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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
DURING the year immediately following the establishment of the settlements in the Connecticut valley, the tribes of Maryland, proper, as distinguished from those of Virginia, were particularly introduced to historical notice. On the 27th of March, 1634, Leonard Calvert landed on the banks of a river, to which he gave the name of St. Mary, situated on the western shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Captain John Smith, who visited, and circumnavigated the bay, in 1608, furnishes the first account of the Susquehannocks a bold, stalwart, and athletic tribe, who spoke in a hollow tone, with a full enunciation, and acquired his respect. The Indians located on the St. Mary's river, within whose precincts Calvert landed, were called Yaocomicos. Friendly relations were cultivated with the natives, who sold him a tract of land thirty miles in extent, for which they received axes, and other necessary articles.
In their manners, customs, and general character, these Indians closely resembled the Virginia tribes. They built their lodges in the same manner, as well as of the same materials, and in all respects practised the same arts, general rites and religious ceremonies. Like them, they acknowledged a great God, but also offered sacrifices to local Okees. They smoked tobacco, holding it in the highest estimation, cultivated the zea maize, hunted the deer, and snared water-fowl. Ethnologically they were descendants of the same race with the Powhatanic tribes, and spoke dialects of the great Algonquin language. Indeed, Powhatan claimed jurisdiction over the Patuxent, but it is doubtful whether his claims were much respected, or very efficiently enforced.
This colony was founded under a charter granted by Charles I., through the influence of his consort, Mary, and appears to have been intended as a refuge for persons professing the same religion with the queen. Without entering into a dissertation on the subject, we need only say that, under the protectorate of Cromwell, who soon after gained the ascendency in England, Maryland became the resort of men holding various creeds, and the country obtained a wide-spread notoriety, as the land of tolerance. However men differed in their religious faith, they agreed, generally, in their mode of treatment of the Indians. Barbarism and Christianity could not exist in close proximity. Catholic and Protestant, alike, had united labor, virtue, temperance, arts, and letters together, as the corner-stone upon which they erected the superstructure of their colonies; and all the different sects taught their own doctrines with various degrees of success. It was impossible for people who worshipped God, and had been educated to revere his revealed word, to witness unmoved, the idolatry of savages, who made offerings to demons, regarded heaven as a place of sensual enjoyments, and deemed Christianity a myth, of equal credibility with that of Micabou, or of Hiawatha.
A good understanding, however, was maintained with this people, who, apparently, possessed mild and gentle manners, in the hope that their eyes might be so far morally and intellectually opened, that they might be brought under the influence of the gospel. The accounts of the Maryland Indians, generally, state that "they were a simple race; open, affectionate, and confiding; filled with wonder and admiration of their new visitants, and disposed to live with them as neighbors and friends, on terms of intimacy and cordiality. To the Europeans they seem to have been quite as much objects of curiosity, as the Europeans were to them. To Englishmen coming from the midst of a civilization, which had been steadily progressive for a thousand years, the persons, manners, habits and sentiments of the savages of North America must have been objects of lasting astonishment." 111
The following testimony respecting the Chesapeake Bay Indians is from the pen of Father White, who accompanied Calvert. "This race is endowed with an ingenious and liberal disposition, and what may surprise you when stated an acuteness of taste, smell and sight, that even surpasses Europeans. They live mostly on a pap, which they call Pone, or Omini (hominy). They add, sometimes, a fish, or what they have taken, either beast or bird, in hunting. They keep themselves, as much as possible, from wine and warm drinks, nor are they easily induced to taste them, except in cases where the English have infected them.
"Ignorance of their language makes it, as yet, impossible for me to assert what are their religious opinions, for we have not full confidence in Protestant interpreters. These few things we have learned at different times. They recognise one God of heaven, whom they call our God; they pay to him no external worship, but endeavor
to propitiate by every means in their power, a certain evil spirit, which they call Okee. They worship corn and fire, as I am informed, as gods wonderfully beneficent to the human race.
