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banks of Lake Superior were lined with Algopkins, who sought an asylum from the Five Nations; they also harassed all the northern Indians, as far as Hudson's Bay, and they even attacked the nations on the Missouri. When La Salle was among the Natchez, in 1683, he saw a party of that people, who had been on an expedition against the Iroquois.* Smith, the founder of Virginia, in an expedition up the bay of Chesapeak, in 1608, met a war party of the Confederates, then going to attack their enemies.t They were at peace with the Cowetas or Creeks, but they warred against the Catawbas, the Cherokees, and almost all the southern Indians. The two former sent deputies to Albany, where they effected a peace through the mediation of the English. In a word, the Confederates were, with a few exceptions, the conquerors and masters of all the Indian nations east of the Mississippi. Such was the terror of the nations, that when a single Mohawk appeared on the hills of New England, the fearful spectacle spread pain and terror, and flight was the only refuge from death.& Charlevoix mentions a singular instance of this terrific ascendency: Ten or twelve Ottawas, being pursued by a party of Iroquois, endeavoured to pass over to Goat Island, on the Niagara river, in a canoe; they were swept down the cataract; and, as it appeared, preferred to the sword of their enemies. ||
-The vast immeasurable abyss,
* Tontis' account of De la Salle's last Expedition. Printed in Londop from the French in 1698, p. 112.
+ Jefferson's Notes, 310, &c.
Colden, vol. 1. p. 3.
In consequence of their sovereignty over the other nations, the Confederates exercised a proprietary right in their lands. In 1742 they granted to the province of Pennsylvania certain lands on the west side of the Susquehannah, having formerly done so on the east side.* In 1744 they released to Maryland and Virginia certain lands claimed by them in those colonies; and they declared at this treaty, that they had conquered the several natio ns living on the Susquehannah and Patowmac rivers, and on the back of the Great Mountains in Virginia.t In 1754, a number of the inhabitants of Connecticut purchased of them a large tract of land west of the river Delaware, and from thence spreading over the east and west branches of the Susquehannah River. I In 1768 they gave a deed to William Trent and others, for land between the Ohio and Monongahela. They claimed and sold the land on the north side of Kentucky river. In 1768, at a treaty held at Fort Stanwix with Sir William Johnson, the line of property, as it was commonly denominated, was settled, marking out the boundary between the English colonies and the territory of the Confederates.||
The vicinity of the Confederates was fortunate for the colony of New York. They served as an effectual shield against the hostile incursions of the French, and their savage allies. Their war with the French began with Champlain, and continued, with few intervals, until the treaty of Utrecht, which confirmed the surrender of Canada, Nova Scotia, and Acadia, to Great Britain. For
* Colden, vol. 2. p. 20.
Holmes' Appals, vol. 2. p. 287. Jefferson's Notes, p. 296,
near a century and a half they maintained a war against the French possessions in Louisiana and Canada, sometimes alone, and sometimes in conjunction with the English colonies. During this eventful period, they often maintained a proud superiority; always an honourable resistance; and no vicissitude of fortune, or visitation of calamity, could ever compel them to descend from the elevated ground which they occupied in their own estimation, and in the opinion of the nations. Their expeditions into Canada were frequent: wherever, they marched terror and desolation composed their train.
“ And Vengeance, striding from his grisly den,
In 1683, M. Delabarre, the governor general of Canada, marched with an army against the cantons. He landed near Oswego, but finding himself incompetent to meet the enemy, he instituted a negotiation, and demanded a conference. On this occasion, Garangula, an Onondaga chief, attended in behalf of his country, and made the celebrated reply to M. Delabarre, which I shall presently notice. The French retired from the country with disgrace. The second general expedition was undertaken in 1687, by M. Denonville, governor general. He had treacherously seized several of their chiefs, and sent them to the gallies in France. He was at the head of an army exceeding two thousand
He landed in Irondequoit Bay, and when near a village of the Senecas, was attacked by five hundred, and would have been defeated, if his In
* Glover's Baodicea.
dian allies had not rallied and repulsed the enemy, After destroying some provisions, and burning some villages, he retired without any acquisition of laurels. The place on which this battle was fought, has been within a few years owned by Judge Porter, of Grand Niagara. On ploughing the land, three hundred hatchets, and upward of three thousand pounds of old iron were found, being more than sufficient to defray the expense of clearing it.
The Confederates, in a year's time, compelled their enemies to make peace, and to restore their chiefs. It was with the French the only escape from destruction. Great bodies of the Confederates threatened Montreal, and their canoes covered the Great Lakes. They shut up the French in forts, and would have conquered the whole of Canada, if they had understood the art of attacking fortified places. This peace was soon disturbed by the artifices of Kondiaronk, a Huron chief; and the Iroquois made an irruption on the Island of Montreal with one thousand two hundred men, destroying every thing before them.
The third and last grand expedition against the Confederates, was undertaken in 1697, by the Count De Frontenac; the ablest and bravest governor that the French ever had in Canada. He landed at Oswego, with a powerful force, and marched to the Onondaga Lake; he found their principal village burnt and abandoned. He sent seven hundred men to destroy the Oneida castle, who took a few prisoners. An Onondaga chief, upward of one hundred years old, was captured in the woods, and abandoned to the fury of the French savages.
After sustaining the most horrid tortures, with more than stoical fortitude, the only complaint he was heard to utter was, when one of them, actuated by compassion, or probably by rage, stabbed him repeatedly with a knife, in order to
put a speedy end to his existence, “Thou ought not," said he, “ to abridge my life, that thou might have time to learn to die like a man. own part, I die contented, because I know no meanness with which to reproach myself.” After this tragedy, the Count thought it prudent to retire with his army; and he probably would have fallen a victim to his temerity, if the Senecas had not been kept at home, from a false report, that they were to be attacked at the same time by the Otta
After the general peace in 1762, an attempt was made by a number of the western Indians to destroy the British colonies. The Senecas were involved in this war, but in 1764, Sir Williain Johnson, styling himself his Majesty's sole agent and superintendant of Indian affairs for the northern parts of North America, and colonel of the Six United Nations, their allies and dependents, agreed to preliminary articles of peace with them. In this treaty, the Senecas ceded the carrying place at Niagara to Great Britain. The Confederates remained in a state of peace, until the commencement of the Revolutionary War.* On the 19th of June, 1775, the Oneidas and some other Indians, sent to the convention of Massachusetts a speech, declaring their neutrality; stating that they could not find nor recollect in the traditions of their ancestors, a paralled case; and saying, “As we have declared for peace, we desire you would not apply to our Indian brethren in New England for assistance. Let us Indians be all of one mind, and live with one another; and you white people settle your own disputes betwixt yourselves.t
* Thomas Mante's History of the Late war in North America. &c. printed, London, 1772, p. 503.
+ Wiliams' History of Vermont, vol. 2. p. 440.