Collection: Six Nations and History of the Tuscarora Indians

The Hunter and Medicine Legend

There once lived a man who was a great hunter. His generosity was the theme of praise in all the country, for he not only supplied his own family with food, but distributed game among his friends and neighbors, and even called the birds and animals of the forest to partake of his abundance. For this reason he received the appellation of “Protector of Birds and Animals.” He lived a hunter’s life till war broke out between his own and some distant nation, and then he took the war path. He was as brave a warrior as he was a

Great Spirit

An Indian hunter went forth to hunt, and as he wandered through the forest he heard a strain of beautiful music far off among the trees. He listened, but could not tell whence it came; he knew it could not be by any human voice, or from any instrument he had ever heard. As it came near it ceased. The next evening he went forth again, but he heard no music, and again, but in van. Then came the Great Spirit to him in a dream and told him to fast, wash himself till he was purified, then he might

Medicine Legends of the Iroquois

The two above are the legends concerning the principal medicines used among the Iroquois. The ancient manner of administering them, was to take a small wooden goblet and go to a running stream, dipping toward the way which the stream ran, fill the goblet and return, place it near the fire with some tobacco near it; a prayer is offered while tobacco is thrown upon the fire, that the words may ascend upon the smoke. The medicine is placed on a piece of skin near the goblet, being very finely pulverized, is taken up with a wooden spoon and dusted

Sketches of an Iroquois Council, or Condolence

In giving the description of the condolence, I have chosen the following writings of Mr. G. S. Riley, of Rochester, to-wit: A grand council of the confederate Iroquois was held October 1, 1845, at the Indian council house, on the Tonawanda reservation, in the county of Genesee. Its proceedings occupied three days. It embraced representatives from all the six nations the Mohawk, the Onondaga, the Seneca, the Oneida, the Cayuga, and the Tuscarora. It is the only one of the kind which has been held for a number of years, and is probably the last which will ever be assembled

Tarenyawagon or Hiawatha

I will now resume the history of the sixth and last family, the Tuscarora On-gwe-hon-wa, that were left at the Neuse river, or Gan-ta-no. Here they increased in numbers, valor and skill, and in all knowledge of the arts necessary in forest life. The country was wide and covered with dense wilderness, large rivers and lakes, which gave shelter to many fierce animals and monsters which beset their pathways and kept them in dread. Now the Evil Spirit also plagued them with monstrous visitations. They were often induced to change their locations; sometimes from fear of enemies and sometimes from

Act of October 15, 1748

Concerning the land allotted to the Tuscarora in Birtie they have leased it several times; and I have selected a few of the laws of North Carolina that are now in force, concerning the Tuscarora in that state, namely: Gabriel Johnson, Esq., Governor. At a general assembly held at New Bern, the fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-eight. An Act for ascertaining the bounds of a certain tract of land formerly laid out by treaty to the use of the Tuscarora Indians, so long as they, or any of them,

Atotarho

Atotarho, who by tradition was an Onondaga, is the great embodiment of the Iroquois courage, wisdom and heroism, and he is invested with allegoric traits which exalt him to a kind of superhuman character. Unequalled in war and arts his fame spread abroad, and exalted the Onondaga nation in the highest scale. He was placed at the head of the confederacy, and his name was used after his death as an exemplar of glory and honor. While like that of Caesar, it became perpetuated as the official title of the presiding Sachem of the confederacy. He was a man of

Temperance Society

About the year 1800, a new religion was introduced among the Six Nations, who alleged to have received a revelation from the Great Spirit, with a commission to preach to them the new doctrine in which he was instructed. This revelation was received in circumstances so remarkable and the precepts which he sought to inculcate, contained in themselves such evidences of wisdom and beneficence, that he was universally received among them, not only as a wise and good man, but as one commissioned by the Great Spirit to become their religious teacher, by the name of Ga-ne-o-di-yo , or “Handsomelake.”

Tuscarora of North Carolina

Before the discovery, by Columbus, the Tuscarora consisted of six towns, and they were a powerful nation, numbering over twelve hundred warriors, which, at a ratio according to the rule of estimating, would bring them at about five or six thousand souls. The Tuscarora had many years of enjoyment and peaceful possession of their domain, consisting of six towns on the Roanoke, Neuse, Taw and Pemlico rivers, in the State of North Carolina. And they were also confederated to six other nations, which were the Coree, Mattamuskeet, Nottoway and the Bear River Tribe; the names of the other two nations

Laws of North Carolina 1827-1831

“An act concerning the lands formerly occupied by the Tuscarora tribe of Indians lying in Bertie County, on the north side of Roanoke river. “Whereas the Tuscarora Indians have for more than a century been the firm and un-dividing friends of the white people of this country, insomuch that the people of North Carolina not only render to them full and complete Justice, but also to exercise towards them that spirit of generosity which their conduct has merited: Therefore, Article I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and is hereby enacted by the