Topic: Six Nations

Six Nation Indian’s Proneness to Drink

The Indian Law, it is well known, puts a restraint, not only upon the purchase of liquor by the Indian, but upon its sale to him by the liquor-seller, or its supply, indeed, in any way, by any one. It forbids, as well, the introducing or harboring of it, in any shape, under any plea, on the Reserve. The law, in this respect, frequently proves a dead letter, since, where the Indian has not the assurance and hardihood to boldly demand the liquor from the hotel-keeper, or where the latter, imbued with a wholesome fear of the penalty for contravening the law, refrains from giving it, the agency of degraded whites is readily secured by the Indian, and, with their connivance, the unlawful object compassed. Of course the white abettor in these cases risks trifling, if any, publicity in the matter, and is inspired with the less fear of detection. There are some few hotel-keepers who, though they more than suspect the purpose to which the liquor these whites are demanding is to be applied, permit rapacity to overpower righteous compunction or scruple, and lend themselves, likewise, though indirectly, to the law’s infraction. Happily, the penalty is now so heavy ($300) that the evil is, I think, being got under control. The effect of drink on the Indian is: to dethrone his; reason; cloud, even narcotize, his reasoning faculties;...

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Six Nations Indian’s Character, Moral and General

It is often claimed for the Indian that, before the white man put him in the way of a freer indulgence of his unhappy craving for drink, he was as moral a being as one unrenewed by Divine grace could be expected to be. Unfortunately, this statement involves no definition of what might be considered moral, under the circumstances. Now, there will be disagreeing estimates of what a moral character, upon which there has been no descent of heavenly grace, or where grace has not supervened to essay its recreation, or its molding anew, should be; and there will also, I think, be divergent views as to a code of morals to be practiced which shall comport with the exhibition of a reasonably seemly morality. I cannot, at least, concur in that definition of a moral character, upon which no operation of Divine grace has been expended, for its raising or its beautifying, which accepts that of the pagan Indian as its highest expression; and, distinctly, hesitate to affirm that a high moral instinct inheres in the Indian, or that such is permitted to dominate his mind; and, when I find one of these very writers who claim for him a high inborn morality, discovering in him such indwelling monsters as revenge, mercilessness, implacability, the affirmation falters not the less upon my tongue. That very many of the graver...

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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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Six Nation’s Missionaries

The missionary demands notice as he, above all others, has left his impress on the life and character of the Indian. The Ven. Archdeacon Nelles may be regarded as the pioneer missionary to the Indian. His work covers half a century, and, though, for some years, he has not been an active worker amongst the Indians, a solicitude for their welfare still actuates him. His province has been rather that of general superintendence of the New England Company’s servants, than one involving much active mingling with the Indians. The association of his name with that time-honored and revered structure, the old Mohawk Church, is his, grandest testimonial to his fruitful labor on the Reserve. The Rev. Adam Eliot, whose widow still lives in the old missionary home, was a man of a singularly gentle and lovable disposition. In his contact with the Indian, the influence, if haply any could be exerted, was certain to be on the side of the good. He was one who moved about the Reserve with the savor of a quiet and godly life ever cleaving to him, a life, radiating forth, as it were, to circle and embrace others in the folds of its benign influence. He was tender, and unaffected in his piety. His life and work have left their abiding mark on the Indian character. The Rev. R. J. Roberts was the...

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Six Nations Meetings Of Council

The Indian Council has a province more important than that which our Municipal Councils exercise. Its decisions as to disputes growing out of real estate transactions, unless clearly wrong, have in them the force of law. The ordinary Council is a somewhat informal gathering as regards a presiding officer or officers, and, also, in respect of that essential feature of a quorum, for which similar bodies among ourselves hold out so exactingly. The Chiefs of the tribes, who, alone, are privileged to participate in discussions, can scarcely be looked upon in the light of presidents of the meeting; nor can there be discovered in the privileges or duties of any one of them the functions of a presiding officer. The Chiefs of the Mohawk and Seneca, who sit on the left of the house, initiate discussion on all questions. The debating is then transferred to the opposite side of the house, where are seated the Chiefs of the Tuscarora, Oneidas, and Cayuga, and is carried on by these Chiefs. The Chiefs of the Onondagas, who are called “Fire-Keepers” (of the origin of the name “Fire-Keeper,” I will treat further, anon) then speak to the motion, or upon the measure, and, finally, decide everything; and they are, in view of this power of finality of decision with all questions, regarded as the most important Chiefs among the confederated tribes. The...