"Some of our people relate that they have seen the ceremony at Barcluxor. On an appointed day, all the men and women, from many villages, assembled around a great fire. Next to the fire stood the younger people; behind them the men advanced in life. A piece of deer's fat being then thrown into the fire, the hands and voices being lifted towards heaven, they cried out, Taho! Taho ! They then cleared a small space, and some one produced a large bag; in the bag was a pipe and a kind of powder, which they called Potu. The pipe was such as our countrymen use, but larger. Then the bag was carried around the fire, the boys and girls singing with an agreeable voice, Taho! Taho! The circle being ended, the pipe and powder were taken from the pouch. The potu was distributed to each of those standing round, which he put into the pipe and smoked, breathing the smoke over his limbs, and sanctifying them, as the smoker supposes. I have not been able to learn more than that they appear to have some knowledge of the flood, by which the world perished, because of the sins of men." 112
There is nothing, either in these ceremonial rites of Taho, and offerings of the fumes of the fat of animals, and of the nicotiana from consecrated pouches, to the god of fire, or in the traditions of a flood, or in the very language employed, to denote that the Maryland tribes differ essentially from others of the great Algonquin stock.
When Calvert landed, he was imbued with the most friendly feelings towards the Indians, for they were regarded with much interest in Europe, as a wild, but unknown race of men. As with the rulers of all the new colonies, a knowledge of the policy which controlled the Indian tribes was, with him, a subject of primary importance. It soon became evident that a great aboriginal nation, in the interior, was alike the terror and the aversion of all the midland and coast tribes. This governing power was the Iroquois, the dreaded Massawonacks of the native Virginia tribes, before the crushing force of whose prowess, the noble Susquehannocks, and their feeble allies, were, eventually, compelled to succumb.
Chapter II. Susquehannocks, Nanticokes, and Conoys.
THE Chesapeake Bay appears to have derived its name from a tribe, which occupied Cape Henry and the surrounding country, now included in Princess Anne county, Virginia. From the geographical position of the bay, in a part of the Powhatanic territory, as well as the etymology of the word, its termination in peak being of the same import as beag, waters, the name is unquestionably of Algonquin derivation.
When, in 1608, Captain Smith made a voyage to the head of this bay, and entered the magnificent river which debouches into it, he found that the Susquehannocks, who were located on its western shores, comprised 600 warriors, which would denote a population of 3000 souls; and he was struck with admiration of their fine physical proportions and manly voices. At that time, twenty-three years had elapsed from the date of the first voyage to Virginia. Whether a change had taken place in their location, or the Virginia band had been but an outlying branch, cannot now be determined; but it is more than probable, that the Susquehanna river was their original residence.
Along the Eastern shores of the bay, from Cape Charles up, Smith mentions the location of the Accomacs and the Accohanocs, tribes who retained this general position during the greater part of colonial history; and who, certainly, down to the period of the Northampton massacre, when they became mingled with the negroes, were still, in part, represented. 113 Next in position, north, he places the Nanticokes, under the name of Tockwaghs, which may readily be inferred to apply to that tribe, when we learn that they were called Tawackguano by the Delawares. 114 Thence, in succession, the Ozimies, the Huokarawaocks, and the Wighcomocos, the latter of whom are called Wicomocos by Calvert.
The entire eastern shore, above Virginia, has, in later days, been regarded as the Nanticos or Conoy country, synonymous names for the same people. An adverse fate befell that scattered tribe. From the earliest dates, they were at variance with the Iroquois, whose war canoes swept down the Susquehanna, from their inaccessible fastnesses in Western New York. We learn, from a competent authority, 115 that the
Nanticos were forced into a league with the Iroquois, who finally adopted them, holding out the flattering idea, and, perhaps, promise, of admitting the tribe into their confederacy; but if so, and there is evidence of it in a declaration, made in 1758, by Tokais, a Cayuga chief, 116 their fate was not unlike the stag who falls into the power of the anaconda. They helped to minister to the pride of the Iroquois, as did also the Tutelos from Virginia.
The Nanticokes and Conoys, 117 wearied with strife, abandoned their residences in lower Maryland, and moved up the Susquehanna, pursuing its western branches into the territories of their conquerors, the Iroquois. Eventually, they settled down beside fragmentary bands of Shawnees and Mohickanders, at Otsiningo, the present site of Binghampton, with whom they formed a league, in the hope of recovering their former position by this policy. This league was called the "Three Nations." 118 During the month of April, 1757, Owiligascho, or Peter Spelman, a German, who had resided seven years among the Shawnees, on one of the western branches of the Susquehanna, and married a Shawnee wife, arrived at Fort Johnson, where resided the Indian superintendent for the northern colonies, and reported that this new confederacy would visit him, in a short time, with a body of nearly two hundred men, and that they were now on the road, Their object was to smoke a friendly pipe with Sir William Johnson, after the manner of their fathers, and to offer him assistance in the war against the French. He presented two strings of wampum from the chiefs, as the credentials of his authority. 119
On the 19th of April following, these Indians arrived on the opposite bank of the river, which was then swelled by the spring flood. The chiefs, having crossed in canoes, were admitted to a council. The Shawnees were represented by Paxinosa, and fifty-two of his warriors ; the Mohickanders by Mammatsican, their king, with one hundred and forty-seven of his nation; and the Nanticokes by Hamightaghlawatawa, with eight of his people.
