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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html


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Chapter VII. — The Iroquois Policy Favors the English.

THE sachem commissioner, Tanacharisson, and his successor, Scarooyadi, had evinced a firm friendship for the English on the Ohio border, in conformity with the general policy of the New York Iroquois tribes, while they at the same time freely condemned the English for their tardy movements, and their non-adoption of the Indian mode of warfare.

The ultimate consequences of the defeat on the Monongahela were most disastrous. Rumor rapidly disseminated the news in every direction, and all the colonies felt the effects of the blow. The dread of Indian massacres disturbed the quiet of every hamlet; nor was their alarm without due foundation. A band of 150 savages crossed the Alleghanies, and ravaged the frontiers of Virginia and Maryland. Foremost in these forays were the Delawares, under Shingiss, whose ire appeared to have received an additional stimulus from the recent triumph of the Gallic-Indian forces. The Delawares had long felt the wrong which they suffered in being driven from the banks of the Delaware and the Susquehanna, although it was primarily owing to their ancient enemies and conquerors, the Iroquois, whose policy had ever been a word and a blow. The Shawnees, friends and relatives of the Delawares, had been, from the first, a revengeful, warlike, roving people. Originating in the extreme south, they had flitted over half the continent, fighting with every tribe they encountered, until they reached the extreme shores of Lake Erie, where, under the ominous name of Satanas, 269 they were defeated by the Iroquois, and thence fled to the Delaware, and subsequently to the Ohio valley. From an early period they were avowed enemies of the colonies, and this enmity never ceased, until after the overthrow, in 1814, of the wide-spread conspiracy of Tecumseh. Both tribes, in lineage, as well as in language, were Algonquins, and adopted their policy; from first to last being cruel enemies in war, in peace, treacherous friends.

While the gloom caused by the defeat of Braddock, and the evidences of Indian hostility, which assumed a tangible shape during the autumn and winter of 1753, still

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hung like a cloud on the western frontier, an auspicious sign appeared in the East. The Iroquois threw the weight of their influence in the English scale. It having been a part of the original plan of the campaign to take Crown Point, on Lake Champlain, this enterprise was entrusted to General William Johnson, an officer of the New York militia, whose settlement in the Mohawk valley, and influence with the Indians, have been previously mentioned. Johnson was placed in command of 5000 or 6000 New York and New England militia, and a chosen body of Mohawk warriors under
Soiengarahta, locally called King Hendrick. After laying the foundations of Fort Edward, he proceeded to the southern shores of Lake Sacramento, which he re-named Lake George, in compliment to the reigning house of Hanover. He there located his camp in such a manner as to have the lake in his rear, a breastwork of felled trees in front, and some impassable low grounds, or swamps, on his flanks. In the intervals of his hastily-constructed breastworks, he planted some heavy pieces of ordnance. The Count de Deiskau, who opposed him, was a brave, dashing officer, possessing great spirit and strength of purpose, who, had he led men of similar metal, would have readily taken the English camp. He had left Crown Point to attack the new fort, Edward, with 3000 men, of whom 200 were drilled grenadiers, and 800 Canadians. He had also some 700 Algonquin Indians, of various tribes. Being apprised by his scouts, that the enemy was within the distance of a few miles, Johnson dispatched Colonel Williams, with 300 men, to reconnoitre. This brought on an action; the militia retreating, pursued by the entire force of howling Indians; and, in their rear, Deiskau appeared at the head of his compact and disciplined troops. The action was, at first, carried on at long range, and confined to rattling volleys of small arms. Deiskau then advanced with his grenadiers, and maintained a brave, but fruitless contest; the English artillery made such great havoc in his ranks, that finally the fire of the French began to slacken, and they fled in confusion. Deiskau was wounded, and killed, during the retreat.
Soiengarahta, who, with his Mohawks, had fought valiantly outside the works, also fell.
Soiengarahta was a chief of high standing among the Mohawks, of approved wisdom, undoubted intrepidity, and a firm friend of the English. He had visited England, and had been presented at court, where the annexed portrait of him was taken. He united great amenity of manners, dignity of bearing, and mild features, to the most determined courage and energy. He led 200 Mohawks, who are described by the gazettes of the day, to have, on this occasion, "fought like lions." 270 This victory aroused the spirits of the colonies, and occasioned a feeling of joy far above its real merits or importance. Johnson was created a knight baronet, and voted £5000 by the English Parliament. He was, however, censured for not pursuing the enemy and capturing Crown Point; but he contented himself with building Fort William Henry, on the site of his camp.

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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html
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