Six Nations

Sir William Johnson and the Six Nations

The Mohawk Valley in which Sir William Johnson spent his adult life (1738-17 74) was the fairest portion of the domain of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. In this valley William Griffis had lived nine years, seeing on every side traces or monuments of the industry, humanity, and powerful personality of its most famous resident in colonial days. From the quaint stone church in Schenectady which Sir Johnson built, and in whose canopied pews he sat, daily before his eyes, to the autograph papers in possession of his neighbors; from sites close at hand and traditionally associated with the lord of Johnson Hall, to the historical relics which multiply at Johnstown, Canajoharie, and westward, — mementos of the baronet were never lacking. His two baronial halls still stand near the Mohawk. Local traditions, while in the main generous to Johnson’s memory, was sometimes unfair and even cruel. The hatreds engendered by the partisan features of the Revolution, and the just detestation of the savage atrocities of Tories and red allies led by Johnson’s son and son-in-law, had done injustice to the great man himself. Yet base and baseless tradition was in no whit more unjust than the sectional opinions and hostile gossip of the New England militia which historians have so freely transferred to their pages.

General Remarks About the Six Nations in 1890

The state and federal courts, as the former have recognized in several instances, should recognize the 64 “Indian common law title” of occupants of reservation lands, where such lands have been improved. They should assure such titles, as well as sales, devises, and descent, through courts of surrogate or other competent tribunals, wherever local Indian …

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Six Nations Names, Traditions, And Reminiscences

Indian nomenclature almost invariably has a distinct and suggestive meaning, especially in geographical locations, relations, and peculiarities. Only a few of those, which relate to the accompanying maps are supplied. The location of Bill Hill’s cabin, near the foot of the Onondaga reservation, was called Nan-ta-sa-sis, “going partly round a hill”. Tonawanda creek is named …

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Education, Schools and Language on the Six Nations Reservations

The pagan element, as a general rule, is opposed to education. Exceptions are sometimes found. Families with small means, unwilling to make any effort to change their condition, claim that they need their children for homework. Even when they enter them at the beginning of the term, they do not enforce their attendance. The children, …

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Industry and Home Life on the Reservations

Farming is the chief employment of the Six Nations Indians, and the products are typical of the varying soils of the different reservations. While more land is under cultivation than heretofore, the barns are mainly old and in had condition. This is largely true of similar buildings upon the adjoining farms of the white people, …

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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 …

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Historical Outline of The Six Nations

By Henry B. Carrington The retirement of the Indian westward within the United States has been qualified by two historical factors. The first grew out of the unlimited and conflicting sweep of British land grants, which involved subsequent conflicts of jurisdiction and corresponding compromises. The second was incidental’ to the passage of the ordinance of …

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Captain David Abeel, Revolution Patriot

Capt. David Abeel Capt. David Abeel, Patriot of the Revolution, eldest son of Col. James and Gertrude (Neilson) Abeel, was born Jan. 13, 1763, died Oct. 31, 1840. He early evinced a taste for a seafaring life, and volunteered to serve with Captain Barry (afterwards Commodore Barry, U. S. N.) on the ship “Governor General,” …

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