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Topic: Mohawk

Hiawatha Speaks to the Tribes

At length he regained his composure and took his seat in the council, whose deliberations were participated in by the ablest counselors of the assembled nations. At the conclusion of the debate, Hiawatha, desiring that nothing should be done hastily and inconsiderately, proposed that the council be postponed one day, so that they might weigh well the words which had been spoken, when he promised to communicate his plan for consideration, assuring them of his confidence in its success. The following day the council again assembled and amid breathless silence the sage counselor thus addressed them: “Friends and Brothers: You are members of many tribes and nations. You have come here, many of you, a great distance from your homes. We have convened for one common purpose, to promote one common interest, and that is to provide for our mutual safety, and how it shall best be accomplished. To oppose these hordes of northern foes by tribes, singly and alone, would prove our certain destruction; we can make no progress in that way; we must unite ourselves into one common band of brothers. Our warriors united, would surely repel these rude invaders and drive them from our borders. This must be done and we shall be safe. “You, the Mohawk, sitting under the shadow of the ‘great tree,’ whose roots sink deep into the earth, and whose branches spread...

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Taounyawatha – Deity of the Forest

This was a part of the broad domain of the Iroquois 1Iroquois was the French name for the five confederated nations of Indians residing mostly within this State. By the Dutch they were called “Maquas.” They denominated themselves “Mingoes,” meaning United People – Clark’s Onondaga. Their true name is “Hodenosaunee” or “People of the Long House,” because the five nations were ranged in a long line through Central New York, and likened to one of their long bark houses. Parkman’s Jesuits. Ruttenber says they bore the title of “Aquinosbione,” or “Konosbioni,” having the same meaning. Confederacy,   which extended, in general terms, from the Hudson to the Genesee, and from the north to the south boundary of this State. This confederacy was composed of the following nations, located in the following order from east to west, the Mohawk, (Ganeagaonos,) 2The Iroquois termination in one, means people.–Parkman’s Jesuits. Its origin is buried in the obscurity of vague tradition and was unknown to civilized nations in 1750. 3Coldens Five Nations. on the river which bears their name, the Oneida, (Onayotekaonos) Onondaga, (Onundagaonos) Cayugas, (Gwengwehonos) and Seneca, (Nundawaonos) mostly adjacent to the lakes which bear their names. The traditions of the Iroquois ascribe it, as well as the origin of the individual nations, to a supernatural source. They, like the Athenians, sprung from the earth itself. “In remote ages they had been confined...

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Address of Hon. William A. Jones, Commissioner of Indian Affairs

I asked General Whittlesey to read to you the resume of the work done by the Indian Office during the last year, as he had already been furnished by the office with data bearing on the subject. However, upon listening to the reading of his paper I notice one important omission of what has been done, and that is the inauguration of a system for keeping records of marriages, births, and deaths. This I consider one of the most important steps taken for some time, and it was largely owing to the persistent efforts of Dr. Gates, secretary of the board of Indian commissioners. This system is as nearly complete as we could make it under existing conditions. While it does not have the force of a statute, it is a great step in advance, and if faithfully adhered to by the agents it will answer all immediate necessities. An effort will be made during the coming session of Congress to have some law enacted embodying the principal features of this system. Very many of the agents have indorsed their approval and are doing their utmost to carry out faithfully the instructions issued. Some have written in somewhat of a discouraging spirit as to their ability to enforce these regulations, but I feel sure that, after they have once started, good results will be obtained. Before entering upon any...

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Address of Hon. James Sherman of New York

Chairman House Committee on Indian Affairs. Mr. Moderator, for there seems to be so much of the Christian spirit in this conference that I think I may address you as such, without meaning in the least to criticize what in legislative parlance we would call “the steering committee,” I desire to say that the position in which they put me first, to speak yesterday morning, then in the evening and then this morning, and at last to be introduced at 14 minutes before 10 this evening reminds me somewhat of an anecdote I heard of a German member of an orchestra who was criticized by his manager for being habitually tardy. The manager told him that there was too much of ” dis tardy beesnes,” and he threatened him that unless he could be prompt he would be discharged. The man appeared on time for a week, when the manager said to him, “Hans, I discover what you turn over those other leaf. I notice you was early of late. You vas always been behind before; I am glad you vas first at last.” Introduced in the complimentary way in which I have been by your chairman calls to my mind a circumstance that a charming guest of Mr. Smiley’s related to me this afternoon of her embarrassment in not being able to discover whether Mr. Smiley was himself...

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Ahyouwaighs, Mohawk Chief

Thayendanegea, chief of the Mohawk, and head of the Iroquois confederacy, was married three times. By his first wife he had two children, by his second none, and by the third seven. His widow, Catharine Brant, was the eldest daughter of the head of the Turtle family the first in rank in the Mohawk nation; and according to their customs, the honors of her house descended to either of her sons whom she might choose. By her nomination, her fourth and youngest son, John Brant, Ahyouwaighs, became the chief of the Mohawks, and virtually succeeded his father in the...

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