Seneca Indian Tribe Photo Descriptions

One of the Five Iroquois Nations in Western New York, comprising, originally, the Sinnekaas, as the Batch called them, (hence the word Seneca,) Onondaga, Mohawk, Cayuga, and Oneida. When first known to the French, were living on the south side of Lake Ontario, and engaged in a fierce war with their Algonkin neighbors. By conquest several other tribes became incorporated with them. Missions were established among them by the French as early as 1657. In 1763 the Seneca alone, of the Six Nations, joined in Pontiac’s league to extirpate the English. During the Revolution sided with the English, but made a peace in 1784, and during the second war remained loyal. Early in the century part of the tribe settled in Ohio, afterwards removing to the Indian Territory, where they now are to the number of 240. The New York Seneca still occupy the Alleghany, Cattaraugus, and Tonawanda reserve of 66,000 acres, where they all live in good houses and have large, well-cultivated farms, and are in every way a civilized and well-regulated class of people.

List of illustrations

1048. Dyar-Yo-Naä-Dar-Ga-Dah. One who Carries Hemlock Boughs on his Back.
English name, Caster Redeye. Was born on the Alleghany reservation; belongs to the traditionary Bear clan. Is now President of the New York Seneca. Does not speak English, but is an eloquent speaker in his native tongue. Has been a councilor three terms. Is a farmer and lumberman, and has also been a pilot for several years on the Alleghany River. Caster is a grandson of Governor Blacksnake, the famous chief of the Seneca, who died in 1859 at the age of 120 years. Age, 46; height, 5.9; head, 22½; chest, 43.

1045. Dar-Gar-Swen-Gar-Ant. Dropping the Stock of the Gun.
Commonly known as Harrison Halftown; belongs to the Snipe clan. Was born on the Alleghany reservation. Is the clerk of the nation, which position he has held for the last eight years. Was well educated at a Quaker school adjoining the reservation, and speaks English fluently. Is a fine speaker, and is quite noted as an orator. Age, 47; height, 5.8; head, 23¼; chest, 42.

1046. Hoh-Ho-I-Yo. Splendid Doer.
Samuel Jimson, as he is ordinarily known, is one of a family of thirty-one children, and was born on the Alleghany reservation in 1837. Is a descendant of Mary Jimson, a white captive among the Seneca, whose descendants now number 111. Is a farmer, but also a fine orator, and of more than ordinary ability. Has been a councilor for eleven terms in succession. Height, 6.1; head, 23; chest, 43.

1047. John Irving.
President of the peacemakers’ court. Is a grandson of Governor Blacksnake. Age, 50; height, 5.9½; head, 22; chest, 44.

979. Myron Silverheels.

980. Groups Comprising 1045-46-47.

715. A Daughter Of General Parker.
Copy from an old daguerreotype.


Source: Descriptive Catalogue, Photographs Of North American Indians . United States Geological Survey of the Territories, 1877 by W. H. Jackson, Photographer of the Survey, F. V. Hayden, U. S. Geologist.

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