Having been addressed in favorable and congratulatory terms by Sir William, who explained to them the true position of the English, as contrasted with that of the French, respecting the Indians, two days subsequently the chiefs replied, accepting the offer of the chain of friendship, and promising to keep "fast hold of it, and not quit it, so long as the world endured." In this address, allusion is incidentally made to a belt sent the previous year, to the unfriendly Delaware and Ohio Indians, in the vicinity of Fort Du Quesne; and also, to a similar belt, sent to the Delaware chief Tediscund, residing at Tioga. 120 They formally apprize him of the league formed between the Nanticokes, Mohickanders, and Shawnees, of which he had been previously informed
by Owiligascho, and, also, that they had concentrated at Otsiningo, on the Susquehanna, where messages are directed to be sent to them in future. 121
There is a trait of Indian shrewdness observable, at the conclusion of their reply to Sir William Johnson, in a curious allusion to an event which occurred while the Mohickanders still resided on the Hudson. "'Tis now nine years ago," 122 said the speaker, "that a misfortune happened near Reinbeck, in this province; a white man there, shot a young man, an Indian. There was a meeting held thereon, and Martinus Hoffman said, ‘Brothers, there are two methods of settling this accident; one according to the white people's customs, the other according to the Indians. Which of them will you choose? If you will go according to the Indian manner, the man who shot the Indian may yet live. If this man's life is spared, and, at any time hereafter, an Indian should kill a white man, and you desire it, his life shall also be spared.’ You told us, he added, two days ago, that when a man is dead, there is no bringing him to life again. We understand there are two Indians in jail, at Albany, accused of killing a white man. They are alive, and may live to be of service, and we beg you, as the chief of the Great King, our Father, that they may be released." 123
The alliance thus formed with the British government, in 1757, was unquestionably fostered, and remained unbroken, during the progress of the Revolution. The larger part of these Indians probably returned to Canada, with the Munsees and Delawares, where, it is known, numbers of the latter tribe were located. A few of them, however, who lingered within the precincts of New York, probably became absorbed in the Brothertons, comprising fragments of Algonquin tribes, who dropped their own dialects, and adopted the English language.
Chapter III. Sequel of the History of the Susquehannocks.
At the era of the settlement of Jamestown, the Susquehannocks claimed the country lying between the Potomac and Susquehanna rivers an area comprising the entire western margin of Maryland. This was their hunting-ground, and marked the boundary line between their jurisdiction and that of the Powhatanic forest kingdom. Whatever were the local names of the bands occupying the banks of the several intermediate rivers, they were merely subordinate to the reigning tribe, primarily located on the shores of the Susquehanna. Subsequently they transferred their council fire, down the western shore to the Patuxent, in a position less open to the incessant inroads of the Iroquois.
The lower class of adventurers and settlers who emigrated to Virginia and Maryland at this early period, was composed of persons who were liable to become embroiled with the Indians, whose character they invariably misjudged, and whose lives they held to be valueless. By these persons the natives were regarded only as the medium, through whom they could pursue a profitable traffic in skins and furs, which was unrestrained and free to every one who chose to engage in it, or possessed the requisite capital. Unfortunately for the Indians, they could not restrain their appetite for ardent spirits; and, consequently, it should excite no surprise that a tribe, thus pressed on one hand, by a powerful and infuriated enemy, and on the other enticed by temptation to indulgence, should rapidly decline.
The effects of commerce with the whites on the condition of the aboriginal tribes of Maryland, located on the shores skirting the open waters of the Chesapeake, alternately stimulating and relaxing their energies, were of such a baneful character, as necessarily to destroy their power and importance within fifty years after the landing of Calvert. Without any strong political organization, or any permanent union among themselves, ever anxious to obtain the benefits of commerce and trade, and wanting the firm moral purpose to resist the resulting evil effects, they were placed in precisely the same position as the coast tribes of Virginia, who wasted away with a degree of rapidity which surprised her statesmen. 124 They exchanged their furs and fish, the only
available product of their forests and streams, for the means of indulgence; and when this resource failed, they sold their lands to obtain the same destructive stimulants. Whether gunpowder, which annihilated the animals, performed its work more effectually than alcohol, which thinned the ranks of the Indians, may well be doubted. Jealous of their tribal sovereignty, the Susquehannocks added, by intestine wars, to the natural deaths produced by decay and intemperance, and when, like the other tribes, they began to assert their rights and sovereignty, and resist the encroachments of Europeans, they had already diminished so much in population, that they lacked the ability to maintain their ground. They were outwitted in diplomacy by a civilized nation, and if they did not disappear before the steady progress of arts, industry, and genius, among the colonists, they were enervated during peace, and conquered in war.
