Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

willing to gratify us,” says the historian,“ took a rundlet, and led our men in the dark a great way for water, but could find none good ; yet brought such as there was on his neck with them.” In the meantime, the women joined hand in hand, and began to dance and sing upon the stand near the shallop; the men showed all the kindness in their power; and the interview ended with Iyanough himself taking a bracelet from about his neck, and hanging it upon that of the person who acted as the leader of the English. His visitors took their leave of him, and “by God's providence came safely home that night.”

All that we hear of Iyanough, after this, goes to confirm the estimate which these particulars induce one to form of his character. He supplied the colony with a large quantity of provisions,

in a period of great need; and as late as February 1623, when Standish went to Mattakiest on a similar errand, it is admitted that he not only pretended' his wonted love, but spared a good quantity of corn to confirm the same. * The account given of that meeting closes with the following language. It is the more noticeable as illustrating the temper of Standish in cases of excitement and the kind of evidence against the Indians, by which, through him, the colonists were likely to be satisfied.

« Strangers," writes the historian, “ also came to this place, pretending only to see him (Standish,) and his company, whom they never saw before that time, but intending to join with the rest to kill them, as after appeared. But being forced through extremity (of weather] to lodge in their houses, which they much pressed, God possessed the heart of the Captain with just jealousy, giving strait command, that as one part of his company slept, the rest should wake, declaring some things which he understood, whereof he could make no good constructions." We are then informed, that some beads were stolen from him in the night Upon this, he drew out his men and stationed them around the wigwam of Iyanougn, where many of his people were collected. He threatened to fall upon them forth with, unless satisfaction should be made; and seated his indignation upon the Sachem with an especial emphasis. Iyanough exerted himself to discover the criminal. An adjustment of the difficulties was at length effected; and then the Indians good humouredly brought in corn enough to fill the shal. lop. “Finally, this accident so daunted their courage, as they durst not attempt any thing against him; so that through the good means and providence of God they returned in safety."

* Winslow's RELATION.

It is not difficult to be seen that there was more prejudice against Iyanough and his subjects, than proof. Their hospitality only made them suspected. On the other hand, the real hostility which they may or may not have felt towards the scoundrels and thieves who composed Master Westou's settlement at Weymouth, was first taken for granted, and then amplified into a cause of premature retaliation on the part of the people of Plymouth. It was about this very time, that the Indians were making the most urgent complaints against Weston—"how exceedingly,” to quote again from the RELATION itself, “that company abased themselves by undirect means to get victuals from the Indians ;” and how “others by night robbed the Indians' store, for which they had been publickly stocked and whipped, and yet there was little amendment,” &c.

If Iyanough had indeed shown himself a little shy of his old acquaintances in the case last alluded to, it were not much to be wondered at; especially considering the violence of the worthy but warm-blooded captain, and also the fact that Plymouth, though duly and distinctly appealed to, had given the Indians no redress. It is somewhere intimated in the ancient journals, that certain Indians, and testimony of this kind seems to have been received without much suspicion,-stated that Iyanough had been solicited to join the Massachusetts against the whites. But this certainly, if true, was no crime. Massasoit himself acknowledged, that he was solicited.

On the whole, not to enlarge on the minutive of a Case, which at best can afford no pleasure to those who feel their own honor involved in the memory of Standish and his Plymouth brethren, we can hardly ecord the fate of the kind and gentle Iyanough, the Sourteous Sachem, on his own soil, in the prime of his lays, without a blush and a sigh together for the mis'ake and the misfortune. Insulted, threatened, pursued, by an enemy whom no restitution could satisfy, and who suspected equally his caresses and fears, he fled in consternation and died in despair.

11-8

CHAPTER III.

Summary account of the Five Nations—Their early

history-Government–Conquests—Population-Ter. ritory-Intercourse with European Colonies—Their war with the Adirondacks-Adventures of PISKARET - Their negotiations with the French, in 1684–Anec. dotes of the Onondaga Chief, GARANGULA-His speech at the Council, and effects of it-Remarks on his character-History of the Five Nations continued to the time of Adario- .His exploits-- Their object and results—War between the confederates and the French-Adventures of BLACK-Kettie.

Having concluded our notices of the most eminent Indians of New-England, it now becomes proper, following merely the progress of history, to turn our attention to another section of country, and to a period of time which has not yet furnished us any considerable share of its abundant material. We refer to the Middle States, and particularly to a large portion of the State of New York, which, with other neighboring territory, was formerly occupied by that famous confederacy commonly called, by the English, the Five Nations. Owing to circumstances not necessary here to be detailed, these tribes-and, as an almost necessary consequence, all the distinguished individuals they produced-came forward in their intercourse with the foreign colonies around shem, to fill the prominent station before filled by the Indians of New-England, much as the latter had, in their turn, succeeded the red men of the South.

The Five Nations were the Mohawks, the Onejdas, the Cayugas, the Onondagas and the Senecas. The Virginian Indians gave them the name of Mas sawomekes ; the Dutch called them Maquas, or Makakuase ; and the French, Iroquois. Their appella

tion at home was the Mingoes, and sometimes the Aganuschion,

or United People.* When the French settled in Canada, in 1603, they found the Iroquois living where Montreal now stands. They were at war with the Adirondacks,-a powerful tribe residing three hundred miles above TroisRivieres,—in consequence of the latter having treach erously murdered some of their young men. Previous to this date, their habits had been more agricul tural than warlike; but they soon perceived the necessity of adopting a different system. The Adiron dacks drove them froin their own country, and they retreated to the borders of the lakes, where they have ever since lived. This misfortune it was,-ostensibly at least a misfortune,—which gave the earliest impulse to the subsequent glorious career of these Romans of the West.

Fortunately for them, their sachems were men of a genius and spirit which adversity served only to stimulate and renew. They, finding their country. men discouraged by the discomfiture suffered on the banks of the St. Lawrence, induced them to tum their arms against a less formidable nation, called the Satanas, then dwelling with themselves near the lakes. That people they subdued, and expelled from their territory. Encouraged by success, and strengthened by discipline, they next ventured to defend themselves against the inroads of their old conquerors on the north; and at length the Adirondacks were even driven back, in their turn, as far as the neighborhood of what is now Quebec.

But a new emergency arose. The French made common cause with the nation just named against their enemies, and brought to the contest the important aids of civilized science and art. The Five Nations had now to set wisdom and wariness, as well as cour age and discipline, against an alliance so powerful

* Governor Clinton's Discourse before N. Y. H. Society 1811.

« AnteriorContinuar »