, born at Auburn, New York in 1726. He was the son of Chief Shikellamy, deputy of the Six Nations over the Indians at a section of Pennsylvania. Like his father, Logan was a firm friend of the white man. Upon moving to Ohio, Logan was made chief of the mingoes. During the year 1774 a band of adventurers and “land grabbers” under the leadership of a Captain Michael Cresap and Daniel Greathouse, who were encouraged by a Dr. John Connolly, said to have been under the hire of Governor Dunmore, of Virginia, declared war on all Indians. Dunmore wished an Indian war as an excuse to drive the Shawnees and other Indians from their lands which Dunmore and the rest of the Virginian land speculators coveted. These border ruffians first killed two unsuspecting Indians who were traveling down the Ohio River with some traders. They then attacked and killed some other peaceful Indians who were camped on Cantina Creek. After these murders had been completed, the Virginians marched to Yellow Creek where they knew Logan’s family were living. At dawn, April 30th, the white men entered the Indian camp. They invited the Indians to go to a tavern nearby, promising them rum. Logan, at the time was away on a hunting trip. The Indians accepted the invitation. At the tavern...

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Kaiiontwa-Ken, Cornplanter

Cornplanter known as John O’Bail, was born in the village of Conewaugus sometime around the year 1732. Because of the influence of this chief the Senecas did not join the western Indians as Wayne’s army marched against them. The Senecas, who flanked Wayne’s advance, were in a position to bring about his defeat. Had they thrown their great weight against Wayne, it is very doubtful whether he would have succeeded when he did. Historians say that because Cornplanter prevented his Senecas from falling upon Wayne he rendered the United States a great service. If this chief had been the...

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Oneida Chief Shikellamy

With To-re-wa-wa-kon ‘Paul Wallace’ as a guide, the Mohawks headed over a road, that once was an Indian trail, toward the north. Their route was over a beautiful country of hills and valleys. With their friend they soon reached the beautiful Susquehanna River Valley. At Sunbury, Pa. they visited the site of the cabin of old Chief Shikellamy. It was here that the great Oneida chief, the overseer of Vice-Gerent of the Delaware and other refugee Indians of the region lived. This was where his village, Shamokin, was located and where be spent most of his time from 1728...

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Grave Of Tenh-Wen-Nyos, Governor Blacksnake, Allegany Reserve

Leaving the monument of Pauline Johnson, the Mohawks headed for the nearby City of Brantford. There in one of the city parks they saw a gigantic monument, said to be the largest in Canada, erected to the Mohawk Chief, Thayendangea. The inscription on this monument was as follows: “The last resting place of Tenh-wen-nyos ‘Awl Breaker’ Governor Blacksnake, born 1737-died 1859-One of the greatest War-Chiefs of the Seneca Nation, warmly espoused the American Cause in struggle of 1776-Devoted his later years to work among his people-Absolutely honest and truthful and enjoying entire confidence of Indian and Paleface, Erected by...

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The Great Central Trail Of The Long House, Route 5, New York

The Iroquois Indians were the trail makers for the early settlers of New York State and its surrounding territory. The white people landed here, strangers in a strange land. They met the Indian who was a woodsman without an equal. The Iroquois knew his country. He knew water courses, elevations and passes through the mountains. His race had used them for centuries. The Iroquois trails formed the first basis of water and land travel. The present day railroads and highways are based on information given to the early whites by the Indian, and particularly by the Iroquois Indian. A far flung net work of Iroquois paths led through the deep forests and along streams. These trails were worn deep by the travel of the Iroquois. These trails led to the numerous villages of the United Iroquois People. These Iroquois villages, situated in places that commanded the river systems of the country, have grown into such cities as Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Schenectady and Plattsburg. Of these trails and water routes there are many examples that can be given. The old Connecticut Path from the Hudson River to Lake Erie was one of the main Iroquois Trails. Today a great highway and the New York Central Railroad follow this Indian path. The Indian path from the City of Philadelphia to the upper waters of the Susquehanna River is today a...

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Ely S. Parker Homestead, Tonawanda Reservation

Ely Parker was a Seneca Indian of the Wolf Clan. He was born on the Tonawanda Seneca Reservation in 1832. His boyhood name was Hasanoanda ‘Coming to the Front’. Later he was made a chief of his clan and received the title, Do-ne-ho-ga-weh ‘He Holds The Door Open’. Ely Parker received an academic education and studied law and civil engineering. At Galena, Illinois, while he was employed as an engineer on a government project, he met Ulysses S. Grant. He became a close friend of Grant. This friendship continued till death. Ely Parker took part in the Civil War...

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Emily Pauline Johnson, Mohawk Poetess, Six Nation Country

Mary Anderson Longboat, an Indian of the Six Nations Reservation, says the following of this remarkable woman: “We of the Six Nations Reserve, honour our Indian poetess, Emily Pauline Johnson. She is more than just a memory, for she lives today in her books which are read throughout the world. In her lifetime, her recitations were equally famous. We are especially proud that she boasted her nationality, and in her native buckskin costume was accepted, even by royalty. As a poetess, Miss Johnson was not great, not a Tennyson nor a Browning, but as Gilbert Parker writes, “Canadian Literature...

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The Forest Theater, Ticonderoga, New York

Near the shore of Lake Champlain stands a beautiful pine and hemlock grove, the site of an ancient Indian village. Here, every August, is held an Indian pageant based on the lives of famous Six Nation Chiefs and warriors. This Indian pageant has grown from a handful of actors to a cast of as high as a hundred and twenty five. Thousands of people travel many miles to see these pageants. As they watch the actors they are taken back to the days when the Six Nations held sway over the beautiful Ticonderoga Region. The festival owes its birth...

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