One cause operated powerfully to hasten the downfall of the Susquehannocks; the neglect, or mismanagement of their relations with the settlers of Virginia. The Virginians, on the southern banks of the Potomac, for some reason, believed the Susquehannocks to have been guilty of committing depredations and foul murders on their frontiers. In 1675, some of the inhabitants of the most northerly county of Virginia, while on their way to attend church, on a Sabbath-day, found the nearly lifeless body of a settler lying across the threshold of his own door, and an Indian, lying dead on the ground near him. The white was mortally wounded, but lived long enough to inform them that the Indians came from the Maryland shore.
The sensation produced by this outrage was extreme. Two spirited officers of the militia, Mason and Brent, accompanied by thirty men, promptly pursued the murderers. Ascending the valley of the Potomac some twenty miles, they crossed its channel to the Maryland shore, where they found two Indian paths. Dividing their force, Mason took one trail, and Brent the other. A short pursuit, by each party, terminated in the discovery of two Indian wigwams. Brant having accused one of the occupants of the lodge which he found, as the murderer, he tremblingly denied the fact, and attempted to escape, but was shot down by a pistol-ball, which lodged in his back. The other inmates then fired, and made a spring for the door of the wigwam; but the unerring rifle laid ten of the number dead on the spot. Meantime Mason had arrived at the other lodge, the Indians in which, hearing the firing at the first lodge, hastened to effect their escape. Fourteen of them were shot, when one of the survivors, having rushed up to Mason, and declared that they were Susquehannocks, and friends, the firing was instantly stopped.
The Susquehannocks subsequently accused the Senecas of having committed the murders in Virginia. Whoever the perpetrators really were is unknown; but other massacres immediately followed on those borders, which so excited the people of Maryland as well as of Virginia, that they united in mustering 1000 men to march against the Susquehannocks. This force was placed under the command of Colonel John
Washington. 125 Meanwhile the Susquehannocks had taken possession of an old abandoned fort, which, having been used by the whites in previous wars, was singularly well calculated for defence. It was encompassed by ample earthen walls, containing a gate and surrounded by a ditch, the counterscarp of the latter being planted with trees, closely wattled, which presented an impenetrable curtain.
The Maryland and Virginia forces appeared before this fort on the 23d of September. Conferences were held, in which the Indians, although boldly accused of the murders, as confidently denied their complicity, notwithstanding three of the bloody deeds had been identified as their acts. They agreed to deliver Harignera, and five others of their principal chiefs, to the English, as hostages for the security of their frontiers. The morning after the consummation of this treaty, one Captain John Allen, a leader of the Maryland rangers, having reported the circumstance of the murder of Randolph Hanson, among the recent outrages, was sent with a guard, to ascertain whether it had been the work of Indians. It so occurred that, during the final conference for the conclusion of the treaty, by the terms of which the six chiefs had been delivered over to the custody of the military, Allen returned from this examination, bringing with him the mangled remains of the victims, the appearance of which left no doubt that they had been foully murdered by the Indians. The whole camp was instantly a scene of excitement; every one imagining he saw his nearest friend, or some loved one in the cruel gripe of savages. Five of the hostages, comprising the leading sachems and wise men of the Susquehannocks, were immediately condemned to death, and were accordingly executed. During the night the Indians secretly, dexterously, and silently evacuated the fort, and fled, taking with them all their women and children. The warriors of this party attacked, with savage fury, the white residents on the frontiers of Virginia, killing many, and committing numerous depredations; in which forays they themselves were finally exterminated, or became scattered among other bands.
This was not, however, the severest blow that the Susquehannocks received. It appears, from the relation of Evans, 126 that a body of troops, led by a Marylander, attacked thern at a position east of the Susquehanna, about three miles below Wright's Ferry, now known as Columbia, killing several hundred men. It is proved by Colden, from data produced at the treaty of Lancaster, negotiated in 1744, that they formed a part of the Canostogas, an original Oneida tribe, and that they were finally conveyed to the territory of that nation in western New York. Oneida tradition ascribes the birth and origin of the celebrated chief Shenandoa, to Canostoga, whence, in early life, he came to Oneida castle.
