Topic: Tuscarora

Choctaw Traditions – The Council Fire, The Nahullo

The faces of the Choctaw and Chickasaw men of sixty years ago were as smooth as a woman’s, in fact they had no beard. Sometimes there might be seen a few tine hairs (if hairs they might be called) here and there upon the face, but they were few and far between, and extracted with a pair of small tweezers whenever discovered. Oft have I seen a Choctaw warrior standing before a mirror seeking with untiring perseverance and unwearied eyes, as he turned his face at different angles to the glass, if by chance a hair could be found lurking there, which, if discovered, was instantly removed as an unwelcome intruder. Even today, a full blood Choctaw or Chickasaw with a heavy beard is never seen. I have seen a few, here and there, with a little patch of beard upon their chins, but it was thin and short, and with good reasons to suspect that white blood flowed in their veins. It is a truth but little known among the whites, that the North American Indians of untarnished blood have no hair upon any part of the body except the head. My knowledge of this peculiarity was confined, however, to the Choctaws and Chickasaws alone. But in conversation with an aged Choctaw friend upon this subject, and inquiring” if this peculiarity extended to all Indians, he replied; “To all,...

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The Discovery Of This Continent, it’s Results To The Natives

In the year 1470, there lived in Lisbon, a town in Portugal, a man by the name of Christopher Columbus, who there married Dona Felipa, the daughter of Bartolome Monis De Palestrello, an Italian (then deceased), who had arisen to great celebrity as a navigator. Dona Felipa was the idol of her doting father, and often accompanied him in his many voyages, in which she soon equally shared with him his love of adventure, and thus became to him a treasure indeed not only as a companion but as a helper; for she drew his maps and geographical charts, and...

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Indian Wars of Carolina – Previous to the Revolution

When the English settled in South Carolina, it was found that the State was inhabited by about twenty different tribes of Indians. The whites made gradual encroachments without meeting with any opposition from the Indians, until the latter saw that if these advances were continued, they would be completely driven from their country. A struggle was immediately begun, in which the colonists suffered so much from the number and fury of their enemies that a price was fixed upon every Indian who should be brought captive to Charleston, from whence they were sold into slavery for the West Indies....

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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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Vocabulary of the Tuscarora

Vocabulary of the Tuscarora 1 God, Ya wuhn ne yuh. 2 Devil, Oo na sa roo nuh. 3 Man, Ehn kweh. 4 Woman, Hah wuhn nuh. 5 Boy, Kun chu kweh’r. 6 Girl, Ya te ah cha yeuh. 7 Child, Kats ah. 8 Father (my), E ah kre ehn. 9 Mother (my), E a nuh. 10 Husband (my), E na yah keah wuhn te kehn rea nuhn. 11 Wife (my), (The same word as for my husband.) 12 Son (his), Trah wuhn ruh, nuh nuhn, a ne hah. 13 Daughter (his), Tra wuhn ruh, nuhn, kah-nuhn nuhn. 14 Brother (my), E ah ke ah t’keuh. 15 Sister (my), Eah keah nuhn nooh’r. 16 An Indian, Reuh kweh hehn weh. 17 Head, Yah reh. 18 Hair (his), Trah wuhn ruh, rah weh rah wuhn. 19 Face (his), Trah wuhn ruh, rah keuh seuh keh. 20 Forehead (his), Trah wuhn ruh, keuh neuh keh. 21 Scalp, Trah wuhn ruh, nuh reh. 22 Ear his Trah wuhn ruh kunh nunh keh. 23 Eye his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh kahreuhkeh. 24 Nose his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh u cheuh seuh keh. 25 Nostril his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh cheuh kah reuh. 26 Mouth his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh skahreuh. 27 Tongue his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh reuh toh neuh keh. 28 Tooth his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh rah tooh tseh. 29 Beard his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh sooh keh reh....

