The History of New York State
Book I, Chapter II

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam


Footnote #1: New York State Museum Bulletin, Nos. 235-238, 1920, published by the University of the State of New York, 1922.

Footnote #2: See Parker's "Archaeological History of New York," Part 1, pps, 19-20, wherein he further directs students of the problem of man's antiquity in America to study the publications of George Grant McCurdy, the works of W. H. Holmes, particularly "Some Problems of the American Race,' in the "American anthropologist," XII, 2; and Ales Hrdlicka, Skeletal Remains suggesting or Attributed to Early Man in North America ("Bureau of Ethnology, Bul. 33").

Footnote #3: Including hammerstones, anvils, mullers, celts, gouges, adzes, grooved axes, grooved weights, net sinkers, bannerstones, birdstones, gorgets, plummets, other ceremonials, stone pipes, bone implements, shell beads, stone tubes, notched flints, triangular flints, pottery vessels, Steatite vessels, copper articles, pestles, the figures are given on p. 444, Part 1, of Parker's "Archaeological History of New York," The tabulation is based on a careful estimate of artifacts from the heart of New York State, extending from Oneida Lake to the Genesee. A tabulation of the entire State would probably alter the percentages, although perhaps not importantly. Of the 20,000 specimens identified 2,1509 were hammerstones, 1,600 were net sinkers, 1,300 were shell beads, 2,100 were stone tubes, 7,000 were notched flints, and 2,300 were triangular flints.

Footnote #4: See "History of Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Counties of Nassau and Suffolk, Long Island," by Henry Isham Hazleton, 1925.

Footnote 5: The regions showing the greatest evidence of the mound culture are; (1) the south shore of Lake Erie from Westfield to the mouth of the Cattaraugus Creek; (2) the valley and terraces of the Cattaraugus to Gowanda: (3) the Alleghany Valley; (4) the valley of Chautauqua Lake and the Chadekoin River; (5) the Connewango Valley; (6) the Cassadaga Valley; (7) Clear Creek Valley; (8) the valley of Buffalo Creek; (9) the valley of Tonawanda Creek eastward to the overland trails of the Genesee; (10) eastward along the Alleghany Valley from Bradford northward along the tributaries, thence overland to the Genesee Valley; (11) the Genesee Valley, from Portageville, to the mouth of the river; (12) Irondequoit Creek; (13) Canadaigua Lake Valley; (14) the region of the Finger Lakes, to the Seneca River; (150 the valley of the Seneca River; (16) southward and along the southern shoes of Oneida Lake; (17) scattering relics along the Oswego River; (18) Jefferson County along the shores of Ontario and the lower waters of the neighboring creeks. (19) the St. Lawrence Valley; (20) south of the finger Lakes, especially along the headstreams of the Susquehanna and of the Delaware and scattering relics; (21) portion of the Hudson Valley, as near Athens.--"Archeological Hist. N. Y.," by Parker, part 1, P. 86

Footnote #6: One writer who believed that the Mound builders were the great aboriginal nation of America, and had a past which reached far into prehistoric times, and that they reached a high state of civilization, claimed to have found a copper tablet upon which had been engraved a mastodon in harness. This significant relic was, so he told, sent to the Smithsonian Institution. It does not, however, seem to have reached that society.--See "Ancient Man in America." By Frederick Larkin, Randolph, N. Y., 1888.

Footnote #7: The Cat Nation had sent 30 ambassadors to the Sonnontouahronnons to confirm the peace between them; but it happened that by some unexpected accident, a Sonnontouahronnon was killed by a man of the Cat Nation. The murder so incensed the Sonnontouahronnons, that they put to death the ambassadors in their hands, except five who escaped. Hence the war was kindled between those two nations, and each strove to capture and burn more prisoners than it opponent. Two Omnontagehronnons among others were captured by men of the Cat Nation; one of them escaped, and the other, an man of rank, was taken home by the enemy to be burnt. He pleaded his cause so well that he was given to the sister of one of the 30 Ambassadors who had been put to death. She was absent from the village at the time, but the prisoner was nevertheless clothed in fine garments, and feasting and good cheer prevailed, the man being all but assured that he would be send back to his own country. When she to whom he has been given returned, she was told that her dead brother was to be restored to life, that she must prepare to regale him well, and then to give him a most gracious dismissal. She, however, began to weep and to declare that she would never dry her eyes until her brother's death was avenged. The elders shewed her the gravity of the situation, which was likely to involve them in a new war; but she would not yield. Finally, they were compelled to give up the wretched man to her to do with him as she pleased. All this occurred while he was still joyfully feasting. Without a word he was taken from the feast and conducted to this cruel woman's cabin. Upon entering, he was surprised at being stripped of his clothes. Then he saw that his life was lost, and he cried out, before dying, that an entire people would be burned in his person, and that his death would be cruelly avenged. His words proved true, for no sooner had the news reached Onnontague, than 1,200 determined men started forth to exact satisfaction for this affront.