Chapter IV. The Andastes. 127
The synonyms of the Indian tribes in the United States, have operated greatly to complicate or retard the development of their true history. This subject has been a stumbling-block to writers, as well at home as abroad, where some of the ablest historians have been misled by it, mistaking the several names of the same tribe for those of different tribes. The Indian history of Maryland, and of its leading tribe, the Susquehannocks, has been obscured in this manner. The early French writers in Canada, and those who, on their authority, have since written of that country, constantly mention a tribe, whose name, in the softest form, is given as Andastes. Although residing in well-known limits of the United States, the name is not to be found in the works of any of our historians. Fortunately, however, there existed, between them and the Indian allies of the French, sufficient intercourse to give us data, whereby to determine their location, language, numbers, and power.
Friends of the Swedish colony on the Delaware, friends of the Hurons in Upper Canada, friends, at a later date, of Maryland and Pennsylvania, they were repeatedly at war with the powerful Iroquois. Like the latter, and the Neuters, they were a branch of the great Huron-Iroquois family. 128 According to Bressani, 129 they were located 500 miles, or, as the Relation of 1647-8 has it, 150 leagues southwest by south of the Hurons, inclining a little eastward. This measurement was in a direct line, the road usually taken being somewhat longer, and at least 200 leagues. A large river rising near Lake Ontario led to the town. 130 They resided quite near the Swedish settlement, and were on friendly terms with the Scandinavian colonists. 131
Quite naturally, we turn to Swedish accounts to find some traces of this people. Proud, in his History of Pennsylvania, 132 and the Historical Collections also, actually locate a tribe called Andastakas on Christiana creek, but I have not found on what authority. The name does not appear in Swedish accounts; and this is natural, as the
surrounding tribes were Algonquin, and the Swedish name would of course be Algic. A band of the Akwinoshioni existed near the Swedes, whom they called Mengwe, a term that Mr. Heckewelder tells us is the same as Mingo. Campanius has preserved a vocabulary of their language, which is a dialect of the Huron Iroquois, 133 as Duponceau long since observed. 134 This word is not to be confounded with Minqua. Minqua was the Dutch and Swedish name for the Susquehannocks. A creek running into the Delaware bore the name of Minqua kill, 135 not that the Minqua lived on it, but because it led to their country. 136 This would place them on the Susquehanna, where the French locate the Andastes. Their town is thus described by Campanius: "The Minques, or Minckus, lived at the distance of twelve (fifty-four English) miles from New Sweden, where they daily came to trade with us. The way to their land was very bad, being rocky, full of sharp, gray stones, with hills and morasses; so that the Swedes, when they went to them, which happened once or twice a year, had to walk in the water up to their armpits. . . . They live on a high mountain, very steep and difficult to climb; there they have a fort or square building, in which they reside. They have guns and small iron cannon, with which they shoot, and defend themselves, and take with them when they go to war. They are strong and vigorous, both old and young; they are a tall people, and not frightful in their appearance." 137
There can be little doubt as to the identity of these Swedish Minqua and the Andastoe, or Gandastogué, of the French. Let us now see what we can elicit from European annals, regarding their history. Toward the close of the seventeenth century, they had, in a ten years' war, almost exterminated the Mohawks. 138 The Minquas were a warlike people, and, as usual with the Huron-Iroquois, were a superior race to their Algic neighbors. "They made the other Indians," says Campanius, "subject to them, so that they dare not stir, much less go to war against them." 139 In 1633, De Vries found them at war with the Timber Creek Indians. 140 A short time thereafter, the Swedes purchased a portion of their territory, 141 and, in 1645, under the name of Susquehanna, or Conestogue, Indians, they ceded to Maryland a tract, beginning at the Patuxent river on the west, and terminating at the Choptank river on the east. 142 The Andastes, or Gandastogués, who are evidently these Conestogues, were, from time immemorial, friends and allies of the Hurons, and not over friendly to the Iroquois. In 1647, when the former were on the brink of ruin, the Andastes, then able to send from their single town 1300 warriors, "who, when fighting, never fled, but stood like a wall, as long as there was one remaining," despatched an embassy to Lake Huron,
with an offer to espouse their quarrel, and a request that the Hurons would call on them when they needed aid.