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Letter from Rev. Gilbert Rockwood to Henry R Schoolcraft

Letter from Rev. Gilbert Rockwood to Henry R Schoolcraft. Tuscarora Mission, August 1, 1845. SIR: In the following communication, you can make use of such statements as you may deem proper. If all the statements should not be necessary for your official objects, yet they may be interesting to you as an individual. This mission was commenced about fifty years since, under the care of the “New York Missionary Society.” It was transferred to the ” United Foreign Mission Society,” in 1821, and to the ” American Board of Com. for Foreign Missions,” in 1826. The church was organized in 1805, with five persons. The whole number of native members who have united since its organization is 123. The present number of native members is 53; others 5, total 58. Between July 1st, 1844, and July 1st, 1845, there were only three admissions, two by profession and one by letter. About one-third of the population attend meeting on the Sabbath. Their meeting house was built by themselves, with a little assistance from abroad. They have also a schoolhouse, the expense of which was nearly all defrayed by themselves. There is but one school among them, which is kept the year through, with the exception of the vacations. The teacher is appointed by the American Board. The number of scholars the past year is not far from 50. I have...

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Letter from Rev. William McMurray to H. R. Schoolcraft

Letter from Rev. Wm. McMurray to H. R. Schoolcraft Dundas, November 11th, 1845. MY DEAR SIR I have just received the vocabularies, with the Indian words, from the Rev. Adam Elliot, of Tuscarora, to whom I sent them for the translation. The cause of the delay was his severe illness, and the difficulty of getting suitable persons to give him the Indian. He says, before you publish, if you will send him, through me, the proof sheets, he will have them corrected for you, and forwarded without delay. He is an amiable and most excellent man. Yours, most faithfully, WILLIAM...

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Tuscaroras Indians

The traditions of this canton affirm, that they are descendants of the original family of Iroquois, who began their existence, or their nationality, at least at or near the falls of the Oswego. After the migration of the parent tribe towards the sea, and their return west and separation into tribes, this band went on west till they reached Lake Erie. From hence they traveled southwest till they reached the Mississippi. Part of them crossed the river, and they were thus divided. Those who went over, became, in time, the enemies of such as remained on its eastern banks, and were finally lost and for gotten from their memory. Terenyawagon, the Holder of the Heavens, who was the patron of the home bands, did not fail, in this crisis, to direct their way also. After giving them practical instructions in war and hunting, he guided their footsteps in their journies, south and east, until they had crossed the Alleghanies, and reached the shores of the sea, on the coasts which are now called the Carolinas. They were directed to fix their residence on the banks of the Cau-tan-o, that is, a Pine in the water, now called Neuse River, in North Carolina. By this time their language was altered, but not so much but that they could understand each other. Here Terenyawagon left them to hunt, increase and prosper,...

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Tuscarora Reservation Map and Occupants, 1890

The Tuscarora Reservation, in Niagara County, New York, is formed from 3 adjoining tracts successively acquired, as indicated on the map. Their early antecedents as kinsmen of the Iroquois, their wanderings westward to the Mississippi, and their final lodgment at the head waters of the rivers Neuse and Tar, in North Carolina, are too much enveloped in tradition to be formulated as history, but courageous, self supporting, and-independent, after long residence upon lands owned by them in that colony, they first came into collision with white people, then with other tribes of that section, until finally, overpowered by numbers,...

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Tarenyawagon or Hiawatha

I will now resume the history of the sixth and last family, the Tuscarora On-gwe-hon-wa, that were left at the Neuse river, or Gan-ta-no. Here they increased in numbers, valor and skill, and in all knowledge of the arts necessary in forest life. The country was wide and covered with dense wilderness, large rivers and lakes, which gave shelter to many fierce animals and monsters which beset their pathways and kept them in dread. Now the Evil Spirit also plagued them with monstrous visitations. They were often induced to change their locations; sometimes from fear of enemies and sometimes from epidemics, or some strange visitations. I will now relate a few of the monsters that plagued them: The first enemy that appeared to question their power or disturb their peace was the fearful phenomenon of Ko-nea-rah-yah-neh, or the flying heads. The heads were enveloped in beard and hair, flaming like fire; they were of monstrous size, and shot through the air with the speed of meteors. Human power was not adequate to cope with them. The priests pronounced them a flowing power of some mysterious influence, and it remained with the priests alone to expel them by their magic power. Drum and rattle and enchantments were deemed more effective than arrows or clubs. One evening, after they had been plagued a long time with fearful visitations, the flying head...

