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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 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

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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,

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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

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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

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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
female portion. The men were wild, gipsy-like beings, and, in the troubled state of the country, while Pontiac was encircling the colony with an ever narrowing hedge of burning dwellings, excited suspicion by their careless, if not threatening language. In their vicinity was the town of Paxton, settled by Irish Presbyterians, who had imbibed, in their native country, a fanatical spirit, and hatred of Pagan institutions. These men, having suddenly resolved to destroy the last distinct remnant of the Andastes, Minquas, or Conestogoes, armed themselves, and, in mid-winter, attacked the little village, in which they found only six persons, whom they butchered, and then fired their log huts. The sheriff of Lancaster, when cognizant of the outrage, hurried the survivors to the jail of that town, as a place of security; but even here, they could not escape the fury of the Paxton boys. On the 27th of December, while the townsfolk were in church, they entered the town, broke open the jail, and massacred the survivors, who fought desperately with billets of wood, thus maintaining to the last their ancient renown. 163

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

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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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