An embassy, headed by the Christian, Charles Ondaaiondiont, soon after set out from the villages of the Wyandots. In ten days they reached the Andaste town, and, on their appeal, the Andastes resolved to interfere. An embassy, loaded with rich presents, was sent to Onondaga to demand why the Iroquois struck the Wyandots, and to ask them to be wise and bury the hatchet. Charles, meanwhile, leaving a person to await the return of the deputies, set out for Huronia, which he reached only after a long and tedious march of forty days, made necessary by the war parties which the Senecas sent out to intercept him. His journey to Andaste had occupied but ten days. While at Andaste, he visited the churchless settlement of the Swedes, where was lying a Dutch ship from Manhattan, by which he received tidings of the murder of his old friend, Ondessonk, the Jesuit Father Joques, whom the Mohawks had mercilessly butchered near Albany.
The Iroquois accepted the presents of the Andastes, but, nevertheless, continued the war. The Hurons, however, never required the Andastes to enter the field, and they seem to have taken no further part in the war. 143
Yet, in 1652, the Journal of the Superior of the Jesuits at Montreal, which gives as synonymous the names Andastoe and Atrakwer, mentions a report that 600 of the Andastes had been taken by the Iroquois. 144 This report was probably unfounded; they were at peace in 1656, although, in that year, we learn that some Andastoe hunters were robbed by the Onondagas on Lake Ontario, and war expected in consequence. 145
In 1660, the successors of the Swedes still continued their friendly intercourse with the Andastes, or Minquas. In the following year, we find their town ravaged by the small-pox; and, as Campanius tells us, their loss by that scourge of the Indians was such as to weaken them greatly as a nation. Yet, under this affliction, their spirit remained unbroken: In 1661, some of their tribe were cut off by the Senecas, 146 and they, in return, killed three Cayugas in the same year. 147 In the following year, they defeated the western cantons, who then supplicated the French for aid. [ERROR: no link 148:148] The Senecas soon after renewed their request; 149 and we find that, in May, 1663, an army of 1600 Senecas marched against the Minquas, and laid seige to a little fort, defended by 100 warriors of that tribe, who, confident in their own bravery, and of receiving assistance from their countrymen, as well as from their white friends in Maryland, held out manfully. At last, sallying out, they routed the Senecas, killing ten, and recovering as many of their own countrymen. 150 For a time, this victory gave them a preponderance; and, such was the terror of their arms, that a portion of the Cayugas, being hard pressed, and harassed by their inroads, removed to Quinté, north of Lake Ontario. 151
The war was continued in a desultory manner. In 1668, the missionary resident at Onondaga, beheld a Gandastogué girl tied to the stake; and, in 1669, the Oneidas sent out parties against them. In 1670, prisoners were again brought to Seneca and Oneida, where they were tortured. 152 During the previous autumn, the Gandastogués had again attacked the Cayugas; but at last they sent an ambassador to the latter, who, contrary to usage, was imprisoned, and, in the spring, put to death, together with his nephew. 153
About this time, an Iroquois medicine-man, when dying, ordered his body to be interred on the road to the country of the Andastes, promising to prevent, even in death, the inroads of that waning, yet terrible tribe. He also promised that Hochitagete, the great chief of the Andastes, should fall into their hands. Notwithstanding his prophesy, despite the potency of his bones, the Andastes carried off three Cayuga women; and, when a party of Senecas took the field, with promises of support from a reserve of Cayugas, they were met, attacked, and defeated by a party of sixty Andastes youth, or, rather boys, who, having killed several, and routed the rest, then started in pursuit of the Cayugas, whom, however, they failed to overtake.
This victory was needed: the Andastes had suffered greatly in point of numbers. "God help them," says the missionary who relates the preceding victory, "they have only three hundred warriors!" 154
The war continued, 155 but the Marylanders became the enemies of the Andastes or Conestogoes, and, by the year 1675, they had at length yielded to the Iroquois, 156 who removed a portion of them, at least, from their old position, 157 to one higher up, perhaps to Onoghquage.