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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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A Treatise of the Six Nation Indians

As knowledge of the traditions, manners, and national traits of the Indians, composing, originally, the six distinct and independent tribes of the Mohawks, Tuscarora, Onondagas, Seneca, Oneidas, and Cayuga; tribes now merged in, and known as, the Six Nations, possibly, does not extend beyond the immediate district in which they have effected a lodgement, I have laid upon myself the task of tracing their history from the date of their settlement in the County of Brant, entering, at the same time, upon such accessory treatment as would seem to be naturally suggested or embraced by the plan I have...

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Six Nation Indian’s Intellectual Gifts

The Indian has little hope of occupying a sphere, where the discipline and cultivation of the mind shall be essential to the proper balancing and developing of its powers, and shall render it equal to the collision with other keen intellects. It would, therefore, be equally idle and unprofitable to attempt to measure his mental capabilities, until we shall have experience of his intellectuality, with proper stimulating and inciting influences in play, or under circumstances, conducing, generally, to mental strength and vigor, to note; and which we may employ as a reliable basis for judgment; and it would be manifestly unfair to argue weak mental caliber, or to presage small mental capacity in the Indian, from his present deplorable state of inertness, a condition which has been sadly impressed and confirmed by repressive legislation, and of which that legislation, by practically denying him occupation of improving fields of thought, and, indeed, scope for any enlarged mental activity, seeks to decree the melancholy perpetuity. In some of the few cases where supervenient aid has enabled him to qualify for, and embrace, a profession, I have perceived a tendency to subordinate its practice to the demands of some less exacting calling, which has rendered nugatory any efficient mastery of the profession. Memory is, undoubtedly, the Indian’s strong point, and I can myself testify to exhibitions of it, truly phenomenal. The interpreter...

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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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Conrad Weiser, Terachiawagon, Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania

Conrad Weiser was an adopted son of the Mohawk Nation. Says Hale Sipe, a historian of Pennsylvania of this remarkable man: “When he was seventeen years old, young Weiser went to live with Quagnant, a prominent Iroquois chief, who, taking a great fancy to Conrad, requested the father that the young man might dwell with him for a time. He remained with the Iroquois chief for eight months, learning the Indian language and customs thoroughly. It is said that while on a hunting trip he met the great Iroquois chief Shikellamy, the Vice-Gerent of the Six Nations, who was...

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The Six Nations Indian’s Conditions of Settlement

The conditions which govern the Indian’s occupation of his Reserve are, probably, so well known, that any extended reference under this head will be needless. He ceded the whole of his land to the Government, this comprising, originally, a tract which pursued the entire length of the Grand River, and, accepting it as the radiating point, extended up from either side of the river for a distance of six miles, to embrace an area of that extent. The Government required the proprietary right to the land, in the event of their either desiring to maintain public highways through it themselves, or that they might be in a position to sanction, or acquiesce in, its use or expropriation by Railway Corporations, for the running of their roads; or for other national or general purposes. The surrender on the part of the Indian was not, however, an absolute one, there having been a reservation that he should have a Reservation, of adequate extent, and the fruit of the tilling of which he should enjoy as an inviolable privilege. As regards the money-consideration for this land, the Government stand to the Indian in the relation of Trustees, accounting for, and apportioning to, him, through the agency of their officer and appointee, the Indian Superintendent, at so much “per capita” of the population, the interest arising out of the investment of such money....

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Six Nation Chiefs And Their Functions

The dignity of a chief comes to the holder through the principle of hereditary succession, confined to, and operating only with, certain families. In the cage of the death of one of these chiefs, the distinction and powers he enjoyed devolve upon his kinsman, though not necessarily upon the next of kin. The naming and appointing of a successor, and the adjudicating upon the point as to whether he fulfils the qualifications esteemed necessary to maintain the dignity of the chiefship, are confided to the oldest woman of the tribe, thus deprived by death of one of its heads. She has a certain latitude in choosing, and, so long as she respects in the selection of her appointee, the principle of kinship to the dead chief (whether this be proximate or remote is immaterial) her appointment is approved and confirmed. The chiefs are looked upon as the heads or fathers of the tribe, and they rely, to a large extent, for their influence over the tribe, upon their wisdom, and eminence generally in qualities that excite or compel admiration or regard. In an earlier period of the history of the Indian communities, when their forests were astir with the demon of war, eligibility for the chiefship contemplated in the chief the conjoining of bravery with wisdom, and these were the keynote to his power over his people. He, by...

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