We have already observed that the Cat Nation is so called from the large number of wildcats, of great size and beauty, in their country. The climate is temperate, neither ice nor snow being seen in the winter; while in summer it is said that grain and fruit are harvested in abundance, and are of unusual size and excellence.

Our warriors entered that country remote though it was from Onnontague before they were perceived. Their arrival spread such a panic that villages and dwellings were abandoned to the mercy of the conqueror--who, after burning everything, started in pursuit of the fugitives. The latter numbered from two to three thousand besides women and children. finding themselves closely followed, they resolved, after five days' flight, to build a fort of wood and there await the enemy who numbered only 1,200. Accordingly, they intrenched themselves as well as they could the enemy drew near, the two head chiefs showing themselves in French costume, in order to frighten their opponents by the novelty of their attire. One of the two who had been baptized by Father Le Moyne and was very well instructed, gently urged the besieged to capitulate, telling them that they would be destroyed if they allowed an assault. "the Master of Life fights for us," said he, "you will be ruined if you resist him." "Who is the Master of our lives?" was the haughty reply of the besieged. "We acknowledge none but our arms and our hatchets." Thereupon the assault was made, and the palisade attacked on all sides; but the defence was as spirited as the attack, and the combat was a long one, great courage being displayed on both sides. The besieging party made every effort to carry the place by storm, but in vain; they were killed as fast as they advanced. They hit on a plan of using their canoes as shields; and bearing these before them as protection, they reached the foot of the entrenchment. But it remained to scale the large stakes, or tree trunks of which it was built. Again they resorted to their canoes, using them as ladders for surmounting the stanch palisades. Their boldness so astonished the besieged, that being already at the end of their munitions of war--with which, especially powder, they were but poorly provided--they resolved to flee. This was their ruin' for after most of the first fugitives had been killed, the others were surrounded by the Onnontaguehronnons, who entered the fort and there wrought such carnage among the women and children that blood was knee deep in certain places. Those who had escaped, wishing to retrieve their honor, after recovering their courage a little, returned to the number of 300, to take the enemy by surprise while he was retiring and off his guard. The plan was good, but it was ill executed; for frightened at the first cry of the Onnontaguehronnons, they were entirely defeated. The victors did not escape heavy losses--so great, indeed, that they were forced to remain two months in the enemy's country, burying their dead and caring for their wounded.--The Destruction of the Erie Nation (La National du Chat), as described in "Jesuit Relations," 1655056, Thwaite's edition.

Footnote #8: Governor Keith, of Pennsylvania, in 1722 referred to the Conestoga Indians as follows: "The Conestoga Indians were formerly a part of the five national, called Mingoes, and speak the same language to this day; they actually pay tribute now to the Five Nations, and either from natural affection or fear are ever under their influence and power." The tribe was seated on the Conestoga Flats, east of Turkey Hill, a few miles from Lancaster (Pennsylvania). When the whites began to settle around them, Penn assigned to them a residence on the Conestoga Manor, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Conestoga Creek, which runs through Lancaster county and empties into the Susquehanna River, was an important waterway in early settlement days. An Indian fort, known as Susquehanna Fort, was on the western bank of the Susquehanna river, in Conestoga Manor, and was the scene of severe fighting between the Susquehannocks and the Mohawks in the later middle decades of the seventeenth century. According to the "Jesuit Relations," the Susquehannocks used a cannon with which to defend their fort, and which they took with them when in battle."--See "History of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania." (H. M. J. Klein and E. Melvin Williams, 1924), Vol., 1, pp. 10 and 29-30.


The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

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