Topic: Five Nations

The Wars of the Five Nations – Indian Wars

Although the confederacy known as the Five Nations were the allies of the English in the war against the French, and joined them in many of their principal expeditions, their history deserves a separate notice, as they afford us a complete example of what the Indians of North America were capable of. Their great reputation as warriors, and their wisdom in council, have been so often alluded to by those interested in the history of the Indians, that we shall be pardoned for giving a somewhat extended description of their confederacy, and an account of their wars. The Five...

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Five Nations Burial Customs

Writing of the Iroquois or Five Nations, during the early years of the eighteenth century, at a time when they dominated the greater part of the present State of New York, it was said: “Their funeral Rites seem to be formed upon a Notion of some Kind of Existence after Death. They make a large round Hole, in which the Body can be placed upright, or upon its Haunches, which after the Body is placed in it, is covered with Timber, to support the Earth which they lay over, and thereby keep the Body free from being pressed; they then raise the Earth in a round Hill over it. They always dress the Corps in all its Finery, and put Wampum and other Things into the Grave with it; and the Relations suffer not Grass or any Weed to grow on the Grave, and frequently visit it with Lamentations.” The circular mound of earth over the grave was likewise mentioned a century earlier, having been seen at the Oneida village which stood east of the present Munnsville, Madison County, New York. “Before we reached the castle we saw three graves, just like our graves in length and height,; usually their graves are round. These graves were surrounded with palisades that they had split from trees, and they were closed up so nicely that it was a wonder to see....

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The Adirondacks

The Iroquois were not always the same fierce, rapacious and blood-thirsty people which they are now familiarly known to have been, but were once engrossed in the peaceful pursuits of the husbandman. Colden graphically relates the circumstances which led them in a measure to forsake that occupation, and involved them in a war with the Adirondacks, in which they were engaged when the French first settled Canada. We quote: “The Adirondacks formerly lived three hundred miles above Trois Rivers, where now the Utawawas are situated; at that time they employed themselves wholly in hunting, and the Five Nations made planting of corn their business. By this means they became useful to each other, by exchanging corn for venison. The Adirondacks, however, valued themselves, as delighting in a more manly employment, and despised the Five Nations, in following business, which they thought only fit for women. But it once happened that the game failed the Adirondacks, which made them desire some of the young men of the Five Nations to assist them in hunting. These young men soon became much more expert in hunting, and able to endure fatigue, than the Adirondacks expected or desired; in short they became jealous of them, and, one night, murdered all the young men they had with them. The Five Nations complained to the chiefs of the Adirondacks of the inhumanity of this action;...

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Middlesex County Ontario Earliest Indian Residents

The Indian, being without a literature, knows nothing of his origin. The Frenchman and Spaniard found him here, and learning from him all he did know, gave the story to civilization as an Indian legend, while treating the newfound race historically as they found it. Huron Nation The Hurons, originally the Wyandots, were at Quebec in 1534, when Jagques Cartier arrived there. Later, they formed an alliance with the Adirondacks, but when the latter joined the Southern Iroquois Confederacy (about 1580), the prestige of the Wyandots began to fade, and the dispersion of the tribe overall Canada to Lake Huron followed. Early in the 16th century, they, with some Mississaugas and members of other tribes, formed a new confederacy with villages along the Thames and Lake and River St. Clair. In 1649, this new branch of the tribe was dispersed by the Southern Confederacy. The name originates in the phrase Quelles Hures (What Heads), applied by the French of Marquette’s time on first seeing them in their new western home. During the winter of 1615-16, Champlain visited among the tribes then inhabiting the Peninsula, formed by Lake Erie and St. Clair river. The country was then inhabited by a tribe, to whom Champlain gave the name Neutral Nation, or Nation de Truite; while the whole country west was called Conchradum, and after the Iroquois war, Saguinan. The Hurons were,...

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