Topic: Chief

Skenandoah’s Grave, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York

Heading southwest out of Utica, and still following the Central Trail of the Six Nations, the Akwesasne Warriors headed for Hamilton College near the little village, of Clinton It was here that the great Oneida Chief, Skenandoah, is buried, and the region that they were now in was the territory of the ancient Oneida nation, the land deeded to by the Great Spirit. In the Hamilton College Cemetery the warriors saw a large head-stone where the remains of Skenandoah were transferred in 1856 so that he might lie next to his white brother, Samuel Kirkland, the founder of the...

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Red Jacket Monument, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, New York

Much has been said of the speaking ability of this noted Indian. A good example of one of his famous speeches was one that was delivered to a missionary named Cram who visited the Senecas, in 1805. This missionary requested a council with the Senecas, claiming that he had an important message to deliver to them. When the people had assembled, Cram gave a speech in which he told the Indians that they had never worshipped God in a decent manner but that they and their fathers had been in great darkness and error. He informed them that he...

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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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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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