By treaties concluded by the agents of the United State government at different periods, nearly all of the Indian tribes have been induced to remove west of the Mississippi. Those who remain in the haunts of their fathers are chiefly converts to Christianity, and in a half civilized state. Many of the tribes have dwindled into insignificance, yet the few who remain are proud to maintain their distinctive appellation, and support the independence of their old clan. The most powerful and numerous tribes in the northwest are the Sioux, or Dacotahs, the Blackfeet, Crows, and Pawnees. A few of the
James Smith, pioneer, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in 1737. When he was eighteen years of age he was captured by the Indians, was adopted into one of their tribes, and lived with them as one of themselves until his escape in 1759. He became a lieutenant under General Bouquet during the expedition against the Ohio Indians in 1764, and was captain of a company of rangers in Lord Dunmore’s War. In 1775 he was promoted to major of militia. He served in the Pennsylvania convention in 1776, and in the assembly in 1776-77. In the latter year he was commissioned colonel in command on the frontiers, and performed distinguished services. Smith moved to Kentucky in 1788. He was a member of the Danville convention, and represented Bourbon county for many years in the legislature. He died in Washington county, Kentucky, in 1812. The following narrative of his experience as member of an Indian tribe is from his own book entitled “Remarkable Adventures in the Life and Travels of Colonel James Smith,” printed at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1799. It affords a striking contrast to the terrible experiences of the other captives whose stories are republished in this book; for he was well treated, and stayed so long with his red captors that he acquired expert knowledge of their arts and customs, and deep insight into their character.
Not for the faint of heart or stomach, this is a graphically descriptive recounting of the captivity of Peter Williamson, who was taken by the Delaware Indians, at his own house near the forks of the Delaware in Pennsylvania. Of all the sufferings reported by captives, this particular account appears to go above and beyond the usual descriptions, almost to the point of unbelievability – because in this case, he doesn’t simply report the acts of cruelty, but vividly describes them in the most horrid fashion, even to claim the Delaware committed cannibalism on one of their captives, and then explaining how they did it.
Nautical chart of Zwaanendael (“Swanendael”) and Godyn’s Bay in New Netherland. Zwaanendael was a patroonship founded by Samuel Godyn, a director of the Dutch West India Company, in 1629. Godyn made his land claim to the West India Company under jurisdiction of the Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions. After a short time, the initial 32 inhabitants were murdered by local Indians and Godyn sold his land back to the West India Company. The West India Company kept the names of the local area, including Godyn’s Bay, which eventually became Delaware Bay. The text in Dutch at left side of the
Directly opposite Hudson, and connected with it by ferry, is the classically named village of Athens. An old Mahican settlement known as Potick was located a little back from the river. We are now in the midst of the great Ice Industry “Ice Industry,” which reaches from below Staatsburgh to Castleton and Albany, well described by John Burroughs in his article on the Hudson: “No man sows, yet many men reap a harvest from the Hudson. Not the least important is the ice harvest, which is eagerly looked for, and counted upon by hundreds, yes, thousands of laboring men along
After the termination of the Revolutionary War, the hardy settlers of the west had still a contest to maintain, which often threatened their extermination. The Indian tribes of the west refused to bury the hatchet when Great Britain withdrew her armies, and they continued their terrible devastation. The vicinity of the Ohio River, especially, was the scene of their operations.
A struggle began in 1760, in which the English had to contend with a more powerful Indian enemy than any they had yet encountered. Pontiac, a chief renowned both in America and Europe, as a brave and skillful warrior, and a far-sighted and active ruler, was at the head of all the Indian tribes on the great lakes. Among these were the Ottawas, Miamis, Chippewas, Wyandott, Pottawatomie, Winnebago, Shawanese, Ottagamie, and Mississagas. After the capture of Quebec, in 1760, Major Rodgers was sent into the country of Pontiac to drive the French from it. Apprised of his approach, Pontiac sent
Cresap’s War – A series of battles between tribes of the Cayuga, Shawnee and Delaware against the encroachments of white settlers upon their land.
At the commencement of the American struggle for independence, the Native Americans in the Revolutionary War stood in a peculiar position. Their friendship became a matter of importance to both parties. To secure this, the English took particular care, and had many advantages, of which the colonists were deprived. The expulsion of the French from Canada had given the Indians a high opinion of the valor and power of British forces. They also had the means of supplying the wants of the Indians by presents of articles, which could only be obtained from Europe, and which the American Congress had
At a great council of the western tribes, assembled near Detroit, prior to the late war, the celebrated Seneca orator, Red Jacket, was present, when the question of the right of the Wyandots to light the council fire, was brought up. This claim he strenuously resisted, and administered a rebuke to this nation in the following terms: “Have the Quatoghies forgotten themselves? Or do they suppose we have forgotten them? Who gave you the right in the west or east, to light the general council fire? You must have fallen asleep, and dreamt that the Six Nations were dead! Who