Some of the Conestogoes, however, remained at the place which still bears their name. They made a treaty with Penn in 1683; but, when that proprietor became aware of their dependent state, he applied to the Iroquois through Dongan. 158 When a subsequent treaty was concluded with them, in 1701, a deputy from Onondaga was present, and ratified the acts of Conoodagtoh, "the king of the Susquehanna 159 Menquays, or Conestogo Indians." At this period, other Indians had joined the survivors, and Shawnese, as well as Ganawese, also appear among them. 160 Subsequently, when a treaty was negotiated with Lieutenant-Governor Patrick Gordon, four chiefs of the Conestogoes, one the somewhat celebrated interpreter, Civility, were present, 161 and, also, the same number of Algonquin chiefs, headed by Tiorhaasery. Colden represents them as
speaking Oneida, and, in fact, their dialect approximates it greatly. 162 Besides the Algonquins, there were some kindred Nanticokes at Conestogoe; yet they still formed but a small village, destined soon to perish, as all know who have read the classic page of Parkman.
In 1763, they numbered only twenty souls, living in a cluster of squalid cabins, and all dependent on the industry of the
Such was the close of the history of the Andastes. The remnant of a nation which had, during fourteen years, engaged the victorious Iroquois hand to hand, were massacred by a band of lawless whites. 164
Chapter V. Summary of the Cotemporary Evidencecs of the Susquehannock History.
It will not be deemed improper, before closing the history of one of the most prominent and characteristic tribes existing during the early days of the central colonies of the United States, a brave, proud, and high-spirited race, to collate, in a brief form, the principal evidences of the times which constitute the basis of their history.
According to a tradition, narrated in the Jesuit Relation for 1659-60, the Andastes had, prior to 1600, during a ten years' war, almost exterminated the Mohawks, and so completely humbled that bold and warlike tribe, that, after the period mentioned, they seldom dared to provoke them. 165
However, in 1608, Smith found them still contending with each other, equally resolute and warlike; the Susquehannas, or Andastes, being impregnable in their palisaded town, and ruling over all the Algonquin tribes. 166
Soon after the Dutch settled New York, they visited the Delaware river, and became acquainted with the dominant tribe, the Minquas, who came from the Susquehanna, by Minquaskill, to trade with them. 167 In 1633, De Vries found them at war with the Timber Creek Indians, and ruling with an iron hand 168 the tribes located on the banks of the Delaware. Five years subsequently, Minuit, at the head of a colony of Swedes, founded New Sweden, purchasing the land from the Minquas. 169 A strong friendship grew up between the settlers and this tribe, and a lucrative trade was carried on, which excited the jealousy of the Dutch, who made repeated endeavors to obtain a share of it. 170 "The Minquas, or Minckus," says Campanius, "lived at the distance of twelve (fifty-four English) miles from New Sweden, where they daily came to trade with us. The way to their land was very bad, being stony, full of sharp, gray stones, with hills and morasses; so that the Swedes, when they went to them, which happened generally once or twice a year, had to walk in the water up to their arm-pits..... They live on a high mountain, very steep and difficult to climb; there they have a fort, or square
building, in which they live, in the manner that has been described. They made the other Indians subject to them, so that they dare not stir, much less go to war against them; but their numbers are, at present, greatly diminished by wars and sickness." 171 Of this trade of the Swedes with the Susquehannas, and, especially, of their supplying the latter with firearms, we have another proof in Plowden's New Albion. "The Swedes hired out three of their soldiers to the Susquehannocks, and have taught them the use of our arms and fights." 172
In 1647, the Hurons were on the brink of ruin. The Iroquois had pursued them, after their alliance with the French, with the utmost fury. By stratagem, the whole district of country, from the Oswego, Genesee, and Niagara rivers, to the very skirts of Montreal, was covered by war parties, who waylaid every path. Themselves of the Iroquois lineage, they were pursued with the desperation of a family quarrel. There was no pity and no mercy in the Iroquois mode of warfare. They have been known to travel a thousand miles, and then conceal themselves near the cabin of some unsuspecting foe, that they might deprive him of his scalp. During their war with the Iroquois, the Andastes or Susquehannas, then able to send 1300 warriors from their single town, despatched an embassy to the shores of Lake Huron, to offer their aid to their ancient allies, promising to take up arms whenever called upon. The infatuated Hurons relied on their own strength, and seem to have slighted the preferred assistance till it was too late. Still, an embassy was sent from Huronia, headed by the Christian warrior, Charles Ondaaiondiont. In ten days, they reached the Andaste town, and solicited merely the intervention of the Susquehannas. He left the Huron towns on the 13th of August, and reached them again on the 5th of October.