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Act of October 15, 1748

Concerning the land allotted to the Tuscarora in Birtie they have leased it several times; and I have selected a few of the laws of North Carolina that are now in force, concerning the Tuscarora in that state, namely: Gabriel Johnson, Esq., Governor. At a general assembly held at New Bern, the fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-eight. An Act for ascertaining the bounds of a certain tract of land formerly laid out by treaty to the use of the Tuscarora Indians, so long as they, or any of them, shall occupy and live upon the same, and to prevent any person or persons taking up lands, or settling within the said bounds, by pretense of any purchase or purchases made, or that shall be made, from the said Indians. Article I. Whereas, complaints are made by the Tuscarora Indians, of divers encroachments made by the English on their lands, and it being but just that the ancient inhabitants of this Province shall have and enjoy a quiet and convenient dwelling place in this their native country, wherefore,” Bounds of the Indians’ lands confirmed . Article II. We pray that it may be enacted, and be it enacted by His Excellency Gabriel Johnson, Esquire, Governor, by and with the advice and consent of his majesty’s council, and general assembly...

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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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Treaty of October 22, 1784

Articles concluded at Fort Stanwix, on the twenty-second day of October, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four, between Oliver Wolcott, Richard Butler, and Arthur Lee, Commissioners Plenipotentiary from the United States, in Congress assembled, on the one Part, and the Sachems and Warriors of the Six Nations, on the other. The United States of America give peace to the Senecas, Mohawks, Onondagas and Cayugas, and receive them into their protection upon the following conditions: Article 1. Six hostages shall be immediately delivered to the commissioners by the said nations, to remain in possession of the United States, till all the prisoners, white and black, which were taken by the said Seneca, Mohawk, Onondaga and Cayuga, or by any of them, in the late war, from among the people of the United States, shall be delivered up. Article 2. The Oneida and Tuscarora nations shall be secured in the possession of the lands on which they are settled. Article 3. A line shall be drawn, beginning at the mouth of a creek about four miles east of Niagara, called Oyonwayea, or Johnston’s Landing-Place, upon the lake named by the Indians Oswego, and by us Ontario; from thence southerly in a direction always four miles east of the carrying-path, between Lake Erie and Ontario, to the mouth of Tehoseroron or Buffaloe Creek on Lake Erie; thence south to the north boundary...

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Agreement of April 24, 1792

George Washington, President of the United States of America, To all who shall see these presents, greeting: “Whereas an article has been stipulated with the Five Nations of Indians, by, and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, which article is in the words following, to wit:” “The President of the United States, by Henry Knox, Secretary for the Department of War, stipulates, in behalf of the United States, the following article, with the Five Nations of Indians, so called, being the Seneca, Oneida, and the Stockbridge Indians, incorporated with them the Tuscarora, Cayuga, and Onondaga, to wit: the United States, in order to promote the happiness of the Five Nations of Indians, will cause to be expended, annually, the amount of one thousand five hundred dollars, in purchasing for them clothing, domestic animals, and implements of husbandry, and for encouraging useful artificers to reside in their villages.” In behalf of the United States: H. Knox, Secretary for the Department of War. Done in the presence of Tobias Lear, Nathan Jones. “Now, know ye, That I, having seen and considered the said article, do accept, ratify, and confirm the same. “In testimony whereof, I have caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed, and signed the same with my hand. “Given at the City of Philadelphia, the twenty-third day of April,...

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Treaty of December 2, 1794

A treaty between the United States and the Oneida, Tuscorora and Stockbridge Indians, dwelling in the Country of the Oneidas. Whereas, in the late war between Great-Britain and the United States of America, a body of the Oneida and Tuscorora and the Stockbridge Indians, adhered faithfully to the United States, and assisted them with their warriors; and in consequence of this adherence and assistance, the Oneidas and Tuscororas, at an unfortunate period of the war, were driven from their homes, and their houses were burnt and their property destroyed: And as the United States in the time of their distress, acknowledged their obligations to these faithful friends, and promised to reward them: and the United States being now in a condition to fulfil the promises then made: the following articles are stipulated by the respective parties for that purpose; to be in force when ratified by the President and Senate. Article 1. The United States will pay the sum of five thousand dollars, to be distributed among individuals of the Oneida and Tuscorora nations, as a compensation for their individual losses and services during the late war between Great-Britain and the United States. The only man of the Kaughnawaugas now remaining in the Oneida country, as well as some few very meritorious persons of the Stockbridge Indians, will be considered in the distribution. Article 2. For the general accommodation...

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