Imágenes de páginas

About three years after that transaction, another personage distinguished himself us much as the Onondaga Chief, though in a very different manner. This was Adario, Chief Sachem of the Dinondadies, a tribe generally found among those in the French interest, and opposed both to the Five Nations and the English. The former Government had consequently treated them with favor. But, notwithstanding these circumstances, they had latterly shown a strong disposition to trade with the English—and especially upon one occasion, when the latter, guided by the Five Nations, had opened a commerce on the frontiers of Canada. That affair, as Adario now observed, made them obnoxious to their ancient ally, the French ; and he therefore resolved, by some notable exploit, to redeem the character of his nation.

Full of this purpose, he marched from Michilimackinac, at the head of a hundred men; and to act with the greater security, he took Cadaraqui fort in his way, for intelligence. The Commandant there informed him, that the Governor was now in expectation of concluding a peace with the Five Nations, and of receiving a visit from their ambassadors in eight or ten days, at Montreal. He desired him to return home, without attempting any thing which might obstruct so good a design.

But Adario had another project in view. The Commandant's information convinced him of the danger there was that his own nation, in the new arrangement, might be sacrificed to the French interest. Deliberating on the means proper to prevent such a result, he took leave of the officer, but not to return home. Knowing the route by which the Iroquois must necessarily come, he lay wait for them, with his company, at one of the falls of Cadaraqui river. Here he had patiently waited four or five lays, when the Deputies made their appearance, guarded by forty young soldiers. These were suddenly set upon by the ambuscade, and all who were not killed were taken prisoners. When the latter were secured, Adario artfully told them, that, having been informed of their approach by the Governor of Canada, he had secured this pass with the almost certain prospect of intercept ing them.

The Deputies were of course very much surprised at the Governor's conduct; and they finally expressed themselves with such freedom, as to declare the whole object of their journey. Adario was, in his turn, apparently amazed and enraged. He swore re venge upon the Governor, for having, as he said, made a tool of him, to commit his abominable treachery. Then, looking steadfastly on the prisoners, he said to them, “Go, iny brothers !-I untie your bands. I send you home again, though our nations be at war. The French Governor has made me commit so black 20 action, that I shall never be easy after it, till the Five Nations shall have had full revenge.” The Deputies, furnished with ammunition and arms for their journey, and completely satisfied of the truth of Adario's declarations, returned to their own country, after having assured him that he and his nation might make their peace when they pleased.

This master-stroke of policy was seconded by an incident which occurred soon afterwards, and which the same cunning and vigilant spirit profited by to promote his design. In the surprisal of the Deputies, Adario had lost one man, and had filled his place with a Satana prisoner, who had been before adopted into the Five Nations. This man he soon afterwards ilelivered to the French at Michilimackinac, probably at their request; and they, for the purpose of keeping ap the enmity between the Dinondadies and Five Nations, ordered him to be shot. AJario called one of the latter people, who had long been a prisoner, to be an eye-witness of his countryman's death. He then bade him make his escape to his own country, and there to give an account of the ferocious barbarity from which he had been unable to save a captive helonging to hiinself.

The Five Nations had already been upon the brink of war, in consequence of the representations of the


Indian army

Deputies. Their rage was now beyond all lounds. The Governor, having obtained some information of the state of things, sent messengers to disavow and expose the conduct of Adario; but they would listen to no messages; their souls thirsted for revenge. The war was undertaken immediately, and never was one more disastrous to Canada. Twelve hun. dred of the Iroquois invaded the province, while the French were still uncertain whether hostilities would

In July, 1688, they landed at La Chine, on the south side of the island of Montreal; and, keeping the Governor himself, with his troops, confined within the walls of the town, they sacked al} the plantations, and indiscriminately massacred men, women, and children. More than one thousand of the French were killed, and many were carried

off captive, who afterwards shared the same fate. The

lost but three men during the whole expedition.

The most distinguished of the Iroquois warriors about this time, was one whom the English called BLACK-KETTLE. Colden speaks of him as a famous hero;' but few of his exploits have come down to these times. It is only known that he commanded large parties of his countrymen, who were exceedingly troublesome to the French. In 1691, he made an irruption into the country round Montreal, at the head of several hunared men. He overran Canada, (say the French annalists,) as a torrent does the low lands when it overflows its banks, and there is nowith standing it. The troops at the stations received orders to stand upon the defensive; and it was not until the enemy were returning home victorious, after having desolated all Canada, that a force of four hundred soldiers was mustered to pursue them. Black-Kettle is said to have had but half that number with him at this juncture, but he gave battle, and fought desperately. After losing twenty men slain, with some prisoners, he broke through the French ranks and marched off, leaving a considerable number of the en emy wounded and killed.



Five Nations continued. Remarks on their oratoryCircumstances favorable to it-Account of a cil of the Confederates at Onondaga, in 1690- An ecdotes of various persons who attended it-Speeches of SADEKANATIE and other orators—ADARAHTAThe history and character of DECANESORA–His speech. es at the Albany council of 1694–Style of his eloquence-His personal and political character_Other speeches and negotiations—Anecdotes of SADEKAN.


Enough perhaps las already appeared respectmg the Five Nations to justify the observation of an eminent writer, that they were no less celebrated for eloquence than for military skill and political wisdom.* The same obvious circumstances prompted them to exce ence in all these departments; but in the former, their relations with each other and with other tribes, together with the great influence which their reputation and power attached to the efforts of their orator's abroad, gave them peculiar inducements, facilities and almost faculties for success. Among the Confederates, as among the Indians of all the East and South, a high respect was cherished for the warrior's virtues; but eloquence was a certain road to popular favour. Its services were daily required in consultations at home and communications abroad. The council-room was frequented like the Roman forum and the senate-house of the Greeks. went there together; the one for discipline and dis tinction, and the other “ to observe the passing scenes, and to receive the lessons of wisdom.”f

The kind of oratory for which Garangula and oth

Old and young

* Governor Clinton.


er public speakers of his Confederacy were distinguished, it cannot be expected of us to analyse with much precision. Indian oratory is generally pointed, direct, undisguised, unpolished; but forcible in expression and delivery, brilliant in flashes of imagery, and naturally animated with graphic touches of humor, pathos, or sententious declaration of high-toned principle, according in some measure to the occasion, but more immediately to the momentary impulse of the speaker as supported by his prevalent talent. If the orators of the Five Nations differed much from this description, it was in qualities which they owed, independently of genius, to their extraordinary opportunities of practice, and to the interest takej in their efforts by the people who heard, employed and obeyed them.

“The speakers whom I have heard,” says Mr. Colden,“ had all a great fluency of words, and much more grace in their manner, than any man could expect, among a people entirely ignorant of the liberal arts and sciences.” He adds, that he had understood them to be—not knowing their language himself)-very nice in the turn of their expressions ; though it seems but few of them were such masters of the art as never to offend tbeir Indian auditories by an unpolite expression. Their greatest speakers attained to a sort of urbanitas or atticism. *

For the purpose of better illustrating some points which are barely alluded to in these observations, as well as to introduce several new characters, not easily appreciated without the context of circumstances in which they appeared, we shall furnish a somewhat detailed account of a General Council of the Confederates holden at Onondaga, in January 1690. The object of it was to take order upon a message sent them from the Count de Frontenac, Governor of Can ada, the purport of which will appear in the proceed ings. It may be premised, that the Onondaga coun

* History of the Five Nations

« AnteriorContinuar »