Topic: Onondaga

Reading The Wampums

Indian Wampums

The Indians, having no written language, preserved and handed down their history to future generations through tradition, much of which could have been obtained a century and a half ago, and even a century ago, which was authentic and would have added much to the interest of the history of the continent of which we boast as our inheritance, though obtained by the extermination of a race of people whose wonderful history, had it been obtained as it once could have been, would have been very interesting and beneficial to future generations, throwing its light back over ages unknown, connecting

Columbus Landing on Hispaniola

The Discovery Of This Continent, it’s Results To The Natives

In the year 1470, there lived in Lisbon, a town in Portugal, a man by the name of Christopher Columbus, who there married Dona Felipa, the daughter of Bartolome Monis De Palestrello, an Italian (then deceased), who had arisen to great celebrity as a navigator. Dona Felipa was the idol of her doting father, and often accompanied him in his many voyages, in which she soon equally shared with him his love of adventure, and thus became to him a treasure indeed not only as a companion but as a helper; for she drew his maps and geographical charts, and also

The Onondagas Indians

Onondaga was, from the remotest times, the seat of the Iroquois government. Granting credence to the account of their own origin, on the high grounds or falls of the Oswego, they had not proceeded far up the course of the widely gathered waters of this stream, when a portion of them planted their wigwams in this fertile region. Whatever was the cause of their migrating from their primary council fire, nothing was more natural than that, by pursuing this stream upward, they should separate into independent tribes, and by further tracing out its far spread forks, gradually expand themselves, as

Infant Atotarho of the Onondaga

While I was engaged in taking the census of the Onondagas, at their council house, at the Castle, where a large number of all ages and both sexes were assembled, the interpreter, who spoke English very well, taking advantage of a pause in the business, said to me, pointing to a fine boy who sat on a bench, near a window, “that is our king!” I had, a short time before, requested that this boy should be sent for. His mother had now, unperceived by me, brought him, dressed out in his best clothes, and evinced, by the expression of

Antiquities of Pompey and Adjacent Parts of Onondaga County

No part of western New York has furnished a larger number of antiquarian remains, or been more often referred to, than the geo-graphical area which constituted the original town of Pompey. There is, consequently, the less need of devoting elaborate attention to the details of this particular locality. It was first visited and described by De Witt Clinton, in 1810-11, 1Trans, of Philo. and Lit. Society of New York. and the plough has since rendered it a task less easy than it then was, to examine the lines of its ancient works and its archaeological remains. It is quite evident,

Ancient site of the Onondagas in the valley of the Kasonda, or Butternut creek of Jamesville

Ancient Site of the Onondagas in the Valley of the Kasonda, or Butternut Creek of Jamesville

The fact that the ruins of a square fort, with extensive sub-lines in the nature of an enclosure, had existed on the elevated grounds on the right banks of this stream, a mile or two from Jamesville, at the period of its first settlement, led me to visit it. There was the more interest imparted to this well attested tradition of the present inhabitants, by the accounts of the Onondagas, that this valley, in its extent above and below Jamesville, was one of their earliest points of settlement, prior to the era of their establishing their council fire at Onondaga

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

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


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

Treaty of October 22, 1784

Articles concluded at Fort Stanwix, on the twenty-second day of October, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four, between Oliver Wolcott, Richard Butler, and Arthur Lee, Commissioners Plenipotentiary from the United States, in Congress assembled, on the one Part, and the Sachems and Warriors of the Six Nations, on the other. The United States of America give peace to the Senecas, Mohawks, Onondagas and Cayugas, and receive them into their protection upon the following conditions: Article 1. Six hostages shall be immediately delivered to the commissioners by the said nations, to remain in possession of the United States, till all the