The Dutch still continued to struggle for the Minqua or Susquehanna trade, from which the Swedes, no less zealously, endeavored to exclude them; but, in 1651, the Dutch purchased of the Minquas all the land between the Minquaskill and Bomties Hook, in the name of the States-General and the West India Company. 173
At the epoch of Calvert's colonization, the Susquehannas had been at war with the Piscataways, as well as with other Maryland tribes, and seem to have cut off a missionary settlement. In 1642 they were declared enemies of the colony, and as they still continued their ravages with the Wycomeses, and, apparently, the Senecas, Captain Cornwallis was sent against them, and a fort erected on Palmer's Island, to check their inroads. 174 The war continued, however, and an effort made to bring about a conference in May, 1644, with a view to establishing peace, failed. The new settlements of the Puritans on the Severn, in the very territories of the Susquehannas,
having given fresh umbrage, the frontier was ravaged by predatory bands. 175 In 1652 peace was firmly established by a treaty signed at the river Severn, on the 5th of July, by Richard Bennett, Edward Lloyd, William Fuller, Leonard Strong, and Thomas Marsh, on behalf of the colony; and Sawahegeh, Auroghtaregh, Scarhuhadigh, Rutchogah, and Natheldianeh, Susquehanna "war captains and councillors" of Susquehanagh, in the presence of "Jafer Peter for the Swedes Governor."
By this treaty all past grievances were forgiven on both sides, peace was established, and provision made to prevent future hostilities. The Susquehannas thereby ceded to the colony all the territory between Patuxent river and Palmer's island, on the west, and from Choptank river to the branch above Elk river, excepting Palmer's island, on which both parties were at liberty to have trading houses. 176
In 1652, a war broke out between the Andastes and the Senecas, which continued as late as 1673, for, in the still unpublished manuscript, Relation for 1672-3, we find the following remark of Father Lamberville: "Two Andastogues, taken by the Iroquois, were more fortunate; they received baptism immediately before the hot irons were applied. One of them having been burnt in a cabin during the night from the feet up to the knees, prayed with me the next day, when bound to a stake in the square of the castle. I need not repeat here, what is already known, that the tortures inflicted on these prisoners of war are horrible. The patience of these poor victims is admirable; but it is impossible to behold, without horror, their flesh roasted and devoured by men, who act like famished dogs.
"Passing one day by a place where they were cutting up the body of one of these victims, I could not refrain from going up to inveigh against this brutality. One of these cannibals was calling for a knife, to cut off an arm; I opposed it, and threatened, if he would not desist, that God would sooner or later punish his cruelty. He persisted, however, giving as his reason that he was invited to a dream-feast, where nothing was to be eaten but human flesh, brought by the guests themselves. Two days after, God permitted his wife to fall into the hands of the Andastogues, who avenged on her the cruelty of her husband." 177
Of the two following years we have no definite account, but, in 1675, the "Etat Present of Monseigneur de St. Valier, Bishop of Quebec," speaks of the pride of the Iroquois, since the defeat of the Andastes. When, or where the decisive battle was fought, I have been utterly unable to trace; from what can be gleaned from the annals of Maryland and Virginia, it seems most probable that their stronghold was taken, and that the survivors fled south.
According to the historians of Maryland and Virginia, 178 the Senecas had, in 1674,
conquered the Susquehannas, and driven them from their abode, at the head of the Chesapeake, to the vicinity of the Piscataways. The fugitives had taken refuge in an old fort which had belonged to their former antagonists, and there resolutely defended themselves against the Senecas, who still pursued them, ravaging without much concern, the lands of the whites. Some of the colonists were actually cut off, and, as the Susquehannas had, in the olden time, been enemies, and were now apparently invading the colonies, it was agreed to send a joint Maryland and Virginia force against them. On the 25th of September, 1675, the Maryland troops, under Major Trueman, appeared before their fort. He was apparently satisfied with their protestations of innocence; but, being joined on the following day by the Virginians, under Colonels Washington and Mason, under the strong provocations before stated, he caused five of the chiefs, who came out to treat with them, to be seized and bound. To prove their friendship, they showed a silver medal, and papers given them by governors of Maryland; but, in spite of all, they were, under false impulses, put to death. Many fell in the fight, the rest evacuated the fort, commenced a retreat, and a war of revenge, and, being joined by other tribes, the whole border was deluged in blood. Bacon's rebellion, in Virginia, grew out of this act of treachery, and the war was finally ended, it would seem, by the aid of the Iroquois, who, joining the Maryland and Virginia army, forced the surviving Susquehannas to return to their former post, where a number of Iroquois were incorporated with them. 179
The Susquehannas were finally exterminated as a nation; but their name will be perpetuated by their noble river, which is a more enduring memorial than the perishable monuments erected by man.
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
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