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ral of Canada) we neither depend on Ononthio, or Corlear,”* on France, or on England. Baron Lahontan, who openly avowed his utter detestation and abhorrence of them, is candid enough to acknowledge that, “they laugh at the menaces of kings and governors, for they have no idea of dependance-nay, the very word is to them insupportable. They look upon themselves as sovereigns, accountable to none but God alone, whom they call the Great Spirit.” They admitted of no hereditary distinctions. The office of Sachem was the reward of personal merit-of great wisdom or commanding eloquence-of distinguished services in the cabinet or in the field. It was conferred by silent and general consent, as the spontaneous tribute due to eminent worth-and it could only be maintained by the steady and faithful cultivation of the virtues and accomplishments which procured it. No personal slavery was permitted it their captives were either killed or adopted as a portion of the nation. The children of the chiefs were encouraged to emulate the virtues of their sires, and were frequently elevated to the dignities occupied by their progenitors. From this source has arisen an important error with respect to the establishment of privileged orders among the confederates. .

There is a striking similitude between the Romans and the confederates, not only in their martial spirit and rage for conquest, but in their treatment of the conquered. Like the Romans, they not only adopted individuals, but incorporated the remnant of their vanquished enemies into their nation, by which they continually recruited their population, exhausted by endless and wasting wars, and were enabled to continue their career of victo. ry and desolation : if their unhappy victims hesitated or refused, they were compelled to accept of the honours of adoption. The Hurons of the Island of Orleans, in 1656, knowing no other way to save themselves from destruction, solicited admission into the canton of the Mohawks, and were ac, cepted--but, at the instance of the French, they declined their own proposal. On this occasion the Mohawks continued their ravages and compelled acquiescence--they sent thirty of their warriors to Quebec, who took them away, with the consent of the Governor General; he in fact not daring to refuse, after having addressed him in the following terms of proud defiance; which cannot but bring to our recollection, similar instances of Roman spirit, wheu Rome was free.* “Lift up thy arm, Ononthio, and allow thy children, whom thou holdest pressed to thy bosom, to depart; for if they are guilty of any imprudence, have reason to dread, lest in coming to chastise them, my blows fall on thy head.” Like the Romans also they treated their vassal nations with extreme rigor. If there were any delay in the render of the annual tribute, military execution followed, and the wretched delinquents frequently took refuge in the houses of the English to escape from destruction. On all publicoccasions they took care to demonstrate their superiority and dominion, and at all times they called their vassals to an awful account, if guilty of violating the injunctions of the Great Council. At a treaty held on the forks of the Delaware, in 1758, by the governors of Pennsylvania and NewJersey, with the Six nations, several claims of the Munseys, Wapings, and other Delaware Indians,

* See this speech in Appendix No. 1. Taken from “New Voyages to North America, by Baron Lahontan, Lord Lieutenant of the French colonies at Placentia, in Newfoundland, &c.' 2 vols. printed London, 1705.

f 1 Colden, p. 11.

Heriot's History of Canada, 79. (This work is a compilation, principally from Charlevoix.)


for lands in the latter province, were adjusted and satisfied under the cognizance of the Confederates, who ordered them to deliver up their prisoners and to be at peace with the English, and who assumed a dictatorial tone, and appeared to exercise absolute authority over the other Indians.* At a former conference on this subject, a Munsey, or Minisink Indian had spoken sitting, not being allowed to stand, until a Cayuga Chief had spokenwhen the latter, thus expressed himself, “I, who am the Mingoian, am by this belt to inform you that the Munseys are women, and cannot hold treaties for themselves therefore I am sent to inform you, that the invitation you gave the Munseys is agreeable to us, the Six Nations.'

At a treaty held at Lancaster in 1742, by the government of Pennsylvania with the Iroquois, the governor complained of the Delawares, who refused to remove from some lands which they had sold on the River Delaware.t On this occasion a great chief called Caunassateegoo, after severely reprimanding them, and ordering them to depart from the land immediately to Wyoming or Shamokin, concluded in the following manner. just reproof and absolute order to depart from the land, you are now to take notice of what we have further to say to you. This string of wampum serves to forbid you, your children and grand children, to the latest posterity, from ever meddling in land affairs-neither you, nor any who shall descend from you, are ever hereafter to sell any

land. For this purpose you are to preserve this string, in memory of what your uncles have this day given you in charge. We have some other business to transact with our brethren, and therefore depart the

" After our

* Smith's New Jersey, 466, &e. ti Colden, 31.

council, and consider what has been said to you. The coufederates had captured a great part of the Shawanese Nation who lived on the Wabash, but afterwards by the mediation of Mr. Peon, at the first settlement of Pennsylvania, gave them liberty to settle in the Western parts of that province; but obliged them, as a badge of their cowardice, to wear feinale attire for a long time, and some nations, as low down as 1769, were not permitted to appear ornamented with paint* at any general meeting or congress, where the confederates attended, that being an express article in their capitulations. This humiliation of the tributary nations was, however, tempered with a paternal regard for their interests in all negotiations with the whites ; and care was taken that no trespasses should be committed on their rights, and that they should be justly dealt with in all their concerns.

War was the favourite pursuit of this martial people, and military glory their ruling passion. Agriculture, and the laborious drudgery of domestic life were left to the women. The education of the savage was solely directed to hunting and war. From his early infancy, he was taught to bend the bow, to point the arrow, to hurl the tomahawk, and to wield the club. He was instructed to pursue the footsteps of his enemies through the pathless and unexplored forest--to mark the most distant indications of danger--to trace his way by the appearances of the trees, and by the stars of heaven, and to endure fatigue, and cold, and famine, and every privation. He commenced his career of blood by hunting the wild beasts of the woods, and after learning the dexterous use of the

Rogers's concise aceount, &c. 209, &c. † This is the Shawanese nation of Indians, who, under the auspices of their prophet, have lately had an engagement with the army under the command of governor Harrison,

war was an art.

weapons of destruction, he lifted his sanguinary arm against his fellow creatures.

The profession of a warrior was considered the most illustrious pursuit ; their youth looked forward to the time, when they could march against an enemy, with all the avidity of an epicure for the sumptuous dainties of a Heliogabalus. And this martial ardor was continually thwarting the pacific counsels of the elders, and enthralling them in perpetual and devastating wars. With savages in general, this ferocious propensity was impelled by a blind fury, and was but little regulated by the dictates of skill and judgment: on the contrary, with the Iroquois,

All their military movements were governed by system and policy. They never attacked a hostile country, until they had sent out spies to explore and to designate its vulnerable points, and whenever they encamped, they observed the greatest circumspection to guard against surprise; whereas the other savages ovly sent out scouts to reconnoitre; but they never went far from the camp, and if they returned without perceiving any signs of an enemy, the whole band went quietly to sleep, and were often the victims of their rash confidence. *

Whatever superiority of force the Iroquois might have, they never neglected the use of stratagens--they employed all the crafty wiles of the Carthaginians. The cunning of the fox, the ferocity of the tiger, and the power of the lion, were united in their conduct. They preferred to vanquish their enemy by taking him off his guardby involving him in an ambuscade-by falling upon him in the hour of sleep: but when emergencies rendered it necessary for them to face him in the open field of battle, they exhibited a courage

* 1 Colden, 110.-Heriot, 15.

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