Collection: Indians in the 1890 Census

Religion of the Six Nation Tribes

With the exception of the Tuscaroras, each of the Six Nations has one or more council houses, in which the people assemble for business or purely Indian ceremonies, religious or social. There is also a council house or town hall on the Mount Hope road of the Tuscarora reservation, but the pagan party has no footing among this people. The council houses, formerly built of logs, are practically in disuse, and frame buildings, about 40 by 80 feet, with fireplace or simple chimney at each end, which allows separate sittings for the sexes, have taken their place. A new building

Reading The Wampums

Wampum Belts

The Iroquois League had its democratic and republican elements, but the separate national governments were essentially oligarchic. The only semblance of written law was the wampum. It was the duty of the “keeper of the wampums” to store all necessary facts in his memory and associate them with the successive lines and arrangements of the beads so that they could readily be called to mind. At general councils the wampums were produced and solemnly expounded. “Reading the wampums” became therefore a means by which to perpetuate treaties, and the exchange of wampums was an impressive occasion. Both the Canadian and

Tonawanda Reservation Map and Occupants, 1890

The Tonawanda Reservation, in the counties of Erie, Genesee, and Niagara, New York, as originally surveyed in 1799, and as reserved by the treaty at Big Tree, covered 71 square miles. Coincident with a treaty between the United States and this band of Seneca Indians, March 31, 1859, promulgated November 5, 1859, the claim of the Ogden Land Company was extinguished, and the present reservation limits embrace 7,549.73 acres, lying partly in each of the counties of Erie, Genesee, and Niagara. One heavy dirt road, almost impassable in the spring or an ordinarily wet season, runs out from the center

Philip Tarbell (Ta-ra-ke-te), St. Regis

St. Regis Reservation Map and Occupants, 1890

The St. Regis Indians are the successors of the ancient Mohawks, and reside on their reservation in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties, New York, which is 7.3 miles long upon the south line and about 3 miles wide, except where purchases made by the state of New York in 1824 and.1825, as indicated on the map, modify the shape. The original tract was estimated as the equivalent of 6 miles square, or 23,040 acres, and the present acreage, computed by official reports without survey, is given as 14,640 acres. Four main roads diverge from the village of Hogansburg, and these

Tuscarora Reservation Map, 1890

Tuscarora Reservation Map and Occupants, 1890

The Tuscarora Reservation, in Niagara County, New York, is formed from 3 adjoining tracts successively acquired, as indicated on the map. Their early antecedents as kinsmen of the Iroquois, their wanderings westward to the Mississippi, and their final lodgment at the head waters of the rivers Neuse and Tar, in North Carolina, are too much enveloped in tradition to be formulated as history, but courageous, self supporting, and-independent, after long residence upon lands owned by them in that colony, they first came into collision with white people, then with other tribes of that section, until finally, overpowered by numbers, they

Theodore F. Jimerson (De-hah-teh), Cattaraugus Seneca

Cattaraugus Indian Reservation Map and Occupants, 1890

The Cattaraugus Reservation, in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Erie Counties, New York, as delineated on the map, occupies both sides of Cattaraugus creek. It is 9.5 miles long on a direct east and west line, averages 3 miles in width at the center, dropping at is eastern line an additional rectangle of 2 by 3 miles. A 6-mile strip on the north and 2 “mile blocks” at diagonal corners are occupied by white people, and litigation is pending as to their rights and responsibilities. The Seneca Nation claims that the permit or grant under which said lands were occupied and improved

Cornplanter Reservation and Occupants, 1890

This reservation, in Warren County, Pennsylvania, nominally a tract of 640 acres, owned by Cornplanter‘s heirs, lies on both sides of the Allegheny River, and is about 2 miles long and half a mile wide, including Liberty and Donation Islands, which are formed by the forking of the river. The land surface, including the riverbed and some worthless shoals, contains about 760 acres. It was a donation to the celebrated chief Gy-ant-wa-hia, “The Cornplanter“, March 16, 1796, by the state of Pennsylvania, in consideration, states Judge Sherman, “for his many valuable services to the white people, and especially that most

Oil Spring Reservation Map, 1890

Oil Spring Reservation Map

Oil Spring reservation, in Cattaraugus County, New York, as indicated on the Allegany reservation map, contains 640 acres in 2 towns and counties. It was by oversight included in the treaty made at Big Tree, in the sale by the Seneca Nation of 3,500,000 acres to Robert Morris, and passed with his title to the Holland Land Company. A suit for the recovery of this land was brought in 1856, and resulted in favor of the Seneca Nation. On the trial Governor Blacksnake, as he was named by Washington when he visited the capital in company with Cornplanter, testified, at

Allegany Reservation Map, 1890

Allegany Reservation Map and Occupants, 1890

Allegany Reservation, lying in Cattaraugus County, New York, has remarkable features in very respect, and of great social and political concern. Besides resting under the burden of the Ogden Land Company pre-emption right to purchase whenever the Seneca Nation shall agree to sell its lands, it is already occupied in part by white people, who, in large numbers, hold duly legalized leases, running until May, 1892, and subject by recent act of Congress to renewal upon the consent of the parties thereto for a term not exceeding 99 years. Upon location of the New York, Lake Erie and Western and

Onondaga Reservation Map, 1890

List of Occupants of the Onondaga Reservation, Onondaga County, New York

The Onondaga reservation, lying in Onondaga County, forms a rectangle of a little more than 2.3 miles by 4 miles, commencing about 5 miles southward from the city of Syracuse, and contains about 6,100 acres: Onondaga castle, with hotel, store, post office, and a few houses, is at the “entrance gate “. The blue limestone quarries belonging to the Onondaga Nation furnish excellent building material, but the deep strata, which will measure from 18 to 20 inches in thickness, are 20 feet below the ground surface, requiting laborious and expensive stripping. Only 3 derricks are now worked, each paying to